It’s over. Our house is cleaner than at any point in the last 7 years other than the first night we moved in with a single mattress and some personal effects. I never want to do this ever again unless the interest rates plummet below 3%. That’s what it would take for me to agree to do this again. Lynnette and I are still happily married, I didn’t unleash the fury on Madison for undoing something I just did, and Abby now has more room for activities. Everyone wins, especially the person who is going to come to check out the house.
With one day left in the long weekend, the list looked like this: finish up our bedroom; clean the kitchen and living room; fix the footwear cluster-eff in the garage. I started with the bedroom and was astounded to find miles of stuffing under the bed. I swept my arm under, then out and piles of fluff were exposed to the daylight. “Abby!” I called. She sauntered into the room. “Who did this?” I said. She slowly crept over to the mess and lowered her head. This dog is a true Higa. She gets in trouble for tearing into stuffed things like pillows and stuffed animals, so she was dragging them into her lair to assault them. This was somehow less disconcerting than finding a stash of cough drop wrappers in Madison’s room behind the recliner. When I called Madison in and opened my hand to reveal the wrappers, she looked at me with an equally guilty face. “Have you been sneaking cough drops in here?” I asked. She nodded with watery eyes. “No more, OK?” I said. This is more Matty behavior. I have failed you, Madison.
Our Monday cleaning necessitated a final trip to the dump. On our way out to Wahiawa, I told Lynnette that I actually enjoy this part of cleaning. This might sound deranged, but I think that I spend so much time trying to keep things together – my classroom, my work, the baseball team, my family – that once in a while, I like to watch things break and explode. So when we arrived, Lynnette allowed me to toss most of the larger objects into the dumpster. I loved the banging and crashing, but was shocked and dismayed when the panes of glass we taped together (from the computer desk) did not shatter. They did not even crack. It was an anti-climax on par with the ending of Frankenstein. Or coming back to work the week after graduation from the underclassmen’s final exams. Either way, I guess.
Before the day’s events started, Lynnette said something like, “Look, when this is all over, I just want to go to dinner at CPK.” I didn’t have anything against it, and CPK seemed like an odd choice, but since she was the captain of this cleaning overhaul, I felt like it was more of a demand than a request, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about marriage, it’s this: every time I question anything, there exists the possibility of a protracted argument which might end with me sleeping on the couch with Abby’s ass in my face. If I’ve learned two things, then the other is: If Lynnette has a specific request for food, just go with it.
We did end up at CPK, finishing with a salted caramel pudding to cap off what was an incredible family performance. Next, I am to appease Madison who was a trooper during this ordeal, you know, except for the part about finding out that she’s a cough drop hoarder. Awards for this weekend will be given out tomorrow.