Saturday, September 6, 2008

In hot pursuit of a streak free shine -- an OCD moment with no one here to intervene

So yesterday afternoon I was in a mad rush to clean the house before my partner returned home from work. It is important to note, by the way, that I am always MOST productive when I have just under an hour to accomplish a task. Why is it, I wonder, that when I have a 10+ hour day to fill with chores and to-do's that the last hour is the only time that I can truly seem to DO anything? Erg! So, in my rush to complete something of note before my betrothed descended on our less-than-clean haven for the weekend, I set out to spiff up the bathrooms in our apartment.

Now, there in our home there is a difference between "spiff" and "clean". It is a distinction that, apparently, only I understand and that I am quite sure that I defined (or at least that is what my partner says). It is a key distinction, nonetheless. To spiff: To maintain the cleanliness of an area from a former cleaning OR to spot clean an area until it can be "cleaned" thoroughly. To clean: To channel my OCD tendencies, arm myself with heavy-duty-cleaners (the more caustic the better) and scrubbing tools, and persevere over the dirt, germs, dust, and grime.

So, I'm spiffing the bathrooms. In this case, I was maintaining a deeper cleaning. I wiping, scrubbing, rinsing, and shining. I spray the glass cleaner on the mirror, I wipe, I hear that oh-so=gratifying "skweeeek" and I think I'm done. Little did I know that the bottle claiming a "streak free shine" was ALL A LIE. How rude.

I first notice a film-y, foggy like residue on the mirror and I think that my contacts need re-wetting. Surely, I thought, I heard the gratifying "skweeek" against the mirror, so this can't possibly be streaking. After all, I was promised streak free shine! I blinked a few times to re-wet the contacts and still, to my dismay, the mirror is covered in streaks! "Well, certainly this won't do", I said to myself as I approached the mirror, rag in hand, ready to find my streak free shine.

Mirror vs. me, Round 1: I buffed, I polished, I scrubbed. I began to sweat. I realized that this was going to take work, and not the work of some girl just interested in a "spiff" oh no, but rather a girl committed to a real true "cleaning". A glimpse at my reflection in the still-foggy mirror revealed that I was working hard enough to make my hair grow in size exponentially with each passing swipe of the cloth. Now, I digress, but the girls with naturally curly hair in my reading audience can understand this -- it isn't a pretty sight, we can go from lovely girl with nice hair to someone resembling Ronald McDonald in just under 23 seconds if we aren't careful. In an attempt to manage my quickly growing afro, I tie on a do-rag (a "Race for the Cure" hanky folded into a triangle, placed around my hair, and tied at the nape of my neck. A la Rosie the Riveter) and return to my mission of finding that damn streak free shine. After all, I WAS promised one by the bottle of glass cleaning solution and NOW I've ruined a perfectly good hair day in its pursuit.

Mirror vs. me, Round 2: I sat, stood, crouched, and leaned, peered, squinted, and tilted my head from side to side, turned the lights on and off and open and closed the windows to change the light. I left the room at one point thinking I'd succeeded only to return to find more damn streaks.

Mirror vs. me, Round 3: I got up-close-and-personal with the mirror. Sitting on the counter spritzing small sprays of cleaner in concentrated areas followed by wiping with a paper towel and a finishing buff with a dry cloth accomplished my streak free shine. For those of you who haven't seen my bathroom you might be thinking "Well sure, that sounds reasonable" but little do you know that between the two baths in my home I have about 9,274 square feet of mirror! And, just under one roll of paper towels, 1/2 a bottle of glass cleaner, and about an hour later...I emerged from the bathrooms, triumphant! It took a good fight and there were a few battles lost but overall I had won the war.

What I find equally as comical in this whole scenario is that once I got into my OCD-end-of-the-day-productive groove, in addition to spiffing the bathrooms and fighting the good fight for my streak free shine I also managed to dust, vacuum, sweep and mop all the floors. All in just and hour and a half.


ChoirPres said...

Ah, yes - this is all familiar. Having lived with your spiffed, cleaned, and "I can't leave the house till I've mopped" mentality, I have absolutely NO problem envisioning this. (and I'm not at all surprised that you prevailed!)

As for cramming your productivity in the last few moments of the day? I think that's a grad-school-induced survival skill that you probably haven't shaken off just yet ;)

Princess Jessie Pants said...

Oh my goodness dear - you crack me up!! I can totally identify with the curly hair drama - such is life for us.

Going 3 rounds with the mirror though is a little over my head - I give it 1 good go & walk away. Apparently my mirrors are not as clean as yours... :)