As a youngster, I was not one who enjoyed cleaning. I was fairly confident, when asked by my mom to do any sort of housework; I was being tortured for something I was unaware of. I did not understand the necessity of cleaning and felt is really was a waste of my very important time. Really, I was saving money by not picking up my clothes and the random stuff on my bedroom floor; the carpeting would not need to be replaced for years. So, if I was saving wear and tear on the carpet, why was I being asked to pick up my stuff and allow my mom to see my bedroom the floor she had not seen in quite some time?
In the summer months, when school was out, mom decided that I had to have one chore each day. If the chore was not done by the time she arrived home, I would not be pleased with the imposed consequences. The rule, really was, to have the chore done before I when out to play with any of my friends. Most of the time, I would go out and play ensuring I arrived home with just enough time to get my assigned chore done. It was something I challenged myself with daily and had little personal celebrations when I was successful, which was pretty much most of the time.
This particular day, my mom asked me to clean the bathroom. The bathroom? Are you kidding? That is a torturous little room which requires a number of different cleaning products and physical positions to get the job done. Ahhh, why me? Okay, so for those of you who do not know, I am an only child, so really the question, why me, made no sense. There was no other child in the house to whom mom could assign the task, so really who else, but me? Crap!
Okay, so back to the bathroom. I started out by cleaning the bathtub. Physical position number one; on knees, tummy pressed against the side of the tub, right arm stretched out to reach the other side of the team. What a royal pain. The tub was done and I was now onto the toilet. Physical position number two, okay, okay stop laughing; there is no association between the physical position number and the bathroom fixture I am cleaning. Anyway, position two, bent over at the waist with brush in hand moving arm in circular motion making sure to clean under the rim and down into the outlet hole, if that is what it is called. Not only that, there was also the expectation of cleaning the tank cover, under the seat, the top of the seat, the bottom of the lid, the top of the lid and the base. For one fixture, quite a few items needing to be cleaned and a time robber to say the least. Thank goodness it was all done.
The final section and most comfortable physical position; number three, standing. A few runs around the sink, a scrub of the countertop a swipe of the below mirror medicine cabinet, and I would be done. There was something on the countertop; I forget what, that needed to be put away under the sink. When I opened the door, I noticed a bottle cap on a bottle of lotion, or something like that, and was surprised at how dusty it was. I took it out and gave it a little rub and cleaned it right up. My eyes did a little dance around everything else under the counter and found all of the items were in the same condition as the bottle I had just cleaned. What happened next, has been left undocumented until today, and will shock many readers who remember being a child who found chores to be their parent’s form of torture.
I wet my cleaning rag, sat down on the floor, opened the cabinet doors and began cleaning all of the items. It was a feeling, which today, makes me feel accomplished and happy, but then was foreign and weird to me. It did, however, motivate me and kept me cleaning. When done with under the cabinet, I cleaned everything in the medicine cabinet including the medicine cabinet itself. I was on a roll and nowhere near stopping. I should share that in the living room I had put on one of my mom’s albums, Bill Cosby and was listening to his Noah comedy skit along with some of his others. It is kind of like I do today with the television, do other stuff while it is on, but keep it on just to give me some company.
Accomplished! That is how I was feeling, accomplished. I was getting ready to put my cleaning supplies away, when I noticed the cover over the light bulbs was quite dirty. I could not possibly leave it looking that way, when I just cleaned the products which were not visible to someone who would just walk in the room, so I readied myself for my next cleaning step. I climbed up on the counter and reached for the light cover. I unscrewed the fasteners and took the approximately three foot cover off. I got down off the counter and put it in the bathtub and cleaned it. To my surprise, when I looked up at the light bulbs, I was surprised to see the bulbs had gathered some dust on them. Again, I could not leave them dirty. Even though they were not visible,
I once again, climbed up onto the counter, leaving the light switch turned on. I knew I could not clean the light bulbs while they were in the sockets, so I gently took them out. I had to be gentle, they were hot, and would have burned my fingers had I not handled them gingerly. With all four of the light bulbs out of the sockets, I had a few minutes to wait until they were cool enough to clean, when I had, what I consider to this day, the best idea of my entire life. I pondered my idea for just a few seconds and then found myself putting things, including myself, into motion.
I took my left pointer finger, and raised it up to the light socket and stuck it in. Now, hold on, no panic necessary, nothing happened, I was okay, just a young redhead with her finger in a live light socket. The next idea is where things really take shape; I slowly lifted my right pointer finger to another socket. Was there any apprehension? Maybe a titch, but not enough to stop me. I continued my approach, aim right on point; I was going to make contact. When my right finger made the connection with the socket, I was shocked. No, no, that is not a joke. I was literally shocked; right off of the counter. I was thrown backwards off of the counter against the wall where I slid to the floor like a rag doll.
To this day, I have no idea how long I was out, but do know when I came to, the Cosby album had reached the end and the needle was making a noise, only those of us alive before CD’s and MP3’s would know. You know that rhythmic sound like a car going over a bridge hitting the sections at a steady pace? Bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum. Anyway, that is what I heard. As I remember, it was darker than when I made my connection with the light sockets. I sat for a short time, trying to figure out what had happened, when I realized what exactly I had done. I jumped to my feet; put the light bulbs back into the sockets, the cover back over the lights and my cleaning supplies away. There is no way; I was going to let my mom know what a stupid mistake I had made. No way!!
It took me about twenty years before I told my mom what had happened in that bathroom that day and all she did was laugh. She laughed hysterically. I suppose it is kind of funny, and someone may find a chuckle or two when they hear of my being flung backwards into a wall because of a very poor decision I made. It could potentially explain some of my quirks and oddities even to this day. I suppose it is a story I would laugh at if someone else made such a fantastic decision and so I embraced it. It is what it is, and makes me who I am today; a sometimes shocking individual who does not always think things through before doing them. Go me!!