All in a Saturday’s Work

When we were kids, my parents thought it would be fitting to ruin our Saturday by leaving a “chore list” on the kitchen table for us to wake up to. I can still remember the sinking feeling in my stomach upon waking up refreshed on a Saturday morning, walking down to the kitchen hoping to find a donut but instead finding the dreaded chore list. Each of us five kids would sign our name next to the chore we were going to do. Sign-ups were on a first come, first serve basis, so it was really a catch 22 – if you got up early you could claim the easiest job and if you slept in you were left with the worst job. There were always the same four chores on the list with one wild card. The fifth job was always a B.S. job that my parents made up to avoid having one of the annoying brats they called children complain about how it wasn’t fair that they were forced to work while someone else got away without doing anything. Some chores were easier than others, so many fights broke out when it came to sign ups. The list looked a little something like this:

1. Mop kitchen floor and hallway

2. Clean first floor bathroom

3. Vacuum stairs and upstairs hallway

4. “Straighten up” and vacuum living room, dining room and TV. room

5. Wild card

“Vacuum the stairs and upstairs hallway” was always the first to be claimed because it was the easiest and everyone knew it. You could start at 12:10 and be finished in time to meet up with your friends for lunch at Souzy’s by 12:30. Not even a challenge. “Straighten up and vacuum the living room, dining room and TV room” was usually the second chore to go. “Straightening up” usually meant grabbing everyone’s stuff, throwing it into a pile, and then making them bring it up to his or her room, so that didn’t take long. Lucky for us, “straightening up” didn’t include dusting. My parents never really placed a strong emphasis on it. In fact, a bottle of Pledge still looks foreign to me. We like to let our dust settle into a nice, half inch layer or so before deciding to do anything about it. Dusting was really saved for holidays and special occasions. As you can see from the list, we focused our efforts on vacuuming. “Clean the first floor bathroom” was usually picked third. It wasn’t an ideal job because it included cleaning a toilet, which is just repulsive, and there was always the risk of getting bleach on your clothes. My brother usually took “Mop kitchen floor and hallway” which was nice because it was SO time consuming with the sweeping and the moving of chairs and filling the bucket with water. Too much prep work if you ask me. Plus, the bucket was pretty heavy to carry up the stairs from the basement – definitely man’s work. The wild card chore could range from something as easy as picking up sticks outside (yes, that was an actual chore in our house, although my parents were nice enough not to make us lay them straight), to something as awful as cleaning the second floor kid’s bathroom, which was a very time consuming task.  With five kids using the same bathroom the place got pretty disgusting. It’s quite possible that the West Nile virus originated from our second floor bathroom.

Now since my parents still have a majority of their adult children living at home sucking every last penny from them, the chore list still shows up from time to time. It is just as unwelcome now as it was when we were younger. In addition to the usual chores, some newer, more difficult duties have been added.  This is partly because my parents have been doing some renovations on our home and are trying to prevent our house from being in complete shambles. Ever since May I have been waking up to strange men in our kitchen and bathroom. I used to make an effort to avoid them seeing me in my pajamas, but getting dressed before noon just became too much of a burden. So basically everyday they would see me in my pink robe, fuzzy pink slippers, and my hand-me-down Old Navy pajama pants from the early 2000’s (back when Old Navy was at its prime). Such a seductive outfit, I know. With a glass of wine and a playful wink this old maid could be married in no time!

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(Upon taking this picture I realized I don’t know how to wink)

To be honest I wouldn’t even get out of bed before noon, but Full House is on in the mornings so I have to. They just don’t make shows like that anymore. Plus, as I grow older I can relate more and more to Jesse; we both live off of family members and each of us struggle to find a successful career. And we both have great heads of hair.

Since work was being done on our bathroom one chore my dad asked of me was to paint our one foot wide bathroom closet. All I can say is thank God I’m not claustrophobic. Here is a picture of it just to give you an idea of how small it is:

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No, that is not Ms. Trunchbull’s Chokey, it is an actual closet. It’s too soon to tell the permanent damage inhaling all those paint fumes in such a small space has caused me, but I will be sure to send any future medical bills to my parents. I did put a call in to the Department of Child and Family Services to inform them of the situation, but apparently when you are 22 child labor laws don’t apply to you. But all and all I can’t complain, my landlord parents are the best and they treat us well. Plus, gotta earn room and board somehow!


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