House cleaning confuses me.  Plain and simple.  But wait!  Maybe this isn’t just about the house.  Maybe it goes deeper.  Ah, yes, it all goes deeper.  But that’s for another time.

When I start cleaning house (somebody shoot me!) I begin in, let’s say, the living room.  Vacuuming is the first point of cleaning for me, so I dig the vacuum out from the back of the closet, and stroll her into the living room.  I’ve named her Frieda.  My friend Frieda.  No particular reason why, just a good name for her.

We talk as we stroll down the hall.  Frieda usually complains about being lonely, and hating the dark.  She can’t understand why we don’t communicate more.  Such a complainer.

Arriving in the living room, Frieda is plugged into the socket and turned on.  Vroom!  Joyous sound.  She begins her little dance forward, backward, a little to the right, a little over here.  Then the complaining begins.  “What’s on the floor?  I can’t dance over that.  It needs to be moved.  Move it.  Move it now!”  She doesn’t like to be turned off, so I bend over and pick up the misplaced item, and we begin dancing again.

As we dance around the room, Frieda singing in her lovely voice, I see we will be coming upon another little something in that part of the room, but I don’t want to move it yet.  So I turn Frieda around … Wheeeee~  and we dance in the other direction.  She’s a little confused, misses a few notes in her song, and becomes a little less content.  But she likes to dance, and begins singing again.

Dancing and twirling, we move forward.  I can see a piece of something that will need to be picked up unless I want to hear what will soon become a cantankerous little voice.  “Move it!”  “I can’t dance like this!”  So around we spin.  Frieda gets a little disoriented now, and begins looking for things to grumble about.  Her voice is still relatively benign, the grumble not rough or abrasive.  Not yet.  But I know her patience is waning.  Becoming thin.  So I stop and pick up the thing, and on we go.  This thing is something that really belongs in the bedroom.  I’ll need to take that with me the next time I go to that room.

But wait.  Maybe I should do that now!

Flicking off Frieda’s switch, I pick up the piece of something and instantly the pleasant voice has disappeared.  It is almost, but not quite, harsh.

“Hey!  What’s going on here?”

I look down at Frieda (she hates that!) and say “I need to take this to the other room.  I’ll be right back.  Don’t Panic.” 

“You better come right back!  I still have dancing to do!  Songs to sing.  Things to tell you.”  Her voice trails off as I scurry down the hall.

Entering the bedroom, I place the item on top of the dresser as I realize I forgot to put clean sheets on the bed.  Quickly changing direction now.  Making the bed.  Humming a tune.  Stepping back when it’s all done, I admire the beauty of my lovely, welcoming bed.  My nightly resting place.  Sometimes my nappy place on the weekends.  “Maybe I should take a nap now” I whisper.  Just to feel the newness. The softness.  Beds are my favorite furniture.

As I lift the covers, I look up only to see the item from the living room sitting on top of the dresser.  Oh, that’s right, I need to put that away.  And from somewhere far, far, away I hear “Step away from the bed”.  Must be my inner voice.  Yes, I need to get back to organizing, and cleaning, and stuff.

Stepping to the dresser, humming a happy tune, I pick up the item and wonder where I’ll put it.  The closet.  I’ll put it in the closet.  On one of the shelves.

Opening the door to the closet is like stepping into another dimension, another time, another place.  It’s memories from the past and present.  It’s shelves filled with stuff at the front that have nothing to do with the stuff behind.  The behind-stuff that can’t be seen unless the front-stuff is moved.  This is exciting.  This is exhilarating.  I would sit down if there was enough room.  Wait, there is a space in the closet. 

And I sit down.

Sorting through the shelves, moving front-and-behind stuff around, re-folding, examining, remembering.  Smiling.  There is also the occasional “what’s this?” too, so it’s like wonderland!  Where did all this stuff come from?

By the time I’m done, the shelves are ordered, complete, lovely.  The item from the living room has a new home, and all is peaceful in Closet Land.  The world can once again smile.

Emerging from the closet, smiling and content, I hear that inner voice again.  But it’s become louder, and somewhat unfriendly.  I realize it’s … uh-oh … coming from the living room.  It’s Frieda.  My Friend Frieda.

Sprinting down the hall, reaching the living room in record time, the ‘inner voice’ now has a high-pitched, shrew like quality.  Frieda is Freaking.  She’s pissed.  She’s lonely, upset, and not afraid to tell me.

“How could you leave me like that?  How could you forget me and go partying with the others?  Am I not pretty enough for you?  Don’t I treat you like a princess, and do what you want me to do?  Whaaaa!”  I call it the Frieda Flurry.

Poor Frieda.  At this point there is only one thing that will bring her back.  Reign her in.  Deliver her back to a happy, singing, dancing Frieda.  The one thing that will make her little motor purr.  BLING.

Whipping out the scarves, jewelry, and fake flowers, I kneel before her with offerings in hand.  Keeping my voice as sweet and soft as morning dew, I say, no, whisper, “Frieda, please forgive me.  Want to play dress-up?”

She looks at me, and with one last whimper says, “I just feel dirty inside.”

Dumping the not-that-dirty contents from Frieda’s belly container, I replace it uttering “Is that better my sweet?”  She sighs.  A sweet sigh of forgiveness.

Giggling and singing as I drape her with scarves and jewels, Frieda is once again a happy girl.  Bling will do it every time.

Covered in jewels befitting a queen (that’s what I tell her), Frieda and I dance our way around the living room.  Singing love songs.  Revving it up to sing old Rolling Stones songs.  Yeah Baby!  Woo-Hoo!  Frieda doesn’t even complain about the stuff on the carpet, because she’s happy!  Free!  Bling-covered and feeling like Queen Frieda again.

When it’s all done, when her belly is free of anything gathered while dancing and she feels clean inside, we sit and look at the lovely job we’ve done.  The living room is cleaner.  It’s a good start.

Strolling back toward the closet that is Frieda’s resting area, she’s surprised to see the newness and wonder of the closet.  She’s so tired, she doesn’t even complain that it will be dark.  She has a new sense of purpose, and can see new things on the shelves.  New friends.

Closing the door behind me and sauntering to the edge of the living room, smiling at the pile of Bling on the floor where Frieda and I laughed and giggled, a feeling of contentment flows over me as well.  The living room is cleaner, the closet is re-organized a little, my bed is made, and Frieda is napping.  What more could anyone ask for?

House cleaning IS confusing, but it’s so much fun when you do it with friends, and of course, wear some Bling.

Remember to wear the BLING.

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