Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What's That Smell?


The other night I arrived stateside thoroughly exhausted. The way you would expect to be after a twenty-seven hour journey door to door. The world seemed to spin under my feet. It took colossal effort to balance myself and stay upright as the floor rose in waves to meet me. I maneuvered my sluggish body in an attempt to get through lopsided doorways, banging my shoulders and hips off walls and door frames that appeared to move to the left and then to the right on approach. But I was together enough to detect the stale frat house smell that assailed my nostrils on entering the house.

The house had been occupied for the past eight weeks by husband, youngest son and Louie. Husband spent the drive from the airport regaling me with his house cleaning prowess. With pride he informed me he had even mopped the kitchen floor and how he discovered those magic blue tablets for the toilets. Yes indeed all the toilets ran blue but he had forgotten to clean the toilet seats, bathroom sinks or replace dirt stiff towels. On opening the shower door, I quickly slammed it shut for fear of catching some deadly disease.

I noticed a particular long gangly weed gracing all my outdoor flower pots too. The real plants all brown, withered and dead. I inquired if he had grown partial to that particular weed which looked well watered and cared for.

After a night’s sleep, it was time to tackle my surroundings. I proceeded to collect Febreeze cans from practically every room in the house. I guess husband believed all that was needed was a squirt of Febreeze and all was well. I cleaned or rather scrubbed down the kitchen sink and counter tops. Scoured the grease film off the cooker hood and between gags cleared out the fridge.

 I got rid of his weeds from my flower pots replacing them with budding chrysanthemums. Sage and basil plants now grace my kitchen windowsills affording a fresher more appealing ordour on walking through the backdoor.


Today is designated to oven and bathroom cleaning. At the moment I have the oven on auto clean. Next I will be putting on a gas mask, rubber gloves and a hazmat suit to clean the bathrooms which I know is going to be a grim all day job. But in fairness to him, my bedroom was a sanctuary from all the mayhem I surveyed around me. The bed was made up, with fresh sheets and even pillow shams. The room was dusted and vacuumed and not a single dirty crumpled sock was on the floor.

Welcome back Ann!

42 comments:

KarenG said...

Oh this is so cute! Our husbands must be an awful lot alike!

Catherine said...

Oh dear Ann - what a hilarious take on your homecoming - even though it is probably inadvertently funny to the reader and not the writer! I hope you get a good long rest after all the travel and also after tackling the cleanout. I am on hols now and had great plans to "Springclean" to my exacting standards(haha) but a week in and I have done nothing only wash cushion covers and curtains - and that was driven by the invasion of the bird's nest that fell down the chimney last night!
Welcome home indeed! Still, I'd say you're glad to be back after the long safari!
All the best, Catherine.

Theresa Milstein said...

Oh no! When I've gone for a weekend, I've been flummoxed over how many obvious messes were ignored. I can't imagine returning after three months! Poor you!

And why did it take 27-hours door-to-door?

I hope your house is smelling and looking back to normal in no time.

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh gosh! That would drive me CRAZY! Good luck with the bathroom cleaning :)

Thanks for visiting my blog

Brigid said...

Hilarious Ann, good luck with the oven cleaning.
It must be difficult to adjust again, but a bonus to be reuinited with family and of course Louie.

Boonie S said...

Very amusing. Thanks for this.

All the best, Boonie

Barbara Scully said...

Lol Ann, great post! We were away for a few days last weekend leaving Carla (23) here with cats. Her boyfriend usually stays too.. and except for him I know the house would be a mess. He is brilliant. Cooks and then cleans the cooker after him so it looks better than before. Carla seems to forget how to use the washing machine in my absence and distributes her dirty clothes around every laundry basket in the house. So 3 days back and I have almost caught up with the washing!

Old Kitty said...

LOL!! AWwwwwwwwwwww at least the bedroom was lovely!!!!

So welcome back Ann!!! Your home missed you!!

Good luck with the bathrooms. I will be sending you tons and tons of support hugs - I know you'll do a brilliant job! I hope you get a glass or three of champagne after!

Take care
x

Eibhlin Fennell said...

Lol, Ann..and you know what's totally tragic is the menfolk truly believe they have nailed the whole housekeeping business AND are practically mortally wounded when we don't show the gratitude they expect.Shame on our nostrils for climbing up to our eyebrows occassionally!!!!

Jen said...

Yuck... I hate an unclean house, even if I'm not around! Your brave, brave woman, returning to do all that housework! Good luck tidying up those bathrooms!! I'm with Old Kitty, treat yourself to a nice cold beverage when the mission has been accomplished! :)

Talli Roland said...

27 Hours! Crazy!

Glad you got home safely... but oh my. What a welcome! I hope you got your husband to take you out to dinner or something!

Clarissa Draper said...

Ugh, I haven't even went anywhere and I have smells like that. I need to do some serious cleaning!

CD

Ann said...

Yes it was a long journey. Two hours to the airport, three hours for check-in, flight departure delay, sitting on tarmac waiting to roll into gate delay, two hour wait for connecting flight that turned into 5. Waiting for bags which as luck would have it were the last out. Another two hour drive from airport. Whew! Usually doesn't take that long, about 18hrs is the usual.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I need to do some cleaning myself... but with two little boys under the age of two, I'm a little busy.

clutterbug said...

Loved the first paragraph ... I could 'smell' it with you.

:)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Kinda almost not worth going away, isn't it? :)

Here from KarenG's post, and am now following on all your social networks. Nice blog!

Words A Day said...

great post! What's this "autoclean"?!! Sounds like something I'd like!

Vicki Rocho said...

I shouldn't say this because I know someone is going to kidnap him...but my husband ALWAYS cleans the bathrooms. I've only done the toilets maybe twice in the 17 years we've been married.

One time, he was groaning about everything on his to-do list, so I thought while he was washing the cars, I would clean the bathroom for him....and he was DISAPPOINTED he didn't get to do it. So now, I sit back and let him do it.

(I'm sure I'm a follower, but for some reason it's been awhile since I've been here. Following KarenG's BBQ Roundup)

Liza said...

Oh dear, this doesn't sound pretty, but you made me laugh. I'm stopping over from the Coming Down the Mountain blogfest and I am glad I found you.

Jenna Wallace said...

Hi Ann! Joining you from KarenG's place. This post made me laugh. You probably wanted to just turn around and go stay in a hotel somewhere.

Kittie Howard said...

Oh, Ann, you had me laughing! When it comes to guys cleaning a bathroom, I think it's a world-wide genetic thing, LOL!

Thanks for stopping by. I'm following you. Look forward to yours posts! (Did you try the potato salad (light mayo) I brought?)

Agnes said...

Oh no :-) .... welcome back Ann.

JW said...

Love your style! We are neighbors, as I live in Minnesota! :) We are going hiking along the St. Croix this weekend, hopefully it warms up a little bit from where we are now? Thanks so much for your nice comment and for stopping by my blog. I promise, I am not always depressed. Actually, I am not depressed at all after releasing the pain in a poem. I look most foward to reading your blogs, I can tell I like you already. :) Enjoy your weekend, cleaning and all?? :) Janelle

Francine said...

Hi,

Nice to meet you. Karen G's pary is going great guns.

I'm a writer too, and oh hell do I hate cleaning house, didn't envy your return home! ;)

best
F

David J. West said...

I have been gone most of the summer myself, the house survived alright but the backyard became Borneo.

MT said...

I dropped by from KarenG's! It's great to discover another writerly blog. I look forward to checking out your posts. Have a great day. :)

Laura Kaye said...

LOL--dropping by from the BBQ! Following you and glad to meet another writerly type!

catdownunder said...

Miaou! I purrowled in from Karen's BBQ and I can so relate to the housecleaning. The human I live with is adorable but he cannot clean cat hairs the way I do.

Jennie Bailey said...

It's amazing to me the difference between a man's view of "clean" and a woman's view of CLEAN! I appreciate my husband's efforts and try not to let him know that I have gone behind him and rewashed the dishes, vacuumed, dusted, etc. I don't want to hurt his feelings nor do I want to squash his efforts. Although, I simply put my foot down over laundry. I've dubbed it woman's work, though my younger brother certainly did laundry well (or maybe like a woman, I don't know). I just can't stand anymore of my whites ruined - coming out pink or green.

Hope you had a happy cleaning day! I'm captivated by your writing and will be returning. Hats off to KarenG for bringing me over here!

SF said...

Hello Ann, thanks for stopping by my blog. I have bad memories of febreeze from my uni days...grotty students who didn't know febreezed doesn't = clean!

Joanna St. James said...

I just came to say am a sucker for pavlova from karen G's blog, now whats this cleaning thing you speak of? i've never heard of it.

Karen said...

Husband Cleaning is never quite the same as Wife Cleaning is it? I expect you need a holiday now!

Talei said...

Hi Ann,

I'm enjoying Karens BBQ party too! I had to come visit as you mentioned Kiwi Pavlova - which is a fav of mine! ( Being a Kiwi myself!)

Totally relate to the jetlag, we just got back from an epic journey downunder!

Happy Writing!!

Susannah said...

I loved reading your 'slice of life'! I hope you are settled and on top of everything soon. :-)

Nicole MacDonald said...

Hiya :) saw you at Karens BBQ so popped over - the kiwi pav caught my eye too being a kiwi ;p

http://damselinadirtydress.blogspot.com

Julie Musil said...

Hey! I'm here from Karen's bbq, and I'm happy to have found your blog.

Husbands, they sure do try, don't they?

Brenda Drake said...

Stopped over from KarenG's BBQ blogfest. The house is just not the same when I come back from being away. Oh, yes, my husband tries to keep it up, but fails miserably. I make sure I have an extra day off to get everything back to normal. Nice to meet you!

Haddock said...

Why is it that it is always our bag which is the last one to roll our at the Airport bet ?
Some sort or Murphy law ?

DJ Kirkby said...

That's a lot of travelling time! It's about the same distance for me when I go home form England to Penticton, urgh... At least your bedroom was veryclean and tidy eh? I came over here from Karen's BBQ to say hi!

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Hey there! Came from Karen's BBQ! Became a follower. You have a great blog. Great post too!

Manzanita said...

Hi Ann,
I'm kind of a left over from the BBQ. AAAAhhhh that was so sweet. A man is a man and he thought he tried, bless him. If a man saw a messy house like we do, they'd be women and not the hunks they are.

I enjoyed your blog and will return.
Manzanita
Wanna buy a duck

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Hi Ann! I come by way of Karen's BBQ blog hop -- it's great to meet you!

This post had me cracking up. *sigh* You can never underestimate a "woman's touch" when cleanliness is in question. Kudos to your hubs for his integrity, 'cause it sounds like he had good intentions.

Hope you're having a wonderful Labor Day!