And miles to swiff before I sleep

By Mir
February 28, 2006

This is me, going to bed early the night before my surgery. Whoops!

Well, I was going to go to bed early. Really I was. I have to get up at, um, 5, I think, so as to have proper time to shower and shave anywhere that may need to be shaved because in spite of them only working on my boob I will doubtless be forced to don a hospital gown and have all my whathaveyou out flapping in the breeze (and for such an occasion, I violate my “I shave my legs once a month in the winter whether they need it or not” rule) and then arrive at the hospital early enough to change into said gown and sit around gnawing off my own fingers in nervousness and hunger because I can’t have anything to eat.

But then, um, I had stuff to do.

One facet of my particular brand of mental illness is that I am genetically unable to leave my house for a vacation or surgery without cleaning. It started out harmlessly enough–who wants to come home to a dirty house after a trip? No one. It’s always nice to come home to a clean place. Plus then I don’t have any annoying housecleaning to get in the way of not unpacking my bags for three weeks. Then when I had my tonsillectomy it was sort of like, “Well, I’m going to feel like crap, so I should probably do some cleaning before I go in.”

By the time I got to my hysterectomy, it was more like, “Well if I die, I would hate for someone to come in here and see all these dustbunnies. I’d better vacuum before I go.”

Tomorrow is a minor procedure so I’m not, technically, motivated by potential post-mortem embarrassment; but still, I feel the need to tidy up beforehand. And I thought I’d have all day to get things done.

But then Chickadee came down with a cruddy cold and pretty much needed to spend the day languishing on the couch and watching cartoons and snuggling with me. And my little prickly cactus of a girl? Never wants to snuggle. So it wasn’t like I was going to say, “Sorry, Mama has to go mop now.” Nope. I snuggled. I did do some laundry, and I sewed some patches on her Tae Kwon Do uniform (which took about four hours because I’m a terrible, slow hand-sewer and it’s really hard to adequately stab yourself with a needle and not bleed all over a snow-white fabric), but by the time the kids headed off with their dad tonight, the house was still a pigsty.

Being a get-down-to-it type, I immediately sat down and checked my email.

But after that, I did a quick survey of what needed to be done. Then I wept.

Then I set about the things that needed doing: Emptying the dishwasher, filling the dishwasher, cleaning the kitchen counters (and sink; damn you, Flylady!), taking out the recycling, emptying the trash, picking up various bits of child detritus, wiping down tables, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming–

Vacuuming. Oh, the vacuuming. What I really wanted to do was test out my new! improved! Swiffer, but it was not meant to be, today. I needed to get out my thousand-pound Kirby to deal with all the dirt that the kids have tracked inside this winter. Either it hasn’t snowed, and their boots are clomping around in MUD, or it’s snowed, and every outside surface has been sanded for maximum traction and maternal nervous breakdowns. I SWEAR I vacuumed in the mudroom sometime recently. But the sand and dirt in there… well, if you brought in a palm tree it would’ve been a great setting for a luau.

So. I vacuumed. And then I considered getting out my trusty Hoover Floormate and really giving all the floors a good scrubbing, because they need it. I was about to do it, too, when I had a sudden moment of clarity. It went something like this: Why yes, we COULD get out the Floormate and do a good job on the floors, probably spending another hour to do so. Or we could recognize the fact that we’ve already been cleaning for quite a while, we are tired, we are having our boob sliced open in the morning, and–perhaps most disturbingly–we are referring to ourself in the royal plural. How about we just take an Ativan, get out the Swiffer Wet cloths and do a quick once-over, and call it a night?

Guess what I decided to do?

I put together my new! improved! Swiffer and noticed immediately that… it’s a different color than the old one. I immediately felt improved. Or, you know, green. It’s a lovely transluscent green, which is totally much more high-tech than the original, opaque green! Also the pole is a little bit thicker than the original and seems sturdier while it’s being shoved around the floor at breakneck speed, which is pretty much how I do all of my Swiffering. (Because, let’s face it, if I had lots of time, I’d be using the Floormate.)

Maybe I’m a domestic moron (yes), but the execution of the little scrubby strip along the edge is problematic. It’s a great idea, because lord knows you’re always swiffing away and come upon a blob of… something… that needs additional scrubbing. But in reality, part of what’s so neat about the Swiffer is that the head seems to swivel freely in just about every direction; this becomes a drawback when you’re trying to use the scrubby strip. Instead of delivering the concentrated abrasion for which its designed, I found the head hard to balance/aim on its edge, and more often than not succumbed to just bending over and holding the head in my hand to aim it at whatever I wanted to scrub.

Regardless, I was able to swiff (or–as I like to call it–psuedo-mop) several rooms in about fifteen minutes. Hurray! I can die on the table tomorrow, now!

Kidding. I can’t die. There might be a Swiffer product out there I haven’t tried yet. And I still have to pair socks and scrub my toilet.


  1. Dawn

    The best of wishes for you tomorrow. I had my annual mammogram today…oh the joy! and thought of your funny words wild I was holding my breath in dire pain. I’m sending prayer arrows straight up for you that all goes well tomorrow.

  2. Ms Sisyphus

    Mir, you and your boob will be in my thoughts tomorrow.

    Well…hrmmm…that came out a little dirtier than I meant.

    Be well and recover soon (I need to know how you humilate yourself this time!)

  3. Sharkey

    I totally get the need to clean before leaving the house (though I never did when I was a kid and my mom insisted on it).

    Good luck tomorrow–I’ll be thinking of you.

  4. Busy Mom

    Say, um, could I have your Wet Jet just in case you don’t need it after tomorrow?

    (Seriously, good luck and I’m thinking of you)

  5. DebR

    Sending lots of HealtyBoob and NoPain thoughts your way for tomorrow, Mir.

  6. buffi

    I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow, Mir & saying prayers. And think how nice and clean your house will be to come home to.

    So, if you are feeling okay in the afternoon, you wanna stop by here & tidy up? This place is looking sad. You can use my new Swiffer. But I used both the wet things. Sorry.

  7. Mike

    Couldn’t send them personally, so sending in comments my best get-it-done-and-over-with-and-on-with-LIFE vibes your way for tomorrow, Mir. Thinking about you, and I sure hope you’re feeling better soon.

    P.S. Floormate ROCKS!

  8. Sheryl

    It is really nice to come home to a clean home. I hope everything goes smoothly for you, sending prayers your way.

  9. dcfullest

    I hope everything goes well for you today. You will be in my prayers.

  10. Latte Man

    Get Well Soon.

  11. Jabberwocky

    I’m praying for you. Hope everything goes well.

  12. ben

    Thinking of you, girl. Only now my thoughts are going to be disturbed by Swifferisms. But I’ll try to focus, really, on the real issues..

  13. bad penguin

    Good luck with the surgery today.

  14. Bob

    wishing you no pain and no dents!

    All that work and blogging too. Nice to know your priorities are in order.

    take care.

  15. WendyC

    I’ll be thiking about you today, best wishes. I’ll be waiting to read all about your day and the good outcome I am sure you will get :)

  16. Fraulein N

    Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you. Hope things went well for you.

  17. Aimee

    I’ll be thinking about you today, pretty Mir! All will be well.

  18. Amy-GO

    I DO believe mir will be okay, I DO believe Mir will be okay, I DO believe Mir will be okay….
    Hugs and prayers and all that jazz your way! And (on a completely different subject) I think you should look into the US Curling team as a possible post-surgery career. Some of the players do something that looks an awful lot like Swiffering to me, and Lord knows you have plenty of practice! *ducking* :)

  19. Stephanie Chance

    I’ll be thinking of you. Hoping for the best.

  20. shannon

    Now, I am truly interested in the whole clean before leaving for major things idea. I think it’s brilliant. For all the reasons you stated. Nobody wants to come home to a dirty house after they’ve had a relaxing vacation. NOR after they’ve had their boob prodded and poked and smooshed and drained.

    Speaking of boobs, hope yours starts to feel better soon (that just sounds weird…feels weird to write too).

  21. Dawn

    Coming out of lurking to say I’m praying for you *and* your boob today. And hoping you are resting well in your very clean house.

  22. Jenn2

    I am thinking of you today and saying quick prayers for your health.

    And yeah, had to check out the whole FlyLady thin, because you and Jenny both mentioned it and I thought…hmmmm.

    Shine my sink? Oh brother. After I quit laughing I read her site and it made an alarming sort of sense. I guess I’m a convert. I’d curse you, but with the boob and all, it seems redundant.

    Be well.

  23. Jessie

    Good luck today! Know that you have many of us out here concerned and rooting for good news.

  24. chris

    I am thinking of you and your boob today. Hoping you had a good friend who could go with you and hold your hand and laugh at with you when you are coming out of anesthesia.

    I suffer from the same mental illness, if it is any comfort to you, which it probably shouldn’t be ;-)

  25. jes

    Sheesh. You’re the female version of my husband.

  26. Mysh


    Hoping you are pronounced healthy, fit and very PRETTY by the surgical people!

    Bestest wishes! :O)

  27. Mir

    Sending warm fuzzy thoughts to you and your misbehaving boob, which lets face it, could be a porno title- “Mir and her amazing misbehaving boob!” Seriously I hope all goes well. Much love from the internet.

  28. Susan

    I do my best cleaning for the babysitter and the cleaning lady. Although I can’t clean today as all my fingers are crossed for your boobs.

  29. Brenda

    Very best wishes, Mir.

    Although, by now, you should be safely in recovery.

    I hope you took your laptop to the hospital with you. I can’t wait to find out what you write like while coming out of anesthesia.

  30. ben

    I think that your better hospitals should provide somebody to Liveblog your surgery.

    But that’s probably just me.

    (hope you’re OK, Mir, and dammit somebody better be taking care of you and doing it right)

  31. ozma

    I fully understand the need to clean beforehand. Maybe it’s an illness but it’s a kind of functional one. I’ll be thinking of you. And hating flylady. But not at the same time.

  32. Contrary

    I was gonna say something like ‘here’s hoping you didn’t die!’, but then I was reminded of the get well card that one of my aunts sent to my mother on the occasion of her gall bladder surgery.

    It said something like, “I was gonna send you a dirty card, but I got to thinking how it would look when they went through your personal effects”

    What my aunt didn’t know was that mother did, in fact, come very close to dying and therefore having her personal effects gone through.

    So I’m changing it to: “Here’s hoping you feel better soon!”

  33. Snow

    I’m waiting patiently to hear tales of the backdraft hospital gown, handsome surgeons, and healthy boobage. Hurry back.

  34. Kestralyn

    Ditto everyone else (except for the oops! card). Been keeping good thoughts all day and hope everything has worked out well today. Please be healthy and not in pain soon!

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