Magnet by the lovely and talented Anne Taintor - I love her stuff!
My mother was a total clean freak when my sisters and I were growing up. She was not only a perfectionist herself, she demanded perfection from us, too, and nothing - I mean nothing - was ever good enough to meet her standards. While I carry oh, so many issues from this, I'm writing tonight about... cleanliness obsession. It's an obsession that means once you decide to clean something, you won't - you can't - rest until said thing is *completely and totally* clean. Cleanliness obsession is what caused my mom to take apart the oven door, so she could clean between the glass. Cleanliness obsession is what caused her to scrub a brass-plated lamp until the brass was all gone.
I really, truly thought I had escaped this particular brand of hell. OK, I can get... a little obsessed. Just slightly - like scrubbing under a metal rim of a glass pan lid with a toothbrush and Barkeeper's Friend. Or, maybe, just possibly, once! taking the rim off of that same lid so I could clean out the grunge. Just once, I swear. And I stopped myself as soon as I saw what I was doing.
But today... today I reached a new level of cleanliness obsession. My mom would be so proud. I mowed the lawn for the first time this Spring, and the grass, because it was already so tall (not the grass, but whatever that weedy stuff is, with seeds that pop everywhere) was still damp. I had to stop a couple of times to clear the wet grass off of the mower blade, and from under the mower. When I was done, and putting the mower away, I decided one more swipe would be good before I put the mower in the shed. So I wiped all the wet grass off the blade. I wiped the wet grass off of the underside of the mower. I noticed a mat of dried grass on the underside of the mower, and peeled most of that off. I noticed some grass around the belt on the underside of the mower, and dug my fingers in there to pull that out. I noticed some dried grass still stuck to the underside of the mower, that I couldn't get with my hands... and I almost went inside to get a knife or some other tool to peel it off. I actually stood up, heading to the house, before I regained my sanity. I was picturing steel wool and toothpicks and toothbrushes... my mower was going to be *shiny*, people! Shiny!! The freakin' underside of my *mower*. Thank heavens I stopped myself.
Stop me before I clean again!!