Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Memo To The Things That Live In My House

My wife was cleaning up a room and found this memo I wrote for our then teenage kids. Enjoy.


To: The Things That Live In My House

Subject: The Maid Is Dead

My dearest "Things That Live In My House"; Summer is here and it brings you “Things” home on a full time basis. I regret to inform you that, yes indeed, our beloved, yet invisible maid has passed on to greater and better rewards. The Good Lord has called her home and this has a deep and direct effect on all of you.

How, you may ask? Let me count the ways:

1. The Trash. There is a limited capacity in the trash container in the kitchen. I know that since all of you are in school and may have studied science, you may have stumbled upon the theory called displacement. What this essentially means is you can't shove 20 pounds of crap into a five pound bag. You see, when you get to the point where things begin to fall out of the trash container, it is time to remove the liner from the container.

This brings me to Rule #1: Empty the Trash.

The trash bag is an amazing thing, but one must lift it out of the barrel to realize its truly remarkable intrinsic value. From there, it can be tied closed and duly transported to the big round gray things you see in the rear of the house. Those are called trash barrels. Simply place the trash bag into the trash barrel.

2. The Dishes. The dishes you use to eat the food that you consume post-midnight. I realize that sometimes your mother and I go to bed well before you do, but one of us inevitably wakes up before you all do. And, to find a sink full of, well, less than clean dishes along with a dishwasher that's less than full capacity is indeed disheartening. Now, I realize that you all truly didn't mean to leave that disarray for us to clean up, so I give you all the benefit of the doubt.

But, just to be clear, Rule #2 is: All dirty dishes must be cleaned and put into the dishwasher.

The dishwasher is another remarkable convenience for today's modern family on the go. But, one must put dishes and cups in to be washed in order to utilize this great invention of convenience. But, there are times; I regret to inform you, that there are clean dishes in there that must be unloaded.

Which brings me to Rule 2a: Empty the clean dishes from the dishwasher.

And yes, there is a Rule 2b: Put the clean stuff away.

This was unfortunately, one of the invisible maid's duties.

3. The Bathroom. Good Lord, where do I start? OK, the bathroom sink: When you brush your teeth (and you must be commended for good dental hygiene after all that money we invested on all of you for braces)

Please, for the love of all Rule #3: Do not spit all over the entire sink and faucet assembly.

Or at least, if you cannot control the direction of the discharge, please find some way to remove the offending stains from the sink. We can't tell you how demoralizing it is to go into the bathroom and find the entire sink area speckled with white "post brushing by-product".

As you might say "eeewwww."

The shower is also of particular interest. As you know, there is a slight leak in the shower head in the bathroom upstairs; one simply must turn the valve all the way to the right to make sure the drip is minimized. So that means the Niagara Falls affect created post shower is an indicator that the valve is not closed all the way.

Rule 3a: Close the valve tight in the shower.

4. The Computer Room. Ah yes, the place where My Space and AIM rule. Where young burgeoning minds work their magical imaginations to the fullest. And, where you guys leave everything imaginable to rot and fester everywhere. I'll keep this one simple: I counted, there are 11 steps from the stairs to the kitchen.

Rule #4: Transport whatever it is you've consumed to the proper place.

This is where Rule #1 and Rule #2 work beautifully in synchronization. You must use either (or both) the trash or the sink and dishwasher to follow up on this one.

In closing, I know you all do try your level best to keep this house sparkly clean just like on TV. But I hate to tell you, there are some "gaps" like those mentioned above that need a little tightening up. So, please try to follow these rules and even take the initiative to try some new things like picking up your clothes and putting them into the proper laundry bins in the basement. I know, I know, this is an esoteric endeavor and is only for those truly immersed in the AHP (Advanced Housekeeping Program), but little by little you can be trained to participate.

Thank you,

Your loving parents.

PS: Bartering to actually do these things (like you tried in the note you left us this last night) to stay home while we go to the cottage is a little too late. These are the reasons we're making you come with us. :-)

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