Dust bunnies are the bane of my existence.
OK, that might sound overly dramatic, so let’s just say I pretty much hate dusting. Then again, mom taught me to never use the word “hate,” so let me rephrase: Dusting is an activity of which I am not particularly fond. (And I get bonus points for not ending with a preposition.)
As a military spouse in charge of housekeeping, I’ve had to clean all kinds of quarters over the last 26 years. A two-bedroom apartment overlooking a supermarket; shabby Army housing on the perimeter of an abandoned artillery range; a stone house in England; a roach-infested townhouse with shag carpeting; a fourth floor walk-up base apartment in Germany; a base duplex with a really scary basement; a gardener’s cottage on the grounds of a Gilded Age mansion; and now, our 129-year-old house a block from the Narraganset Bay.
I’ve learned that housework is pretty lousy all the way around, but dusting is, by far, the most frustrating and futile of household chores.
On the cleaning satisfaction scale (this doesn’t exist, but just go with it) vacuuming “hoovers” around an eight. There’s something about that whirring sound that produces the suction power and the sound of debris being slurped up the vacuum tube. Popcorn kernel on the rug? THWUMP! Gone. Crumbs on cushions? SHLUSH! Gone. Sand on hardwoods? FFFWPT! Gone.
Other tasks such as folding laundry and ironing are not as exhilarating, but the monotony could be minimized by turning on the television. Putting a crease in my husband’s cammies became quite riveting while watching a catfight on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” And I must admit, there are days when I’d rather chew my arm off than empty the dishwasher for the umpteenth time, but it’s not so bad if I catch “House Hunters” on the kitchen TV in the process.
It’s safe to say there’s not a soul on this planet who truly enjoys cleaning bathrooms. The revolting nature of this foul chore is universally recognized, and companies have put forth their best efforts to produce a plethora of products to make the job palatable. The crud-killing arsenal includes flushable toilet scrubbing wands, automatic shower sprayers, disinfecting wipes, bleaching toilet tank tablets, and Scrubbing Bubbles for those who can’t stomach soap scum.
Unfortunately, though, no one has invented anything to make dusting easier. Here we are in the 21st Century, and in order to most-effectively dust furniture in the house, we’ve still got to grab a rag – my hubby’s old T-shirts worked for me – and a can of furniture polish and get to work.
You may be able to catch a few minutes of a favorite show while tackling the family room, but that brief distraction is short-lived. You’ve still got to plod, slowly and methodically, room to room, spraying, rubbing and wiping down cob-webby ceiling fan blades, tops of desks, and every last lampshade, molding, photo frame, table, piano key and baseboard.
Then, to make matters worse, the instant your ionic-ally charged ShamWow glides over the coffee table, there are millions more minute particles depositing themselves right back on its surface. We can’t see the little buggers, but every minute of every day, they’re there, coursing through our ductwork, wafting from room to room, floating from the ceiling to the floor, landing silently on every horizontal surface.
Where do these particles come from and why are they hell-bent on banishing us to a lifetime of dusting drudgery? Unless you want to read about dead skin cells, I don’t recommend Googling this question. Just accept dust as a fact of life, and be thankful that you have a house that needs dusting because it means you have a home.