Saturday, June 10, 2006

Home Economics-Household Cleaning-Disgraceful Genetic Legacy

There are occasions when I find myself amongst my professional colleagues that I find myself questionning my value in the library world. Am I a fake and a phoney? If push came to shove could I catalogue a book to save my life? Where do I stand in a debate on LC vs. Dewey?
All excellent questions, with frightening answers.
And then there are occasions that point a glaring spotlight on my librarian-ness and make it clear to anyone that I am useless outside of my profession. Case in point, last weekend. I was called upon by my mother to assist in cleaning their empty nest, so that nosey neighbors and city dwellers could come through the next day and tramp through the house while making fun of the decor (no, one cannot have too many decorative plates featuring Princess Diana I was told).
To begin my mother instructed me to go down to the living room (also known as the parlor that no one is actually allowed to sit in) and to start dusting. But on my way I had to pass through the kitchen, causing me to pause and grab a cookie out of the cupboard - and it was there that I stayed for the next three hours.
The cupboards were a shambles. Just thinking about it now gives me a little bit of the sweats. Boxes of granola bars were shoved in with the frying pans, packages of spaghetti sat amongst the tupperwear, the George Forman grill was hidden under bags of chips and boxes of new stove element inserts. I was dumbstruck.
I immediately began pulling every last item out of the cupboards and sorting them into categories or chucking them completely (the mass amount of expired salad dressings that i found were sold to a group of young pakistani's - they were impressed with their unparalleled levels of toxicity). It was mayhem. I've always know that my parents shop like they have an inside scoop on an impending nuclear fallout - but this was ridiculous. And I couldn't stop until all seven open packages of spaghetti sad side by side, until all four half-empty bottles of maple syrup were on the same shelf, until all of the loose chicklettes, twizzlers, spongebob gummies and rock-hard tootsie rolls filled one of the four garbage bags that I filled.
If I had enough strength left I'd discuss the sludge in the refrigerator. But I just can't bring myself to do it. As Hammy Hamster so wisely said...but that's a story for another day.

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