Thursday, May 18, 2006

Spring cleaning + nesting + "How Clean is your House" = Bad house keeping + nasty words flung.

A message to all of you married people out there: communication is KEY!

Today I sent Armondo and Cherry out to do some shopping while I did some cleaning around the house.

You know those horizontal plastic blind thingys? Do NOT ever buy any for your house! And, if you're moving into a house with them, REMOVE THEM. Pronto. They SUCK!

My blinds have been very dirty for a long time. Dusting them wouldn't work, because the dirt was almost oily. Usually, I just pull them "up" if anyone comes to the house, or if we're showing the house so that no one can see the dirt. So, after watching some episodes of "How Clean is Your House" where they showed washing the blinds either in the bathtub or out on the lawn with a garden hose, I thought it was time to give it a try.

After Armondo and Cherry left, I took most of our curtains and threw them in the wash, and then filled the bathtub and threw two of the blinds in. While I let them soak, I washed some of the windows in the house and washed some of the walls in the bathroom. I then went back to the blinds. They were still nearly impossible to clean. It was obvious that I was going to have to wash each and every horizontal strip separately if I continued in the bathtub this way. So I decided to wash them on the lawn.

All four blinds went down onto the lawn and I got out my hose and hosed them all down. The dirt did not budge. So, I got a tooth brush and some Mr. Clean and went to work. Two and a half hours after I started, I had ONE blind clean. I took it back into the house, set it up, and then realized that perhaps washing blinds on FRESH CUT GRASS wasn't the best idea. My now somewhat cleaned blind was now covered in grass clippings, and because the blinds were wet, it wasn't coming off very easily.

So, out comes the hair dryer. I'm not kidding. I WISH I was kidding.

The rest of the blinds didn't make it back into the house. There are the "shed", which really is code for "They are on their way to the Sally Anne, or the dump."

I did the math while I packed them into the shed.

1 blind = 3 hours of cleaning
4 blinds= 12 hours of cleaning.
12 hours x $8 an hour (minimum wage) = $96

$96 could buy me some nice curtains to replace those blinds!


Armondo got home soon after I finished cleaning the grass on that one blind and pretty much flipped out on me for the house still being dirty.

This is where the "communication" thing comes in.

When I said "While you're out shopping, I'm going to clean."

He heard "Get out of the house, so I can clean it and you'll come home to a nice clean house."

Where what I really meant was "I need to go shopping, and there's some special cleaning I need to get done, so can you go out and do the shopping while I do these cleaning things that don't normally get done such as cleaning the blinds, washing the curtains, windows, and walls? Oh, and I have every intention of cleaning the whole house as well, but AFTER I do all this other stuff, so I'll still be working on things by the time you get home."

Yeah, so I've learned my lesson to avoid fights. Talk to the men like they are children. Don't leave out any steps. Give them every detail. That way they will understand, and they won't have any grounds to get pissed off. And if I do all that, and it works, then I don't have to get all snippy and say things like: "You're mad a ME, because *I* didn't clean the house by the time you got home, even though it's YOUR job?!?"

We're pretty mature when we fight.


Mr. Fabulous said...

Man, that was quite an ordeal with the blinds!

Minimum wage is 8$ and hour up there? I don't know what it is here, but I don't think it's that high...

Evan said...

I have seriously NEVER laughed so hard, out loud, BY MYSELF, that is so in touch with my thoughts on my rented flat's blinds, I say why bother,
Thanks for your post man.
Aye, hope you are enjoying our Prime Minister's visit., we are glad you have him there for now!!!

Maidink said...

I hate blinds so I empathize with you.

Communication with men is a very tedious process, so I again empathize with you.

Men ... they can be as thick as bricks. But loveable, so we'll keep'em.

Tricia said...

At Ryan's work they took the blinds down, put them on the shop floor, made a bucket of sudsy water like for washing a car and washed both sides with a soft, long-handled brush (also for carwashing)
It worked pretty good, but I think they were using the soap they use to wash their aircraft with, and I don't think you have that around the house...

I have no mini-blinds, so I can't sympathize, but I know about the greasy, hard to clean grime that ends up near the stove in my kitchen, and it sucks.

Why can't things just stay clean, dammit!

Kim said...

I agree that those blinds are a pain. Verticals are much easier to clean and don't hold the dirt like those do.

Hope you both are okay now. Misunderstanding is the start of many fights. Good lcuk with the rest of your cleaning.

Belinda said...

You think YOU'RE immature? I threatened, at one point during the cleaning/purging/packing process last night to stab my husband with a fork if he didn't "get out of my way." Yeah. But I didn't, you know. Stab him.

But yes. Clear words, short sentences.

On the up-side, therapy is going VERY well! ;-)

Melora said...

Those little, thin plastic horizontals are miserable to clean. I have the thicker, "fake wood" ones, and they aren't too bad. I vacuum them occasionally, and just spot clean (mostly to get off doggy nose prints).
If Armondo is anything like Ed, he doesn't even recognize that blinds need to be cleaned. Ed just doesn't see dust on the doors or blinds, or dirty windows. If the floors are clean, the clutter is cleared off the counters, and the bathroom counters are polished, he thinks the house is clean. There is definitely a good side to that!

Sarah said...

Ha! I wonder if a pressure washer would have worked... not that I would have attempted that. Still, I wonder.

Joyce said...

Yes, its puzzling that men tend to hate instructions, yet can't function without precise information. Further proof that there's a God_ so much puzzling creativity put into mankind!

Pamela said...

Oh man..I'm sorry but I laughed and laughed at the image of you out on the lawn trying to clean those blinds.

Which reminds me....I have blinds on..::counts on fingers and toes:: TWELVE windows in my house!!

Oh no. I'm doomed.

CeCe said...

Sorry guys for taking so long to answer the comments!

Mr. Fab~ In my province there is a $6/h TRAINING wage for kids and immagrants who don't have any experience, then, after you've had enough hours, you get bumped up to the $8/h minimum wage, and you can't go lower than that after that point.

Evan~I'm glad you found it amusing! And yeah, your PM and I, we had lunch the other day, nice fellow! (Actually, I had no idea he was here.)

Maidink~Yup, loveable-that's about all he's got going for him sometimes...

Tricia~You know, maybe a car brush would have been better than a tooth brush!

Kim~Oh yeah, we're fine. We get over things quickly, usually.

Belinda~I usually just punch him. He is an abused spouse.

Melora~Yeah, it IS good that most guys don't notice all the gross little details, otherwise we'd be cleaning non-stop!

Sarah~I think a pressure washer would have broken them! Or at least torn up all the grass around them and got them muddy as well as grassy!

Joyce~I figured out another reason why God is real.. I'll be sharing it soon!