House Cleaning, Christmas Miracles, and The Wonderful World of The Old Man’s Imagination
All Husbands are alike, but they have different faces so you can tell them apart.
When it comes to relationships, I don’t like casual flings. I believe in long term relationships. I’ve been in one with the old man for forty three years now. At this point we may have crossed over from long term to interminable, or maybe it just feels that way from time to time, but we do okay.
People have asked me for years what the secret to the success of our relationship and marriage are. I’ve always tried to come up with some wise little truth nugget of an answer, but there really isn’t one. Shared experiences, shared values, shared beliefs, forgiveness.
I really do think it helps if you believe in similar things. Or not believe in similar things.
Like neither one of us believes in tinker bell or the tooth fairy anymore, and that’s a good thing. That way when we’re old enough to lose our teeth no one is disappointed when their tooth is still under the pillow in the morning instead of a hundred dollar bill.
When we were younger our religious beliefs were similar– maybe there’s a God and maybe there isn’t. And then came the eighties. I voted for Ronald Reagan and believed heaven was a real place with streets paved in gold and angels with big hair and shoulder pads. My husband thought I was crazy. Maybe I was, but it was the eighties so I was in good company. Now I’m much more pragmatic and believe that God has imbued the world with his spirit and it’s up to us to find it in everything and everyone around us. I’m still trying, unsuccessfully, to insert Donald Trump into that scenario.
My husband does believe in some things that I KNOW don’t exist. Like dishwashers that actually scrub a cheese omelet encrusted pan clean better than any human being could hope to do. He shares this belief with me every damn time he attempts to scrub a scorched pot or pan unsuccessfully.
“I can’t get this shit off of here, I’m throwing it in the dishwasher.”
“What makes you think the dishwasher is going to get it clean? They don’t really scrub the pots you know”.
Apparently, the old man believes in little hot-water sirens that reside in the dishwasher and scrub the dishes with tiny coral sponges as sparkly water jets dance around and over them, like an Esther Williams movie. I’ll bet they are half naked all the time, have hair down to their waists and look a lot like I did when I was seventeen.
He also believes in those little scrubbing bubbles he sees on television. The ones that clean the bathroom for us. Maybe he thinks that when I’m in there scrubbing away and muttering to myself, that I’m actually sitting on the edge of the tub drinking coffee and keeping those little tweekers company as they clean the bathroom for me.
This was made clear for me yesterday when I cleaned the bathroom. When I was done cleaning the sink and counter and mirrors and toilet seat and surrounding area, I squirted the aquamarine toilet bowl “cleaner” all over the inside of the bowl, from rim to water line, and left it to let it soak. The old man came in the back door, as he always does immediately after I do this, wanting to use the loo. I told him I was not done cleaning yet and to use the other bathroom as I was soaking the toilet in the guest bath. He seemed to understand as his eyes didn’t glaze over or anything and he went and used the master bathroom.
A little while later I went to use the master bathroom, and while I was in there, he went back in the guest bathroom and sat down on his pristine white porcelain throne with the now watery blue interior, my favorite decorating color scheme oddly enough, and was there for a while. When he came out I was in the kitchen. I immediately asked him if he scrubbed the toilet before he used it. He immediately got the deer in the headlights look.
“No noo no” he stammered.
“Why not? Are you too good to scrub a toilet? I was soaking it. You knew that.”
“But… I thought it was self cleaning.”
Apparently my husband believes in the Tidy Bowl man too. If the waters blue, he must be on the job.
“NO. You have to scrub it clean. It’s does not scrub itself clean.”
“Where’s the brush? There’s a brush for that? Oh, look at that. It’s right next to the toilet in plain sight. Well, what do you know about that?”
It scares me sometimes what a great liar, I mean actor, he is.
It’s gotta be nice living in his world. I wish I could share his belief system. Life would be easier if I could just let go, believe, and let those water sirens, scrubbing bubbles, and Thurston Howell in his toilet dingy do all the work for me. But, being a REAL house cleaner, I know better.
I gotta go now. I think I’ll sit on the toilet for a while, reciting “I Believe, I Believe, I Believe”. It worked for Natalie Wood in Miracle on Thirty Fourth Street. After all, it IS the season of miracles. And the way things go around here, a sparkling clean toilet that I did not actually scrub myself, would definitely qualify as a Christmas miracle.
©2016 by Ilona Elliott