I know the words are English

but the sentence itself made no sense to me whatsoever.

“A good use for old toothbrushes is to clean out the tracks of sliding glass doors”

Now, I don’t have Mel’s dislike of housework but I’m no real fan of it either.

(Back in the early 70’s when I was a little girl a woman & her son moved in up the street aways. Mom & the other wives found her very fascinating because she was divorced, said in a whisper with a hand half over your mouth as if to avert a bad omen from yourself while naming the evil aloud & I always imagine Mel doing the same thing when she says housework)

I sweep. I mop.

Sometimes I dust.

I do lots of laundry.

I clean windows fairly often.

Twice a year I get down on my hands & knees and scrub the hell out of my slate tile and then dry the hell out of it as well.

I wipe down surfaces.

I move things from being ‘in the way’ to being in other places. Often those places are whatever random basket has room for them, but still… things are ‘put away’.

I consider my house to be clean in the general run of things & for the most part I enjoy the cleaning (even the scrubbing)

But then I overhear these sentences from random women in Target or Starbucks.

“I find vinegar to be a good weekly rinse when I wipe down the kitchen cabinets”

“This works great for polishing baseboards.”

“A good use for old toothbrushes is to clean out the tracks of sliding glass doors”

Every one of those sentences is in English and correct grammar.

I know what they are saying but I don’t understand a word of it.

Let us parse the first one shall we?

“I find vinegar to be a good weekly rinse when I wipe down the kitchen cabinets”

The first thing that leaps to mind is WEEKLY. This is apparently something done every week. RINSE, implying there was a wash first. WIPE KITCHEN CABINETS. Really?

I have to go look at my (unphotographed, sorry) kitchen cabinets. They are slightly dusty, but I cannot imagine needing to wash & rinse them weekly, let alone wipe them down that often. They are up above the counter. How dirty can they get?

What does that woman do in her kitchen to need what I consider to be a CSI level of cleaning done on a weekly basis?

Then there is:

“This works great for polishing baseboards.”

Baseboards?

Looks around the room for a bit.

Oh yeah! Those boards at the BASE of the wall.

You’re supposed to polish them?

Maybe if they were metal. Or unpainted wood. But mine are painted.

And the only things I polish in this house are my nails.

Even before the baseboards were painted.

Then there is my favorite

“A good use for old toothbrushes is to clean out the tracks of sliding glass doors”

It begins with the assumption I need a use for old toothbrushes, which never occurred to me. 

But I have no desire to get toothbrush close to the stuff in the tracks of my sliding glass door. I’d actually have to touch it & have you seen the stuff that gets gunked up in the tracks of sliding glass doors?  Better to just run the hand vac over it and hope for the best.

Scrubbing out the tracks is a level of cleanliness that will never be attained in my house.

Even my mom, who’s home (apart from my bedroom) has looked ready for a visit from House Beautiful’s photographers every day of my life, never scrubbed out the sliding door tracks.

That’s just crazy talk.

What sentences do you read/hear but not understand?

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3 comments to I know the words are English

  • Learn to love white space. . . .
    yeah, sure.
    Rinda

  • We this spoke to me today: after a couple of weeks off my feet I’m having to grit my teeth and try to catch up with the dirt. It doesn’t actually look much worse than it would have done had I cleaned last week too. So maybe every other week would do ha

  • middlechild

    I’m thinking weekly food fights.