Spring Cleaning … Why?


Whose brilliant idea was this whole Spring Cleaning thing, anyway? If you tell me to “Google” it, I’ll wash your mouth out with soap. Okay, I Googled. Spring Cleaning is a ritual created by people who spent winters in torment, isolated in their homes. When it finally got warm outside, swarms of dust mites descended on the villages and hamlets, strewn across the country side.

This stuff dates back to like, medieval times, and we still have not come up with a way to avoid the annual purging of dust … and dander … and random cobwebs that collect on the ceiling. You want to know why we still must partake in this inane ritual? Because no one has come up with a way to make dust vanish.

What really disturbs me is that there are people who clean for a living, and even have vacuums and such attached to trucks for extra power, and they still cannot guarantee you that when it’s all over, your home will be free of dirt. In fact, they pretty much promise you that you’ll need them to come back in a year with their magic suction truck, and perform this impermanent house torture again.

This all gets worse, I’m afraid. Not only should we do this annually to avoid black lung, or something, “professionals” say you should do some of these things two, even four times a year. How are we all still alive?

I clean because it helps me burn off frustration. It also creates more frustration, because I seem to make such a big mess while I am cleaning, that I’m forced to finish this days-long ritual, lest I live in a weird, half-filthy limbo land.

Spring is all about renewal – renewal of dust and dirt that we will have to get rid of again – temporarily – in a year, or two months, or whatever. Truth be told, just about every holiday or tradition that comes between St. Patrick’s Day and Easter is about birth, rebirth, renewal – even pulling the oven away from the wall and cleaning whatever happens to be lurking behind there.

There is a conspiracy here. I know there is. You know how people use vinegar to dye Easter eggs and for spring cleaning projects? This is all a bunch of stuff created by the vinegar industry. Vinegar smells awful. They had to figure out a way to force people to use the stuff. Renewal, my eye.

Now, I’ve tried downloading one of those chore calendars on Pinterest that are supposed to, if followed to the letter, eliminate the need for spring cleaning. It does make sense that if you spread this stuff out, logically, over the course of the year, you will always have a “fresh, clean home” to quote one of the poor, tortured souls whose posts I follow.

The thing is, I don’t want to be remembered for smelling like vinegar or having the most sparkling cabinet pulls this side of the Mississippi. I don’t want to be remembered for reeking of dust mites and mold spores, or living in a den of filth, either. Maybe this is another time when cooler heads call for moderation.

I will ponder all of these things as I work a toothbrush back and forth in the tiny crevices between the planks of my nearly wood floor.


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