Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Screen cleaning in summer

You know it’s time to clean your home’s windows when you realize they are so dirty that sunlight has been blocked for weeks and the neighbors think you’ve hunkered down to start your own meth lab.

“You know what day it is?” my husband asked in a sing-song voice as he sauntered into the living room where I lounged on the sofa eating the chocolate bar I’d successfully hidden since Easter.

“No, whaday izit?” I managed to mumble past the gooey goodness melting in my mouth. I knew it wasn’t our anniversary, anyone’s birthday or the opening day of college football season. You know, like a holiday.

Which meant that his next words wouldn’t be anything I wanted to hear.

He smacked his hands together and announced, “It’s Clean the Windows Day!”

I was right. Definitely NOT something I wanted to hear.

I stuffed the rest of the candy bar in my mouth and prayed, God help us all.


“What &(*@# moron put these window screens in??!”

Ah, I love the sound of cussing in the morning.

I walked into the bedroom and found my husband standing in front of said window. It was the casement style, meaning we had to take off the indoor screen in order to clean the rollout window beyond it.

Hands on hips, surveying the sight before him with great frustration, he continued, “They installed the blinds right over the thingy-ma-bob I need to pull to pop out the screen. I’ll have to take the whole damn thing apart now!” he hollered.

I stood next to him and nodded in agreement. First, understanding that “thingy-ma-bob” is a technical term only men are allowed to use - but rarely and only around those of the female persuasion.

If I were to whip out such an insulting remark, I’d get a three-day course on the actual name of the part involved and a fully-guided tour of the nearest hardware store so I could correct my pitiful knowledge of all things home improvement. But I digress.

“Yep,” I answered. “We had the same problem last time we cleaned the windows, remember? Not sure who’s more of the moron here: the first guy who did it or us for not fixing it.”

He slowly turned toward me and glared a hole clean through my skull, right between the eyes.

OK, apparently not the time to have pointed out that little tidbit. I took a step back, handed him the screwdriver and got the heck outta Dodge.


The last time we cleaned the windows and screens, I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. And it was then, hunched over the side of the bath tub, my stomach the size of a Buick, scrubbing screens with soapy water and blowing out my spleen due to the exertion that I vowed never never never never never to do it again.

That was four years ago. So you can imagine how un-thrilled I was to learn my husband had declared it Clean the Windows Day again.

Which made me wonder, what gave him the right to declare anything around the Baldwin Casa? I don’t recall electing him president. Nor did he overthrow the current dictator (me!) or have the divine right as chosen by some whacked-out tribal religion deep in the jungles of the Amazon.

No, siree. As my father used to say when we kids would argue about a decision he’d made without our agreement, he’d calmly point out, “What makes you think this house is a democracy?” and walk out of the room. I didn’t appreciate the sentiment then. And I certainly didn’t appreciate it now.

So it was while looking down at the scruffy, dirty, grimy screens lying in the tub that I decided to put a stop to all this nonsense. It was time for the villagers to revolt and throw the tribal leader off a tall cliff.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” my husband asked.

I peered up from my position on the lounge chair on the deck, fruity drink in hand and book in lap, and calmly answered, “I’ve made an executive decision to over-ride your Clean the Windows Day.”
“WHAT?!” he screeched. “You can’t do that!”

I slipped the sunglasses back on my face and said, “Watch me.”

How’s that for democracy?

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