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June 23, 2006 / allyo

Busy as a housecleaning bee

While there are many, many work days that I arrive at the office feeling as though I’ve already put in a full day’s work, today took the cake. Today, before I came to work, I steam-cleaned our family room carpet. Why? Silly readers, because I’m a lunatic, that’s why!

We’re hosting a rotating supper club tomorrow, and our beautiful, fancy-patterned, berber carpet was in sad, sad shape. There were a line of black splotches that seriously just appeared a couple of years ago and that haven’t come out with more mundane methods – on knees scrubbing by hand, mostly. There’s the inevitable dingy high-traffic path. There’s the dog puke stain from the times when Jamie was a newborn and we were so sleep-deprived that we didn’t notice the pile of puke (in the corner, in our defense) until it was dried up and thoroughly embedded into the carpet fibers. And since we didn’t get any of the OTHER indoor projects that have been languishing since we took our turn last summer (hallway, still unpainted; family pictures, still unhung in unpainted hallway; stair risers adjacent to unpainted hallway still unpainted (HEY MD, we NEED TO PAINT THE HALLWAY!!); bedroom closet doors, still untrimmed and knob-less, and um, unpainted!) I decided that the carpet at least should be clean. (If my friend D is reading this she’s mentally smacking me upside the head and yelling, That’s the beauty about supper club you moron – no one cares! Well, yeah, but see above re: lunatic.) I borrowed a spot cleaning machine from my parents but soon realized that even if I spent the entire week moving the thing around the floor so it could clean a circle of carpet approximately 1/2 foot in diameter, using half a tank of cleaning solvent at a time, the surrounding carpet looked so crappy that the overall effect was worse than the black spots. So I took advantage of MD’s one night a week at home and ran out last night after dinner to rent one. I figured I do half the room last night, then we could move the furniture around this morning, and I’d do the other half tonight. Sounds like the plan of a fairly reasonable, sane person, no?

A couple of catches. First, your $19.99 rental (+3.00 for the handy-dandy upholstery attachment – more about that later) only buys you 24 hours. Ok, no problem I’ll knock out the whole room after Jamie goes to bed. We’ll move the ottoman upstairs and just work around the big-ass chair. The couch can stay, who cares if the carpet under the couch is dingy? Well, the second catch is the carpet cleaning machine is loud. Really, really, just a block away from the airport and your house shakes when large planes fly over, loud. (And yes, I did live that close to an airport once. It was an airport for small planes, but every now and then for whatever reason a bigger one would land or depart from it and the first time that happened, my roommate and i ran outside, half convinced we’d see a spaceship landing in the backyard.)

Ok, FINE. So I got up at 5:45 this morning, showered, ate breakfast and laid out my clothes. MD got into the shower early, and Jamie woke up right on cue, ate his breakfast while I got him dressed, and they left 15 minutes early, leaving me with one uninterrupted hour to clean the carpet and the couch we’ve had for oh about 10 years that has never really been cleaned well. Yes, we’re disgusting pigs. In my defense, it’s an olive green twill-type fabric that doesn’t really show dirt. Really.

The carpet took less than a half hour and if I do say so myself, it looks fabulous. At least the half that dried before I left and that was the dirtiest half. So, on to the couch, and I’m already planning to stop for more coffee with the extra time I’m going to have before I arrive at work at 9, since this was going oh so well.

I’m such an idiot. An optimistic idiot at times, but an idiot still.

The upholstery attachment was kind of difficult to get attached, and I managed to spill some carpet shampoo on the floor. No big. I got the thing powered up after about 10 minutes or so – still time to grab a quick coffee, since my clothes were laid out and ready to go – but I didn’t get it all hooked up quite right because after ineffectually running the nozzle over two cushions, I realized whatever moisture had drizzled out at the start was from what was left in the hose from the previous renter, and no new water was coming through. So I reattached everything, and tried again. Whoops. Apparently all the water I thought I had been using had backed up into the hose because I drenched our sofa cushions. And the floor. Again. Ok, I’ll be barely on time for work. Coffee later. I finish up, throw my clothes on, and realize that while my t-shirt looks fine and my capris look fine, together they look like a weekend schlepping-around outfit, not like a work one. Even considering we tend towards casual and it’s a summer Friday, I had to change. Tank, cardigan, pants, shoes, check. I’ll be ten minutes late. Wait! The pants need to be ironed! Forget it, I’m screwed.

I was a half hour late for work. But I have a meeting this afternoon that I forgot about so I’m glad I took the time to change. Boy, am I tired. Better go grab that coffee.

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One Comment

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  1. Kelly / Jun 23 2006 3:26 pm

    I am tired now just from reading this.

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