What? Snooping? In my own parents' home?
And what, you may ask, was I planning to snoop for?
Yeah. But it's not what you think. (What kind of person do you think I am?) I'm not digging for the latest family gossip. It's the actual, germy, need-to-vacuum-it-up kind of dirt that I'm after.
See, I have never found dirt in my mother's house. Never. N-e-v-e-r. Not even when three teenagers lived there - all at the same time. But this trip, I was determined to find some. (Dirt, of course. Not teenagers.) I mean really! No mere mortal can possibly continue to maintain the impossible Cleanliness Utopia that is my parents' home: where dirt never settles, dust never flies, and crumbs never find the table, let alone the floor.
So, one day, after my dad left for work and Mom took the kids out to Walmart (it doesn't take much to please my little darlings), I began my search.
I figured it was best to start at the top, so I went upstairs to the bedrooms. I checked the tops of door jambs and the corners behind doors. Nothing. Not even an hint of dust on the top ledge of the baseboards.
Same deal in the family room and sitting room. No stray dust bunnies glaring out from beneath the couch. No fuzzy coatings on the photo frame glass. No defiant bits of fluff skating across the wood floor.
Next stop: the bathrooms. No ring in the bathtub - not even a hint of grit as I ran an accusatory finger around the edge. Not even some token soap scum clinging forgotten in a corner of the shower doors. The toilets - the toilets I tell you - gleamed with so much cleanliness, you could eat off of them. (Not that you'd want to, but still, I'm just saying...)
That led me to the kitchen. No little bits of grime in that no-man's-land in that teeny crack where cabinet meets floor. No crumbs and crusts and who-knows-what-else under the stove. Not even the remnants of an old spill or splatter in the fridge.
Even growing up, the most I saw was the occasional clump of dog hair - and that was quickly snatched up - after it left the dog but before it even had a chance to hit the floor. So, I know this failure to find filth of any kind is not the result of a frenzied cleaning spree before The Company comes. (What? No, I don't know anyone who regularly cleans in that manner...)
And now, here I am again, in this impossibly clean house, wondering why. Why, why, why did I not inherit this cleanliness gene?
But... Wait a minute... What if... OK, stay with me now: I rarely see her actually scrub. I do see her run the vacuum sometimes, but only if I'm quick enough to come running when I hear it turn on. And yet, it's always squeaky clean here... Soooooo...
That's it! Of course! I can't believe I didn't figure it out before! It's gotta be elves. Or sprites. Fairies. Maybe even Brownies - and I mean the little fairie-type creatures you can read about in The Spiderwick Chronicles, NOT the little girls in the brown outfits that dream of being Girl Scouts one day. Don't you see? That has to be it! She has some wee little creatures that-
What? You don't think it's...
I guess mere mortals really can maintain a Cleanliness Utopia. And in my mom's case, it's not virtual. It's real.
And unfortunately, it's not hereditary.