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Cleaning Out the Refrigerator

March 8, 2009
Why yes, that is what I did on a Sunday. It is fascinating work, really. I started with the door. Always an easy start, but maybe not advisable because you may want to quit before you get to the larger compartments. I say this because I am well aware of how a feeling of accomplishment must be consistently felt in order to complete a menial task. At least for me. I get no pleasure from chores, other than the slight pleasure I feel with the finished product. I had a friend once tell me housework was liberating for her because it put her mind in a carefree realm. Whatever did she mean? I don’t know, because I have stopped folding towels in mid-fold. Just left the dryer door opened and walked away. I’ve left a sink half-scrubbed. A table half-polished. With no guilt, no remorse, no shame. Yet, here it is, all these years later since the first time I reflected on my inability to complete a chore and I still ask myself why I cannot finish the simplest domestic chore. We are very fortunate that the cleanliness of our house is not dependent on me. I am an inside-to-outside type cleaner (or perhaps another word for it, a deep-cleaner), and that method is not practical for day-to-day upkeep.

The little containers in the refrigerator door can be removed, thus, it lessens the back aching aspect of that area. Apparently, somewhere along the way, since the last time the refrigerator was cleaned out, there was a shredded cheese explosion, obvious by all the shredded cheese that turned up. Then there was the fun in finding expired expiration dates to salad dressings, pickles, relishes, grated Parmesan cheese, and mole. That is mole, as in molay! I love that stuff, nothing cooks pinto beans as well as some mole. I remember when I was at the height of hating my mother and determined not do anything the way she does/did, I tried to cook pinto beans without mole. A disaster every time, and, I learned that red pepper powder is not what gave her beans the color and texture they had. As a child, there were days that I came home from school, disappointed when I walked in the house and smelled pinto beans cooking. Smelling them in the spring and summer months was harder to bear than in the winter months, but overall, I never grew to detest them, because pinto beans did make me full. Unlike the dreaded black eyed peas. When I smelled those, I knew I was in for a hungry night. I loathe them, their taste, their smell, their beady little black eyes.

Can you ever clean out a crisper without finding an onion’s outer peel? Well, I guess you would not find an onion’s outer peel if you do not store your onions in the refrigerator. I’m not sure about the rules. And I don’t necessarily trust the opinions of others around me, because, I still have a hard time getting on board with the whole concept of leaving the ketchup in the cupboard, instead of cooling in the refrigerator. If not an onion peel there is always the nasty, sometimes slimy substance underneath the vegetable crispers. Always a satisfying find. Usually it is nothing more than a stray piece of lettuce that made its way underneath the crisper bins and wilted. But it does feel good knowing that every little crevice is scrubbed and every little stray piece of food is recovered.

No internal piece can escape from the warm soap and water, including the seal around the door, the tight accordion-like seal. I will get a toothbrush between those layers if I have to.

Don’t get me started on the trays and the bins. I can count which hole I removed a shelf from and still have trouble putting it back where it belongs, and that is if I can get the damn thing out to begin with. There is this lift and push motion that is required for the shelves to come out, but I don’t discover it at first, because I usually start pulling and lowering and getting too frustrated when nothing happens right away.

Then I noticed how the mesh finish on the actual refrigerator’s outside handle was dirty. So that was another scrub job. It had the same dirty appearance that is common around light switches. I hate how that looks and can usually tell when a house is occupied by grubby children or some grubby man who works on cars and other dirty things and carelessly turns on the light switches with their grubby hands. I feel like I sound like Hyacinth Bucket telling everyone to mind her walls. As if. Nevertheless, I do recognize the possible perception I may be conveying.

Anyway, it is all just an exercise in exposing my hypocrisy. I only cleaned out the refrigerator because my friend is coming to stay for a few days. She has been my friend for years and years, and would not say a word about my refrigerator, much less care (I don’t think) but for some reason, I was drawn to clean that refrigerator out, as well as washing the mattress protector on the bed she will be sleeping in, and the sheets (even though they were cleaned already before going into the closet) cleaning the corner of the shower door of the bathroom she will be using, cleaning out the medicine cabinet, and dusting the ceiling fan (Gawd, you should have seen what came off of that thing).

Oh what a pitiful and juvenile fool I can be at times.

  1. penny permalink
    March 9, 2009 1:56 am

    Okay. This is is so weird. Are we related or something? I just cleaned out my refrigerator yesterday(I just finish steam cleaned my rug) because my best friend is coming over for a few days as well.I also keep the onions in the crisper and the ketchup in the frig which most people find weird. You should buy the Magic Eraser to clean the door handle and switch covers or any surface that has crevices.I swear there is nothing better and it takes no effort.
    The funny thing about my best friend is that she is a slob!but I feel the need for everything be spotless before Friday.Something tells me her ass won’t even appreciate it!:)

  2. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    March 9, 2009 2:10 am

    Did you find a little piece of lettuce at the bottom of your fridge?


  3. bonobobabe permalink
    March 9, 2009 4:31 pm

    I am the same way. I like to deep clean stuff, but I can’t do daily maintenance. I like cleaning out the fridge, and I like scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees, but to sweep the floor a couple times a week? Nah, can’t be bothered.

    And really, the only time I clean is when there is company coming.

    But I would like to be neater and be a better housekeeper. I just wish it could happen without my having to clean more. Ha, ha.

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