Occasionally, however, I get this weird feeling. That strange "nesting" thing that creeps up on you, when suddenly you have this URGE to cleanse your home of unwanted or unnecessary items, stash away the good stuff in a neat and orderly fashion, alphabetize your spice cabinet (I actually do that) and whip out the camera to take pictures to send to your neat-freak mother with a message that reads, "See??? I AM your child!!"
Well, this was one of those days for me.
Since I wasn't having guests for Thanksgiving, I had been very lax in my daily chores. The extra countertop we had installed a few years ago became the drop off point - a place where everything that didn't have a home ended up getting dropped off. It seemed to have happened overnight, but truth be told, it was probably weeks in the making. Maybe even months.
Then one morning I swigged down a refreshing smoothie, went out and picked up a Dunkin Donuts coffee and decided it was time to clean. I kept wanting to turn back, but forged ahead through piles of mail, stacks of printed out recipes, the guts of cleaned out purses, wallets and backpacks. I organized mail into three stacks - keepers, shredders and recyclers - then delved into the mountainous pile of....well, crap.... Apparently it really had been there for a while, because I came across a spider or two that scurried out of the way, probably yelling "There goes the neighborhood!", as well as lots of dust. And where there's dust, there are dust bunnies. Big ones. Ones that look like THIS.....
It charged at me from nowhere, teeth bared, growling and swiping at me. It almost got me...or so I thought. Then I realized, it was just asking to be rescued from the wreckage. I think I'll name him "Snowball".
"Snowball," I asked my new pet. "Whatever are you standing on? Under your left foot?"
It was this. Yet another note from...The Stalker.....
Is it just me? Or does J.D Powers and his associates stalk everyone? It all started a few weeks after we purchased our new car. J.D. sent me a survey, along with a dollar - an actual $1 bill! - asking for my opinion on something. I'm not sure what - I pocketed the dollar and "misplaced" the survey. I really did intend on completing it, but honestly, if I can't even keep my house clean, do I really have time to complete a 16-page survey?
J.D. doesn't take "no" lightly, for a month or so later ANOTHER survey (and another dollar bill!) shows up in my mailbox. This one I completed....but lost in the shuffle before I could mail it. Maybe Snowball ate it. So when I came upon this third one, I almost recycled it in my cleaning frenzy, but then snatched it out of the bin. Hmmmm....Wonder if J.D. is showering me with yet ANOTHER dollar bill! I opened the envelope, and to my astonishment, found THIS....
ABE???? Is that YOU????
A real FIVE DOLLAR BILL! Wow. Suddenly I felt guilty. J.D. and his buds must be desperate to know about me! I picture them sitting around a 50-foot long boardroom table "Harrumph-harrumph! Rabble-babble-rabble-babble! Imperative that we obtain this ONE WOMAN's opinion...our reputation, our whole existence depends on it!
All those in favor of sending her five bucks?"
"All those opposed?"
Sigh. I actually love surveys. It amazes me that anyone would want to know what I think! They make me feel so important, whether it's Safecount, eRewards, Survey Monkey.... I get giddy! Suddenly I feel desirable, knowledgeable, important. I feel loved. You like me! You really, really like me! So partly out of guilt for ignoring J.D. and the boys for so long, and partly because they bribed me, I took a moment from my cleaning to finally respond. Hmmm....Let's see what they want this time, shall we?
Ah yes, guilt me some more. OK, you wore me down.
First, I found out that I was ill-equipped to comply with their demands....the only writing utensil I could find was a red crayon..... but alas... they apparently can only see black or blue.
Eventually I found the proper writing instrument and set about to discover what enlightening information they were so desperate to obtain. And do you know what they wanted? What secrets lurk in the mind of a middle-aged, working mom with dust bunnies the size of squirrels chasing her around?
Well, after a few questions about my vehicle, they basically wanted to know...what magazines I read, what radio stations I listen to and what television programming I watch. Like I have time for ANY of that! I mean, I'd NEVER get my housework.... oh. Never mind. Apparently J.D. and the boys have done their homework.
Anyway, five bucks is five bucks. Here's a sampling of what they wanted:
Not sure if you can see it, but the column to the left means "no". to the right means "yes". Note - I pretty much only read food magazines. I feel so uneducated and uninformed! But man, can I cook...
This is what I watch on t.v.
South Park. How I love South Park. They are so raunchy, so trashy, so politically incorrect...yet funny! I figure, I can laugh at myself, so why not laugh at others in the privacy of my own home? And Ina - I adore her! I want to move next door to her so she can cook for me. I'm sending Snowball out to track her down right now. TMZ? Well, you never know where Benicio Del Toro will turn up. Oh how I adore Benicio....
Well, long story short, it took me about an hour to complete this 16-page survey, three year old and dust bunny interrupting me constantly. It all seemed like pretty meaningless stuff to me, but hey, J.D. and the boys are a total of $7 lighter in the pocket, so the least I could do is seal it up and send it off.
Aw, shucks! They're even picking up the postage!
Exhausted from completing the grueling survey - I mean, this was nothing compared to the CPA exam (which, by the way, I've never taken....and probably never will. You know how much they'd have to pay me for THAT?! But I hear it's pretty tough...) - I plopped down on the couch, poked at the clicker in search of Ina or Benicio, and gave my three year-old the five bucks to go put the survey in the mailbox.
(Joking! Of course I accompanied her...)
I hope you're happy, J.D. Now my kitchen will NEVER be clean!