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Happy New Year

Stevie Wonder was right when he sang Superstition ain’t the way. I have a few New Year superstitions–I guess everyone does, what with the resolution thing–and they’re causing me angst.

For instance: The first song you hear is a message for the coming year.
Result: I’m afraid to take a chance on the radio–and purposely selecting a song is cheating.

(Aha! About an hour after writing this, I found an elegant solution–went to my iTunes library, closed my eyes and hit the Shuffle! The song I got was Waterfall by Cris Williamson: Sometimes it takes a rainy day/just to let you know/everything’s gonna be all right. Now, if I could just find an elegant solution to No. 2!)

No. 2: Your home must be clean as a whistle for the new year.
Result: I’m feeling totally pressured today to finish cleaning.

Actually, the subject of housekeeping has been on my mind a lot lately. It seems like I’m becoming more fanatical as I age, in theory if not in practice. I despise any form of dirt with a passion, and I was not always like this. I think it’s because I’ve seen what happens to a certain kind of woman who lives alone: women who’ve done their own housework all their lives and would never dream of hiring someone to clean. Unfortunately, they can’t see like they used to, nor do they have as much energy. Ergo: a filthy house.

I am not making this up: I helped clean a huge house belonging to a friend’s mother after she died, in her mid-80s. It was g-ross! Even the dishes in the cabinets were covered in slime, that’s how bad it was. I’m nowhere near 80, and I live in a little studio apartment; still, every day it seems to become more important for me to scrub, dust, vacuum, etcetera.

When I was in my 20s and a married lady in suburbia. I used to laugh at the women up and down the block who shined their floors til you could see your own reflection in them. My eight-room ranch house wasn’t really dirty, but I couldn’t use the floors and furniture as mirrors. Truth be told, I was too busy getting stoned with my girlfriends while our collective kids did whatever they did in the playroom.

If only my neighbors could see me now, on my bathroom floor with a toothbrush and Comet, they’d be stunned. I wonder what they’re all doing now, and whether their homes are still so clean?

Happy New Year, Ladies, wherever you are!

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