September 18, 2006

Two laws, one friend and a fresh start.

Legwarmers Law #1,572: The amount of fun Legwarmers is directly correlates to the amount of sun Seattle gets.

Legwarmers Law #1573: Sometimes a good deep-clean can therapeutically jump-start a fresh perspective.

This weekend, I fought a major battle with lameness, initially winning and then, ultimately, losing big-time, but gaining something else entirely.


Friday night I had plans with my best friend -- and at about 8 p.m., when I was still sitting on the couch in my workout clothes, glaring at the rain outside, watching some horrible informercial for a heating blender (for four easy payments of $49.95!!) and deep into my third glass of Pino Gris, she called to see when I'd be ready.

Her: "Hey! How are you? When do you want to go out?"
Me: "I dunno, I mean, don't rush over or anything. I really don't care. I'm just sorta vegging out."
Her: "Uh, oh-kay... Um, are you alright?"
Me: "Yeah, I just... ::sigh:: whatever."
Her: "I'm coming over. Good lord, what is wrong with you? Get in the shower, like NOW."

And there she was, about 40 minutes later, pounding down my door and breezing in, sunshine in the form of a companion. She wasn't about to let me mope around, self-medicating in my sweatpants and a self-heating mask and waste a perfectly good, if rainy, Friday night thinking about everything that is, might be or could eventually become dysfunctional in my life.

Always a trooper in the truest sense, she sat on my couch and talked to me while I reluctantly dried my hair. She refilled my glass when it was empty, listened to me rant about any and everything that was driving me crazy, and begged me to take off the belted turtleneck tunic I had chosen in favor of a soft, snug, dark-grey "World Peace" t-shirt and plastic 80's accessories (An off-white headband and bangle) with black Audrey Hepburn flats.

(Too much information, I know, but the outfit was damn cute, and if it weren't for her, I would have arrived at the bar in a cashmere mu-mu, jeans and tall boots -- a good look for Sunday afternoon shopping, photo-touring in Europe, not beer-drinking and dance).

She validated my rants, made me laugh, and lured me out the front door with promises that she would drive -- AND pay for drinks!

Thank goodness for friends who can see through your own bullshit and can rescue you from yourself when you cannot. Her relentless commitment to enjoying the evening bubbled over, infecting me with a giddy sort of pleasure at being out of the house and on a crowded dance floor doing the electric slide to a live (gag) country band, clutching Coronas with lime and occasionally spinning each other around, just for emphasis.

By 2:45, exhausted, we had made the pilgrammage back to my house, and I -- buzzed, happy, and thankful for a good friend -- fell into bed, and sleep.


Saturday night, though, I was determined to stay in. This time, though, I wouldn't be rescued. I told my best friend I was staying in, put the phone on silent, lit some candles, opened a nice bottle of Syrah, and settled in for a nice long evening of my favorite thing:


I'm sorry, I can't help it. A couple days a month I get this insatiable urge to just clean the bejeezus out of my living space -- this goes beyond the regular weekly cleaning and laundry days. It takes them, in fact, to a whole 'nother level. On my cleaning benders, I actually clear my closet of un-worn items, bagging them and preparing them for donation to charity. I do huge loads of laundry, I sprinkle carpet freshener all over my house, waiting the requisite 30 minutes to vaccum it up (making sure the little vaccum lines are perfectly straight, mind you) and climb into the tub, where I Ajax until I might pass out from the fumes.

Disinfecting wipes? Check.
Hands-and-knees scrubbing of floors? Check.
Cat-hair removal? Check.
Leather couch oiling and buffing? Check.
Intense desk, closet, shelf and kitchen organizing? You got it.

I cleaned to my little heart's content, exhausting my arms and legs in various crouching, scrubbing positions, and actually breaking a sweat. Then, I rewarded myself with a long bath, a clean hotel robe, 5 chapters of a new and fabulous book, and two Tylenol P.M.'s. (Note: do not try this at home. You're not supposed to take those after you've had a drink. But if you decide to, be sure you can devote at least 8 hours to sleep, don't operate machinery, and be sure you're not sleeping with anyone who minds a little drooling. Sleep hits you like a metric ton of bricks on that stuff.)

By 10:30, I was passed out in bed (clean sheets! Clean P.J.'s! Sweet-smelling hair! A little tipsy!) with my cat next to me, my book on my chest, and surrounded by the cleanest two-bedroom apartment this side of the Missisippi.

I woke up twelve and a half hours later with a smile on my face -- bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and in moments I had a pot of coffee brewing and was in workout clothes. I was heading out the door when I grabbed my keys and noticed a blinking light on the blackberry, indicating a message. I put it on speaker phone while I spun around the house, gathering my things for a long, productive day.

Loud and crackly came the voice of a friend who noted my absence on the scene the night before and suspected what I was up to:

"Hi, it's me. I know you're probably elbow-deep in cat hair right now and loving it, but we're all going down to the Kirkland pub for a beer. Take off your rubber gloves, put on some mascara and COME! It's only a quick walk from your house. Or vaccum some more, either way. But we'd love to see you..."

I saved the message and hung up, smiling in appreciation of the understanding of good friends - even when I need to befriend myself, alone. I patted the cat, took a final, sweeping look at my sparkling apartment, and pulled open the door, stepping out into the crisp mid-morning.


jali said...

I'm feeling a little guilty since I haven't done a deep clean in months. My closet is crap right now and I have lots of clothing that needs to go to a charity. I haven't done my cabinets (I won't even tell you how long it's been) in ages.

I was feeling pretty proud of the quick run through I did last night - midweek sheet change just because, good cleaning of bathroom, vacuumed UNDER things. Maybe soon...

Trebuchet said...

Well, you're better than me. When I'm not deep-cleaning, I'm shoving shit under furniture to make it look like the place is clean.

It's all an illusion, of course...