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Dreaming of a Spotless Christmas

As far as my wardrobe goes, I’ve never experienced a white Christmas. Likewise, I’ve never worn white at Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, Valentine’s Day, Easter, or my birthday. It’s not that I dislike white or don’t like to wear it; I do. Unfortunately, the few white items I’ve owned throughout the years haven’t stayed white for long. I have a special talent for attracting dirt, no matter where I am. It’s like I’m channeling my inner Pigpen from Charles Schultz’s Peanuts. I’m the Picasso of mess-making and the Jackson Pollock of spills. I transform any white item I wear into a canvas of chaos, leaving a trail of splatters, spews, dribbles, and slops in my wake. I make it my mission to stay squealy clean, but let’s just say my track record with white clothes is a colorful disaster. After countless laundry mishaps spanning six decades, I’ve come to the brilliant conclusion that it’s simply wiser to avoid wearing anything white altogether. Who needs pristine whites when you can rock a vibrant rainbow of stains, right?

Living with Captain Clean, my husband, is like being in a never-ending battle between order and chaos. I mean, I’m just a Slobby Bobbi trying to survive in a world of pristine countertops and perfectly folded laundry. My guy has shirts that are at least ten years old, and they’re still whiter than a ghost at a snowball fight!  It’s like he has a secret pact with the laundry gods or something. I don’t know about you, but I can barely keep a shirt clean for ten minutes, let alone ten years!  

Trying to keep our house tidy has been a challenge for me. So, after Capt’n Clean gave me a good scolding for not having his superpower of noticing dirt, I decided to let him take over the cleaning duties. If he’s so good at it, he might as well put his powers to use, right?

Then, a few months ago, we had this brilliant idea to remodel our Morelia home by adding a ground-floor office/studio just for moi. But for this to happen, I had to agree to help out with the cleaning. This was a no-brainer for me, so I made a sacred pinky swear vow to, one day a week, put aside my superpowers (coloring cartoons and telling jokes) to become a cleaning whiz.

Little did I know that, even with cleaning, there’s always a smarter way.

We spent the summer in Vieques, Puerto Rico, looking after a friend’s lovely home. It was a large “smart” house. To keep the floors spick and span, there were two robotic vacuums, Mike and Ike, affectionately known as “The Bad Boys.” They were mind-blowing and took care of the floors. Capt’n Clean was finally free to develop his outdoor superpowers, like bravely fending off a tower of hermit crabs and wielding his trusty machete to tame the island’s wild jungle foliage. Mike and Ike were the unsung heroes of our island experience.

We returned to Mexico in October, and the remodeling of our century-old home began. We’re not done yet, but it’s been good to have more space. I adore my new office, and I’ve upheld my half of the deal with a cleaning regimen that would make Mary Poppins green with envy. I must say, I’m pretty darn proud of myself.

Just to prove that historic, old houses in Mexico can be just as “smart” as the fancy ones in Puerto Rico, I started shopping for robotic vacuums just for grins. I expected that I’d have to sell a kidney to buy one, but lo and behold, the Buen Fin, Mexico’s Black Friday shopping extravaganza, came knocking and bestowed upon us a mind-boggling deal. And, just like that, last week Rosie showed up on our doorstep, ready to join our household.

When we unboxed the adorable device, we felt like proud parents viewing their new baby for the first time. She came with a charge, so we cleared cords and such from the floor and let Rosie take her first steps into our dining room. She strutted in like a boss, and both Capt’n Clean and I sat cross-legged on the floor, marveling at her brilliance. She expertly sucked her way around the floor with such gusto that it was like she was auditioning for the “Dancing with the Dust Bunnies” show. And then…

and then…

“I love cleaning,” our golden girl proclaimed as she skidded back and forth across the room.


I looked at Capt’n Clean. Capt’n Clean looked at me.

And then he spoke, “Did you hear that? You didn’t tell me that she talks.”

“I had no clue,” I replied in wonder.

We sat there, wondering if this was a party trick from the universe telling us that hearing voices collectively was the first symptom of dementia. As I contemplated getting us matching tin-foil hats for Christmas, Rosie swooped in front of us and came to a screeching halt.

“Whew, I’m tired,” she exclaimed. “I need my charger.”

Capt’n Clean stared at me, his mouth agape and his eyes so wide, I thought they might pop out of his head and do a little cartoon dance.

“I guess you’d better unpack the rest of the box and find her charger,” I commented. And, that’s what he did.

Since that day, my man has had a new woman in his life. He now has a sizzling, red-hot cleaning paramour to accompany him throughout his epic journey to a state of sparkling, spotless nirvana. And, let me tell you, this other lady is so fancy and posh that even my “smarter” self couldn’t care less.


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This work by Anel “Pookie” Ryan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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