From The Publisher’s Desk: Cleaning has its own theory of relative-ity

9:13 am | November 26, 2012

Science plays a big part in our everyday life.

Take, for example, Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2. It’s all about mass and energy and, let’s see, math and other stuff.

Well, it may be important, but most of us don’t really understand it. That’s what geniuses are for, and I am, clearly, not a genius.

I do understand one universal truth of science, which is, nature abhors a vacuum — a theory I believe was discovered the first time a man had to push a Hoover across plush carpet.

Indeed, as science and nature have dictated, I abhor to vacuum and any other type of household chore. It’s not the task I mind, really, but it’s just, you know, so much work.

Right now, my house is so clean you could eat off the floor. I mean, it’s good enough for the dog. Thank goodness for Thanksgiving.

Without it, I don’t think we’d ever get our house completely clean. It’s the one time of the year we invite multitudes — that is, our families — into our home.

Somewhere after Amy and I married in 1995, we decided we should establish our own holiday tradition, so we began to host the annual Thanksgiving meal.

Christmastime would have to be divided between the two new families, but Thanksgiving, it seemed, was up for grabs. If people got fed, our families didn’t much care where they had to go for turkey and all the trimmings.

So many, many years ago now, Thanksgiving came under our control, which meant at least once a year we would have to clean the house, lest we be judged by family members for keeping an untidy home.

I’m fairly lackadaisical about the annual task, to be honest, which always leads to exasperated comments from Amy.

“We can’t,” she’ll say, “let people come over to this messy house!”

“Why,” I generally respond, “I’ve been to their homes, and they’re not much better at housekeeping than we are. In fact, most of them are particularly bad at it. My brother kept his Christmas tree up in his living room for three straight years. I thought it was one of those trees that had the fake snow on the branches until I realized it was just built-up dust.”

The truth, though, doesn’t get you out of your own pre-holiday cleaning, and my theory comparing other homes with ours simply didn’t wash with Amy, who expected me to quickly become enthused about the task at hand.

Of course, I’m stretching the truth. We do clean the house more than once a year. But we’re not perfect. There are some areas, apparently, that could use a routine cleaning.

One time, after we unloaded two gigantic turkeys from our refrigerator and into the awaiting preheated oven, we had some extra time on our hands, so we decided to clean out the refrigerator.

In the bottom drawer marked as a vegetable crisper – which seems odd to me considering most of the vegetables in our household come in a crisp can or frozen bag — we found the remains of an old holiday cheese ball.

“I think we can throw that out,” Amy said.

“Ooooh,” I said, “has that been in there since last Christmas?”

“Of course not,” my wife said incredulously. “Remember Hickory Farms ran all those specials after Christmas, and we bought a lot of stuff then.”

“So,” I said, “it’s only been in here since, what, February?”

“Yeah, February probably,” Amy said, “but certainly not since last December.”

We threw out that wayward cheese ball, closed the refrigerator door and declared our annual cleaning complete.

We’ve got it down to a science in our house, sort of, at least until this time next year.

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