Tag Archives: Cleaning

Cleaning Confrontation

Who wants to clean out a refrigerator and chest freezer?

Blown light bulbs conveniently have kept me in the dark about their sad state. I grabbed diet Pepsi or pizza, slamming doors before tentacles could yank me inside.

But now, with the garden producing, I can’t feed my veggies to whatever life forms lurk there.

Confrontation time.

I need hot water and disinfectant. Rubber gloves. Body armor. Samurai sword. Hey, past-expiration-by-a-decade cottage cheese gets testy when evicted.

I cover the body armor with an apron, à la June Cleaver. This secret weapon of all women in 1950s TV sitcoms empowered June to do housework while wearing high heels and pearls. It will grant me added protection.

Hubby’s grandma sewed this apron that gives me courage to clean out our refrigerator and freezer.

Besides, Hubby’s grandma sewed this apron. Though gentle, she fought a fierce, lifelong war against dirt and germs. Her spirit pokes me with a scrub brush and urges me to be strong.

Grabbing my sword, I crack the fridge’s door.


I throw it open.

Ack! Half-filled bottles of lavender salad dressing. Pudding that resembles petri dishes. Mashed potatoes that give a whole new meaning to “green vegetable.”

Did something move?

I slam it shut and venture into the garage, where the freezer resides. I open it. No tentacles.

I summon Golden Oldies to inspire me. A rhythmic tune dances me across the garage—

“Mission Impossible.”

So much for inspiration.

My Cold War almost morphs into peaceful coexistence, especially when the song changes to “One-Eyed, One-Horned, Flying, Purple People Eater.” Will Hubby find nothing left but my eyeglasses and piles of defrosted food? Will he weep more for losing me or pot roasts?

Thankfully, the music changes to the Star Wars theme. Retying my mighty apron, I plunge into the freezer’s alternative universe. I see furry-looking, amorphous packages, their age detectable only by carbon dating. Each evokes a question:

  • Why did I shred four dozen bags of zucchini? Hubby hates zucchini bread, and I probably shouldn’t eat 50 pounds.
  • Did this tuna casserole pre-exist with God in the beginning?
  • Do holiday turkeys grow exponential sets of giblets?

I toss out piles of mystery food, moving to “You’re No Good” and “Hit the Road, Jack.” I use endless elbow “Grease,” but eventually graduate to “Splish Splash,” reveling in unfamiliar spotlessness.

I saved the giblets for a game of H-O-R-S-E, shooting them into trash cans in the driveway.

Oops. I hit a garbage guy.

My apology had better be good. Given summer heat, I really, really want him to haul my melting mess away.

Fortunately, he doesn’t take my poor aim personally. He only wants to flee. So, cans are dumped in haste. The truck roars off to “Hey hey hey, goodbye. …”

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you make housework fun?