|Being awesome, circa 2006.|
Back when I was an obnoxious (in a completely different way than I currently am) young twentysomething, cleaning took forever. Forever.
Once every two weeks, P.J. and I would do laundry. And we're talking piles upon piles. We'd maybe do three loads in that one weekend. Sometimes we couldn't go out until 9 or 10pm because we'd still have dishes to do. And if we had to declutter our apartment prior to sweeping? Forget it. We were in for the night.
Now, remember, I'm not speaking for everyone here. Because there are single, childless, twentysomething rocket scientists and doctors and police officers and people who truly have more important things to be doing/less time in which to clean their homes.
But P.J. and I were not two of those people.
We'd get off work and watch Law & Order marathons while we cooked a leisurely dinner. Post-dinner drinks would accompany cutthroat bouts of Mario Kart. Sometimes we'd have to wrap it up early in order to view the meteor shower from the backyard. And we saw our friends multiple times each week. (I kinda feel like I'm reminiscing about hiking the surface of the moon, here.)
If we didn't get to bed before 1am, it wasn't because we were filing taxes or starching shirts. We were too busy being awesome.
Yesterday, I cleaned three bathrooms. The first problem is that we own three bathrooms. The second problem is that I now live with enough people who can successfully dirty three bathrooms. (Direct convo with Nora: "Mom, why are you wiping that?" "Because it's dirty." "Who dirt-ed it?") I clean these bathrooms every week (and more often as, you know, we continue to have a potty-training wombat pee from her upside-down wall perch).
I did three loads of laundry yesterday by noon. Granted, that's excessive, even for a household that possesses said wombat and her Very Hungry Caterpillar of a baby sister. Let's just say that there were extenuating circumstances which included bedding, lipstick, and more and more discovered spots throughout the day which had been "dirt-ed."
But seriously, I used to leave laundry for once every two weeks? We must've been grubs from Grubsville. Because if I left the laundry to pile up for two weeks now, we'd have no choice. We'd hafta move.
While I was pre-treating the second load of laundry (but well before I scrubbed scrambled eggs from the underside of the table) I had the momentary wish to reach back in time to berate and throttle Young Me.
"If I have to remember you saying how tired you are from hanging hoodies in the closet one more time...and besides that, I just remembered that you used to take a nap before doing the dishes! A nap! Before!"
These are the imagined conversations that I have with Past Me, based on recollections of things I said and did that (at the time) were perfectly valid feelings, but which now irritate the junk out of Older [Dirt-ed] Me.
Sure, there are upsides to my current life that a) Past Me really knew she wanted, and b) Current Me wouldn't trade for anything. For example, last night I got to witness Nora make up a dance to Adele's "Rumor Has It." (Neither of those factors would've been possible back in 2006.) And I would totally scrub thirty bathrooms a week to keep that memory at the forefront of my brain until I'm a hundred and seven.
I'm lucky. I know this. In fact, I'm aware of multiple parents who would totally trade their transit card for my scrub brush in a heartbeat. That's not my point.
My point is that, somewhere in the not-so-distant past, there's a girl who can't finish the second draft of her play because she's too busy searching eBay for Steve Madden boots. And that play's the reason why she can't Windex the bathroom mirror. And since she's going to leave that task until the weekend, it'll most likely move brunch up by a good hour and a half.
And when I remember how she/I will complain/had complained about this, I will feel no pity/will remember how I felt totally swamped by my own abode.
Listen, some people direct their anger outwards. Others- like me- channel their rage towards their past selves.
I think that's totally healthy. Just like all of the upstairs bedding.
Because it's been laundered three times.