When I was 14 and in the beginning stages of a new disorder, specifically obsessive-compulsive, we had just adopted a stray dog from Hooterville Pets. He was filthy when we got him, being a stray and all. It took several days and several baths, but eventually he became Mine. Once he was clean enough.
Oscar, wearing grey, and Kevin, the one-eyed Pekingese. Yes, one-eyed.
He thought he was Tough Stuff and he got in a fight with a bigger dog one time. I'll spare you the details.
When I was 22, I moved out of the home I'd lived in since I was born. I was in some of the deepest darkest throes of OCD, and it was crucial to me that my new homestead be positively STERILE, a wild departure from the digs I had grown up in. Well, my apartment had had dozens of denizens before me, and it was hardly sterile. But I took my bleach in hand and Had At It. At first, the place was foreign to me. It felt unclean, it felt strange, it didn't feel like home. But perhaps a couple of weeks into living there, it finally became Mine. Once it was clean enough.
When I was newly 27, I was newly engaged. My fiance and I bought the house together, but I didn't move in until we were married, because I was such a good little girl. I didn't move in, but I did clean it. Oh did I clean it. I remember cleaning it so furiously that anyone who entered the room I was currently sterilizing would utter an incoherent "GUH!" in shock at the sheer amount of fumes present. I was cleaning with a tub & tile cleanser that almost took the paint off the walls. I am positive I did permanent damage to my alveoli. But the lady who lived in this house before us was a--choke--Cat Lady, and we found cat hair in the most
I mention all of this because last Saturday was my friend S's moving day. (S is becoming quite a fixture in this here blog!) Now, S isn't anything like me. A germaphobe she is not. In fact, she couldn't care less about such things. I've witnessed her child eat something off the floor of Starbucks. (And if she ever read this, she would have to concede this fact.) :-) But she was moving into a new place on Saturday, and she had wrangled a bunch of friends to help her do it. She had the requisite beefy men to do the heavy lifting, and a gaggle of girls to to the packing and unpacking and arranging and so forth. But I was the only friend who volunteered, and energetically so, for the disinfecting.
See, I was the one who would go along and really truly clean. Yes, to clean ALL THE THINGS. Oh, sure, Kim was there before I was, and she had run a vacuum through the joint, and Rachel had put up some trinkets and doodads and made the place look homey, but I came along with my Clorox and my Lysol and my scrubby sponges and my
All this, for my beloved S...who truly probably couldn't have cared less. :-)
But I did it because I love S, and I care about where she lives and how she lives, and I wanted her home to feel like Hers. And I know what it takes for a home to feel like mine, so I did what I could for her. This was my contribution: Wet knees and dishpan hands and a sweaty brow and
Love ya S! Hope you like your haven of purity! I did what I could for you, 'cos I lurve you.