Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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February 28, 2012

Cathie Shaffer: Looking for the jackpot: 02/28/12

GREENUP — When I win the lottery — isn’t that a game we all play? — I intend to hire domestic help for one reason and one reason only:

I hate polishing silver.

I figure once I’ve raked in my millions, fate will direct me to someone who actually enjoys rubbing off tarnish and making glass sparkle. There has to be one person in the world like that, doesn’t there?

Just as some people love rutabagas and others won’t even try them, household chores appeal to different people. I’ve invested heavily in permapress clothes so I can avoid touching iron to fabric; the last time I used an iron, in fact, was to steam a fancy dress for my middle grandgirl so she could compete in a pageant without being introduced as Wrinkles Galore.

As I explained to a friend a while back, I bought a mop once, but it didn’t come with instructions and I couldn’t find them to download on the Internet.

(Only a slight exaggeration — I bought one of those fancy wring-themselves mops and busted it the very first time I used it.)

I don’t mind dusting and I rather enjoy stripping sheets off the bed to put on fresh

linens. Laundry’s okay, too. In fact, I get a certain satisfaction putting newly-washed towels on the bathroom shelves.

I’d rather be beat, however, than clean the oven or scrub the bathtub. I’m not overly fond of washing down woodwork, either, although it’s a necessary evil in a house with as much oak woodwork as mine.

You’d think I was a cleaning fanatic by the volume of cleaning products in my home. A cabinet in the bathroom houses toilet bowl cleaner, laundry spray for clothes, spray-on wrinkle remover and products to make both my mirrors and my sink shine.

A cupboard in the kitchen houses an equal number of spray cans and bottles that should make my entire house shine like the floors in those TV commercials. Alas, nothing I’ve found so far works by itself, and while I feel like I should spend more time on mundane household chores, there are so many other — and more exciting — things to cram into my day.

Like quality time with the dog. Maggie insists on sitting on my lap every evening, which is a great opportunity to multitask by watching TV and brushing her heavy and constantly shedding Sheltie coat at the same time.

I’d add quality time with the cat, but Tabby’s not a lap sitter. She’s quite willing to let me reach up and pet her when she’s on top of the refrigerator or the range hood, but that’s about as good as it gets.

Why waste time on, say, cleaning out and reorganizing the junk drawer when a brand-new word search puzzle demands your attention? Research shows aging brains should be used for things like solving puzzles to stay sharp, and heaven knows I want the youngest brain possible when my body is falling apart.

Besides, the children already know they’ll inherit everything I’ve got. A gentle reminder might convince them to come and help Mama with some of those “little” tasks like silver polishing and window cleaning since the silver and windows will eventually be theirs — and/or at least to invest heavily in the lottery and follow in my footsteps.

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net

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