He glided the vacuum cleaner over the same carpet he had run it over countless times.
The carpet should have been cleaned prior to breaking out the decades-old Hoover canister, but that was a job for another day.
It was raining outside and so the thought of actually cleaning anything with soap and water (other than his body) was repulsive; there was enough water to be had beyond the front door and it suited him just fine to leave it there.
Taking frequent breaks to sip the gin and tonic now residing desperately low in the large tumbler prolonged the vacuum job. He was practicing his own version of avoidance, knew it, and didn’t care that the job would end up requiring more time than it should.
Running the vacuum was like doing the dishes. He would do both chores when the spirit moved him. He wasn’t a disgusting slob, and so the place never got too awful bad with either rug dirt or dirty dishes. And besides, he lived alone and who would judge him other than himself?
He thought of all the chores and jobs he had in his life and the one he enjoyed most was carrying bags of groceries in to the home–first as a child for his parents and then as an adult for himself, and others he had the misfortune of residing with.
Mowing the lawn was fun until he started sneezing as an adult. It didn’t bother him to mow the lawn as a teenager, only when he developed allergies later on that stayed with him to present day.
The history of his chores
He thought of other chores he has had and still does.
When he was a youngster, dogs were not walked so much as they were let out. Dogs were hit by vehicles sometimes and that was very sad. After hearing about neighbors’ pets being offed by moving vehicles, he witnessed a change in pet owners’ hearts that involved walking their dogs.
Cats of course were another story. That said, he thinks he remembers one cat in particular being walked but his memory isn’t exactly clear on the subject.
Dogs would do their business while being walked.
Neighbors would get mad at one another because people hardly ever picked up after their pets, well not all pets, just their dogs; their tropical fish weren’t exactly crapping on neighbors’ lawns.
When the time finally came for him to join the considerate ranks of those who pick up after their pets, I mean, dogs, his was an easy transition. The only times he had difficulty with the chore of poop scooping was when the bag he employed had a hole in it and his hand got some doody on it.
Getting doody on his hand did not make him angry so much as added to his mettle and character.
There was no going, “Ewwww.” No, not all. He simply removed as much of it as possible and then continued walking the dog.
Poop scooping in the yard was another chore he took simple pleasure in. He could do it on both rainy days and also when the sun was shining. Obviously, the best time was when it was cold out, but the real danger in this chore lied therein the challenge of tripping over the doody instead of stepping in it.
A good test of present day popular culture can always be found in a google search and so I googled “common chores.”
My problem with the results were that they were micromanaged. What I mean by this is they were mostly broken down into daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and sometimes even seasonal chores.
Here were the daily chores that more or less materialized (and my comments regarding them):
Vacuuming – Bingo! See above and how much this endeavor can be enjoyed with a libation.
Dusting – Don’t really think this is something to be done daily if at all. Just bring in some cans of compressed air once a quarter and go around in the spots you need to.
Laundry – Definitely not something you should be doing daily unless you have small children or something like that.
Sweeping – Again, I don’t feel this is one that requires daily attention, unless of course you’re one of those people we used to refer to as crumsticks and who get a lot of debris on the floor.
Preparing meals – ya gotta eat
Feeding pets – This one is like walking the dog (unless it’s raining outside).
Washing dishes – I have a dishwasher and its name is Bob.
Cleaning bathrooms – Nah. But depending on how dirty you are I guess I could see you needing to clean it every day.
That’s about it.
At the end of the day, chores are not really talked about all that much. I feel that is a huge problem. We spend a lot of wasted time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when we could be doing our chores.
If we’re going to neglect our chores we should at least promote them and/or give them props during the time we spend on social media.
I, for one, do not want chores to go the way of pop tarts–something people still do, but rarely talk about or discuss. Consider myself one for not letting the important history of chores fall by the wayside.
We all have some to do before the weekend is over. Get to it.