One of the main reasons I hate housework is I am never finished with it. If I empty the clothes hampers, wash, dry, fold, hang up, or otherwise put away every item, I am at the same time wearing clothes and thus creating more laundry. The dishes I washed this morning will need to be washed again this evening. Floors swept today will need to be swept again tomorrow.
Dusting is the worst. In fact, dusting is the ultimate effort in futility. Even if all the dust in a house could be magically sucked out, within less than a minute more dust would appear to take its place.
Dan never mentions the dust in our house, so it apparently doesn’t bother him. The grandkids don’t give a hoot about it. In fact, they enjoy writing their names in it. We have few guests, and those who do visit don’t appear interested in dust. So I am the only one who is bothered by it.
Following this line of reasoning, I sometimes think I should stop fighting an unwinnable war. So I wave a dusty white flag in the air, declare dust the winner, and vow never to dust again.
But, the resolve never to dust again usually lasts about one day. The next day I declare outright war on it. I pull out the big guns: two vacuums, various brooms, dust mops, dust rags, window cleaner, furniture polish, long-handled spider web destroyers, Febreze, and every Swiffer product on the market.
I start and finish in the master bedroom. I don’t mean I start in that room and move through the whole house until I reach that bedroom again. I mean I start in that room and never move to another one.
I take everything off tabletops and dressers, take down the curtains, strip the bed, remove all wall hangings, pull every loose item out of the closet, disassemble lamps, pull heavy furniture away from the walls, collect all dried and silk flowers for dusting, and open the windows and remove the screens for cleaning.
By the time I get everything ready to be dusted, I’m too tired to lift a dust rag.
Frustration overwhelms me. If I resisted dusting a tidy room, what made me think I would want to dust one that was in complete disarray and barely navigable?
I sweep the books, lamps, flower arrangements, wall hangings, and window screens off the bed onto the floor. I lie down on the bare mattress and cover myself with a window curtain.
Dan usually comes home to find me there curled up in the fetal position. It doesn’t take him long to figure out what happened.
He gently awakens me, gets me to a sitting position, and asks, “You decided to dust again?”
“It’s okay,” he says, “We’ll go get something to eat, just as soon as I return the ladders, the air compressor, the tool chest, and the appliance dolly to the garage.”
I drag myself off the bed and say, “But we can’t possibly sleep in here tonight.”
“That’s all right,” he says. “We can sleep in the spare bedroom.”
“I don’t know,” I say. “It’s awfully dusty in there.”