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The lurking shadow behind the closet door is only a dust bunny - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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The lurking shadow behind the closet door is only a dust bunny [Aug. 20th, 2006|12:31 pm]
[Current Mood |sicksick]

Housekeeping is not a strong skill for me. Oh, I'm okay at keeping a place neat and "surface clean," but I do not have the instinct, interest, or requisite peer pressure to attack the less-noticable cleaning jobs.

Like cleaning behind the refrigerator.

We've lived in this house for 5 years now, and I can say with certainty that the fridge has not been moved during that time. But now it is dead, and a replacement will be delivered at some point in the not-too-distant future. Which means strangers will remove this refrigerator and see what is behind it.

Now, Ferrett would probably argue that we are paying for a new fridge, and the delivery people really have no place judging the state of our kitchen. But the second part of the equation is that a new fridge will replace the corpse, and the space should be cleaned for that fridge, anyway.

All of which is about as roundabout a path as I took today in deciding to actually move the fridge and survey the damage behind it. I finished removing items from its interior, and wiped down the last of the smelly bits left behind by rotting food. Then I got the microwave down from the top of it, and cleaned that. And, heck, having accomplished this much, and as it was empty and relatively light weight now, I might as well take a look....

I pulled the fridge out into the center of the kitchen. I looked behind it.

I went and found a couple D-10s. A sanity check was clearly required.

The black tar beneath my fridge was so deep, I expected to find fossilized dinosaurs. Miraculously, it was not a smelly mess, just a conglomeration of grease, dust, business cards, old menus, and other bits and pieces. An hour of work, half a bottle of Fantastic, and two rolls of paper towels later, though, it was cleaner than the rest of my kitchen floor.

Which tempted me to start cleaning the rest of the floor, but common sense prevailed. Because I am still really sick. I hardly slept last night, tossing and turning with fever, chills, unable to breathe.

But it's a funny thing about me: being really sick tends to make me weirdly ambitious. When I was in high school I came down with spinal meningitis, and after I was back home from the hospital but still suffering so much pain and dizziness that I could not stand up for more than a couple minutes, I was seized with the need to bake a cake. From scratch. I accomplished it by dragging the mixer and the ingredients onto the floor and working from a sitting position.

In other words, if I'm sick and just lying about being miserable, don't worry about me. If I'm sick and suddenly decide to clean out all the cabinets, call an ambulance. Even as I was spraying down the walls and wiping dust and dirt away, I was shaking my head at myself - doing this thing again. But I am smart/self aware enough to stop with one gigantic chore.

Man, am I glad that's done.

[User Picture]From: cathubodva
2006-08-20 05:13 pm (UTC)
I can be like that, too. I wonder if it's some sort of "nesting" response, similar to women deciding they need to clean the whole house before going into labor?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-20 05:18 pm (UTC)
I think it's because we're all insane, and usually just hide it better. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2006-08-20 05:14 pm (UTC)
Man, and I thought I had done well by clearing a tiny portion of the crap off of my desk. Kudos both for doing a good job and for recognizing your limits and stopping before you went too far!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-20 05:19 pm (UTC)
I was driven by looming humiliation. I find it a motivating force.
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[User Picture]From: yardlong
2006-08-20 06:09 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm a recovered clean freak - still clean, but to less extreme. I can relate to the refrigerator situation, as we just got our second new one in 12 years, but did not bother to clean behind and under it until after this one was delivered. That had to be the most filth that's ever been in my house, the next worst being window blinds. I think cleaning window blinds is the worst cleaning task, and replacing them is better than cleaning them!

As far as cleaning when I'm sick, I think I'm the opposite. I think I clean to get an idea of how terminal the illness is, and as long as I can do it, I figure I'll live :D
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-20 06:16 pm (UTC)
I could use a bit more clean freak - I hate doing it.
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[User Picture]From: fuzzima
2006-08-20 06:40 pm (UTC)
Cleaning behind the fridge before the replacement arrives is a very reasonable thing to do. What is not reasonable is my mom cleaning the entire house before the maid arrives. She claims that she's just getting the easy jobs out of the way so the maid can focus on the important stuff, but really its because she's crazy. Today, she made us clean before we left the house to go visit other people. 0_0
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-20 06:57 pm (UTC)
When we had a cleaning service, I did insist on picking up all clutter before cleaning day. But actually cleaning? Hell, no! That's why I hired a cleaning service!
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[User Picture]From: donkey_hokey
2006-08-20 08:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, when I'm really sick sometimes I'll start feeling totally useless and then when I go and do something unnecessary yet productive it will make me feel like I can go back to bed and collapse.

But that's just me. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-20 09:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's a lot of the compulsion.
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[User Picture]From: morgi
2006-08-20 09:13 pm (UTC)
Due to imminent guests--one whom I haven't seen in 14 years, and his wife and child whom I've never met--we're going through the house and cleaning the hell out of it. We've only been here a year, and yet... holy crap. We might be able to use the dining room table for the first time ever in this house!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-20 10:14 pm (UTC)
It's not so much clutter for me. I hate clutter, so tend to keep things picked up reasonably well. But the grime in the corners? I notice it and mentally tut at myself for letting it happen, but there's always something more important to do....
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[User Picture]From: jiffjenn
2006-08-20 09:15 pm (UTC)
I always assumed the reason why I did that when I am really sick is because I didn't want anyone to come in to get me (alive or dead) and find a dirty house. Though my apartment is usually always cluttered.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-20 10:15 pm (UTC)
Clean underwear syndrome. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: amberite
2006-08-20 09:58 pm (UTC)
I think it's some kind of response to having a fever. God only knows why. I get all these impulses to write, myself. It's very frustrating when I know I could get all this stuff done, if only I could shake it.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-20 10:16 pm (UTC)
Whatever it is, I wish I could bottle up that ambition for use at healthy times!
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-08-20 10:17 pm (UTC)
See, remember when I said "Call me if you need ANY help with anything? ANYTHING!"

THIS qualifies.

*shakes head in a 'what am I going to do with you' kinda day*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-20 10:21 pm (UTC)
Oh dear god, I could never have subjected you to that! It wouldn't even occur to me.

Also, I don't think *I* have your phone number. Ferrett has it in his phone, which is with him.
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From: stella_x3x3
2006-08-20 10:50 pm (UTC)
when I am sick I get the weirdest urges as well. Like I'll want to clean my room but i''ll have to crawl around on the floor to do it. I also get weird cravings. There was one time last year I was out on a group date and all I wanted to eat was pickles and ice cream... Not together but I couldn't eat anything else... just thr thought of it made me want to puke. Feel better.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-20 10:54 pm (UTC)
Crawling to clean! Yes, I've done that in the past.
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[User Picture]From: cosmicbandit
2006-08-21 04:45 am (UTC)
It's amazing the nastiness that can accumulate underneath the fridge. I find the best way to tackle that kind of crud is to spray on cleaner of choice and then lay several damp paper towels over it and let sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping up.

I do hope you get well soon.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-21 08:37 am (UTC)
A actually used a spatula to scrape up the dampened layers. That worked pretty well.
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[User Picture]From: ithildae
2006-08-21 03:28 pm (UTC)
If the tar was deep enough to block airflow, that could be the cause of the fridge dying. Still, once an appliance betrays you, it is hard to ever trust it again...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-08-21 03:32 pm (UTC)
Could be that sucking the dust out made the difference. At this point, it's still working....
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From: wildcelticrose
2006-08-22 01:15 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on the housecleaning thing.

I despise clutter, but my place would most certainly not pass a white glove test.

I vacumn when someone's coming over, or when there are chunks of cat hair and I don't get real excited about dusting.
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