Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The Cleaning Ladies

Saturday night after our trip to Slick's house, Coco and I, along with Big, my other brother Red and my aunt congregated at my mom's house for salmon and family time. No red wine for me this time, I stuck with diet Coke. My sister Kiki was working, so I didn't feel bad when I headed to her room to hunt down a CD she borrowed from me. What I found there was shocking! I went back to the living room and quietly called Coco to follow me. Opening the door for her, I revealed a certified disaster area. I am not sure that even Hurricane Francis could have generated as much damage. Taking it all in again, I shook my head over and over in disbelief. I looked at Coco, she stood mutely, jaw to chest. We were more than a little awestruck. The talent it takes to get a room to the state of this one...the time, the dedication.

Rejoining the group, Coco and I whispered plans of an intervention.

The next morning, I called my mom and offered my services to help her go through the basement to get things ready for her impending garage sale and move. Noting that work would be complicated because I would have Bubba with me, she politely turned me down. I went to play the piano for a while, but couldn't let the matter rest. I called Coco and we decided to take matters into our own hands.

One hour later, we found ourselves in the war zone. To describe the room is almost beyond words, and I am so afraid of embarrassing my sister, but since she doesn't even know of the blog's existence, I suppose I am safe. And we were safe from her wrath - she had a double shift and was staying the night at a friend's house after, so we were free to do what we wanted sans intervention. So with the blink of an eye, Coco and I turned into crew from Clean Sweep and took inventory of the task at hand.

The door opens to a wide dresser, which she used as a room divider. Behind this dresser is a table on which she had placed the iMac I gave her as payment for a summer's worth of babysitting - I am a little upset to find the mouse ruined and several buttons missing from the keyboard. There is a highboy and a bed and two tables. Where the floor used to be is a layer over a foot deep of debris made up of garbage and every single item of clothing she owns or borrowed. The 13 drawers at her disposal contained not a sock, nor a skirt, some were even empty. The walk-in closet was only different in that it held 2 feet of debris and a couple of empty hangers. I would have sat down on the bed as my knees weakened at the enormity of the task before us had the bed not also been covered with an array of purses, broken personal CD players and other sundry items.

At this point, my mom noticed that we were in the Forbidden Space. She looked at us both and shook her head “Okay, but I had nothing to do with it.”

We gathered laundry baskets and industrial size trash bags and got to work. First order of business was to rid the room of clothes. We filled three large baskets and half of a fourth over the course of half an hour. Separating the clothing from the garbage was more difficult than we anticipated – some of the clothing we even deemed garbage (ew!). We giggled as we came across some horrifying stuff and wondered what underwear the girl was wearing. Coming across tens of pairs scattered all over the room, we decided that she merely went to Victoria’s Secret every time she needed a new supply. After we finally got all of the clothing out of the room and lugged the overflowing baskets down to the basement’s laundry area, we began the even more overwhelming task of clearing and sorting the debris covering the floor, dressers, tables, bed, closet shelves and flowing out of the dresser drawers.

We sneezed continuously and came across some very sinister looking spiders, and though our bodies were growing more exhausted as we went through, tossed out and stifled our gag reflexes, we pushed on as quickly as we could, motivated by the fear that something might bring Kiki home for a forgotten item and we would be caught. We cleared the floor then filled it again with other items to be gone through, and worked and toiled, until 5 hours after we started the room was ready.

We were so proud of ourselves and marveled at the 10 man-hours it took to complete the daunting task. When we collapsed on the sofa in my mom’s living room to Coronas, bread and brie (not a good combo, if you are wondering), Red’s friends came over to pick him up. Coco and I shared a good laugh when he passed Kiki’s room off as his own because her room looked so much better than his own.

Tossing back the rest of the beer, (and shuddering as it clashed with the remnants of brie in my mouth) I sighed with satisfaction.

Mission accomplished!

- Crazy/Hip Blog-Mamas +