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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 01/07/11



MOM #1: Want to go for a cup of coffee after drop-off?

MOM #2: Can’t. Got to get home and clean. My cleaning lady is coming today.


Bizarre but true. Most women I know who have someone come and clean their home feel compelled to actually CLEAN before the cleaning person comes. Why you ask?

Well, after talking to many moms and doing a little much-needed soul searching, I have found that there is more than one reason for this.  And sometimes, these reasons work in tandem to create this bizarre and, yes I’ll say it, ridiculous behavior.


1) We’re hard-wired to please.

2) We don’t want the cleaning person to think we’re dirty.

3) We have to get rid of the mess on top of the dirt so they can actually get to the dirt to clean it.

4) We don’t want to seem rude.

5) We live in mortal fear that they will discuss our personal dirt with one of our neighbors for whom they also do housework.


This strange pre-cleaning cleaning is not only exhibited in stay-at-home moms who, arguably, have a more flexible schedule that allows them to more easily engage in this baffling ritual. Nope, it is also a common phenomenon displayed in even the most haggard, overly-booked and stretched beyond her limits working mother who barely has time to shave her legs in the shower let alone pick up for someone whom she is specifically paying to pick up.

Even I, a working mom who works out of my home, have been guilty of this. Because it mortifies me to think that, while I am typing away at my computer, my cleaning person  is in the bathroom next to my office quietly judging the condition of my toilet. Or that she shares the details of my family’s personal hygiene with friends over margaritas. Ew.

I mean, how can I look her in the eye knowing that behind  her smile she is secretly replused by the little hair clippings I may have neglected to brush out of the corner of my countertop last time I got too impatient to wait for my next hair appointment and took my dull scissors to my bangs. (Sorry Patrice, but yes, you’re going to have to fix those….AGAIN.)

I don’t know what the solution is. Meditation. Xanax. Growing out my bangs.

Until I figure it out, I will continue my pre-cleaning cleaning compulsion. And continue to wish that the complusion manifested itself WITHOUT the impending visit from my cleaning person. It’d sure save me a few bucks. Sigh.

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Author: toni

~ 01/01/11


Well, here it is. Another year. And no matter how I try to stop time, it simply refuses to bend to my will. Everything around me is changing. Lines form around the eyes. Parents get older. My kid starts asking the difficult questions like “Where did the legend of Dracula start and why does garlic gross him out?”  

I kid you not. I spent a good part of yesterday while we were shopping/returning  telling her the history of Vlad the Impaler which then led to a whole discussion of how the fear of the atomic bomb influenced 1950s filmmaking resulting in movies about giant spiders and the like. She was shocked to learn that the original “duck and cover” was a safety drill in case of an A-Bomb attack  and not prep for the big earthquake.

Anyway, it’s little milestones like my kid asking me if the Egyptians believed in mummys coming to life or if it was more of a  20th century idea that makes me keenly aware of  the infernal passage of time.

Thing is. I don’t FEEL like I’m getting older. Well, except when I have to bend to get the tupperware out from under the cabinet where I put it when my knees where 6 years younger. And it’s not so much that my knees hurt or anything when I bend to get it. It’s more that I SIMPLY DON’T HAVE THE DESIRE to bend.

I think that’s where it starts. The whole aging thing. It affects the desire first. Then it moves on from there. I’m noticing I’m having a lot less desire for a lot of things I used to eagerly do. Like jumping out of bed and exercising first thing in the morning. Or cleaning out the crumbs from the corners of my kitchen drawers. Or lying on my back on the grass on a chilly night to watch a meteor shower. Or staying up until midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Yeah. I stayed up. But only because my kid did. It’s still a big deal to her. She’s only 8. SHE STILL HAS THE DESIRE.

Truth is. She’s what’s keeping me young. She’s the reason I stroll Disneyland for 14 hours at a pop. Heck, she’s the reason I go to Disneyland at all. She helps me to see things the way I used to. With the excitement and awe of a newbie. I owe a lot to her.

For the other things in my life for which she cannot inspire the DESIRE, I shall have to find it on my own. And that brings me to my New Year’s Resolution.

I resolve to rediscover my desire.

My desire to engage. To laugh. To enjoy. To see things in a fresh way. My desire to better myself. To continue to learn new things. My desire to see the glass half full instead of empty. My desire to work everyday to make everything around me better. My life. My marriage. My friendships. My earth.

The thing I know about desire. Is that while it may not be evident. It is there. Sometimes buried under a pile of work, or laundry or exhaustion. But if you make the effort to find it, it quickly reawakens. And then you wonder why you don’t make the effort more often. Because desire feels good! And so do its results.

So this year, more desire!

But first… a quick nap!


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