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Why Is Martha Stewart So Excited About Cleaning?

“There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean,” says Martha Stewart. She must be kidding! I can think of few things more infuriating than an afternoon spent on hands and knees scrubbing dust off the baseboards in the back of my closets, much less a whole weekend spent polishing every nook and cranny. And yet, apparently, ‘tis the season.

For unknown reasons, I found myself staring at Martha Stewart’s Spring Cleaning Checklist and getting to work on some long-deferred maintenance around my house. Just as soon as I'd convinced myself that this weekend-long asphyxiating panic of having to do things I hate was coming to an end, Martha twisted the knife: “a single weekend won’t suffice.”

Sadly, it seems no one has invented an app that will send drone-delivered house-cleaning robots to my doorstep.

You would think Silicon Valley and its many innovations could come to the rescue, but no. I did look around. Sadly, it seems no one has invented an app that will send drone-delivered house-cleaning robots to my doorstep.

In the meantime, actual human beings will have to do the chores. If you’re like me, hiring help seems the most reasonable track until you realize you’re in the “hired-help” tax bracket, not the “I can afford to hire help” tax bracket.

this year I accidentally discovered the one – and probably only – totally awesome benefit of not hiring someone to do the deed for you: buried treasure

But, I complain too much. Blessedly, this year I accidentally discovered the one – and probably only – totally awesome benefit of not hiring someone to do the deed for you: buried treasure.

In the back of the closet, way in the back – behind the Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies uniforms and behind the two bridesmaid outfits that I swore I would actually wear again {spoiler alert: I did not} – was a box of forgotten treasures, mostly from SCU. It was a lovely interlude to the cursing.

A box of forgotten treasures

A box of forgotten treasures

  • A half-finished scrapbook of graduation day photos and the envelope of photos that might have ended up in there had life not intervened.

  • The “where is Kelly” sign I had posted on my door the year I was an RA in Dunne.

  • The box of notes from soon-to-be-friends I met on the Search Retreat.

  • The box of notes from them the time I led the retreat.

  • Photo after photo of smiling faces: Barney Mok, Joe Albers, Jordan Reed ‘99, Kelly Gibbons ‘99 and so many more. I smiled right back, and wondered what everyone is up to now. Some people, I know what’s up. Some, I look forward to seeing at the next reunion (I’m talking to you Jocelyn Sicedo)!

I still hate spring cleaning. And even though my husband and I tend to deride the outsourcing of household chores as an elitist trope, I probably will hire someone to do the worst of it for me every year. Until those robots materialize.

Shoot, if Martha loves spring cleaning so much, maybe she can take satisfaction in making my baseboards sparkle. I will take satisfaction in a nice long nap in the sun-drenched hammock out back.

 

Santa Clara, Illuminate

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