Aside from an early morning appointment, my plans for the morning went out the window in favour of a major DEEP CLEAN.  I was kind of hoping I might be inclined to sleep once I got home from the doctor’s before the sun came up (!) but nope.  Too much espresso in the latte this morning, peut-etre?  Anyway, my mum mentioned she’d like to sort through the fridge later today and throw out all the stuff from days beyond memory, and the passing comment surfaced in my mind as I contemplated (with a certain degree of frustration) how I might make use of my sleeplessness.  What’s my ever-faithful fallback?  Cleaning.  Thus I spent about 3 hours this morning with my head in the refrigerator, my rubber-gloved arms covered in soapsuds and our entire stock of perishable food items strewn across the counters.  (I figured our house is so cold, the stuff could stand to linger a few feet away from their chill case for awhile.)  Here are my badboy chemical weapons:

I blame Starbucks for my obsessive-compulsive cleaning tendencies.  I doubt I would have gone to these lengths before taking their sanitary regime to the next level last year.  In any case, the cool air on my face and the slightly astringent aroma of the glass cleaner stimulated this crazy urge to go all the way with this one.  There was no going back.  After disassembling the shelves and drawers, I was left with this frowning opponent:


It’s hard to explain, but there’s something fierce that erupts inside me when I see that, on top of the slight punch of revulsion… maybe like a red drape to a bull?  I dove right in there with my wirey green scrubby and annihilated those creepy crumbs, those slimey smears, and those malodorous marks!!!

…  okay it wasn’t THAT bad, but no matter the severity, I had to detoxify it.

As I was scrubbing away, I remembered a time when I was at Lionsgate where there really was nothing to do, but I knew the fridge where we kept our food was appallingly grimey.  You’d think a hospital fridge would be super-sanitary and germ-free, but this one certainly wasn’t.  And really, there’s no point in getting sicker in hospital just because the veggie drawer sublets to vicious bacteria.  So that day a few of us armed ourselves with medical-strength anti-everything cleaners and shut down that grow-op, much to our relief and that of the other nurses and patients.

The similarity here was that the physical labour of lathering up the corners and the visual proof of accomplishment gave me such a grand sense of satisfaction.  I didn’t even notice the time going by.  I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true!  A squeaky clean fridge really does make the world go round!

Shine and glitter – surely you can forgive me for delighting in these beauties?  I credited mum’s declaration that tonight’s salad was excellent to the fact that the veggies were stored in such a fresh, clean shiver bin.  Who’d have thought that this early twenties dreamer would someday bubble enthusiastically about the cleaning exploits she’d undertaken that morning?  If I had to explain it somehow, I’d say that the act of slooshing down a surface and polishing it with pride takes me to a place that seems like a fresh start.  Like taking the first breath of outdoor air after a long class or a laborious shift at work – the refreshment is so invigorating.  There’s another thing too: I get this sense of reward from my handiwork, knowing that the task has benefits beyond what I can see initially.  In other words, it’s good for me in ways I don’t even realize.  I was so happy with my work that I sat inside the newly-cleaned fridge for a different point of view:

I washed all the glass shelves by hand, and put the drawers through the dishwasher.  The egg tray and butter box went through too.

I’m fully aware, however, that this is one of those achievements that you have to step back and admire, count to ten, then let it go – because we all know it’ll start accumulating grundge as soon as the door closes!