Learning how to run a household from our mothers, the Queens of Clean

May 30, 2023
What cleaning advice did you mother give you? Source: Getty

Those were the days when in the long ago, we toddled off to be duly wed.

After the service at our nuptial meal celebration, his mother and my mother somehow rolled up in identical black frocks. Was that a prophetically sad omen?

Despite the intercultural contest, (or context), our mums proceeded to get on like a house on fire. They discovered their female common interest in (of all things) housework. Sad, but true.

But while my late husband was getting plastered, I sat there sober. I don’t drink, but I nearly succumbed as I listened to over two hours of chats between the Queens of Clean.

What was so interesting? Well, I received life coaching in the benefits of Nifti as a household cleaner. I must say, heeding their advice, I used Nifti as a household cleaner for years. Its plastic squirt bottle never changed.

Moving right along, by the time desserts came around, these two grand dames of our future marital disharmony debated the worthy merits of cleaning windows. I had to apply Ammonia, and scrub with scrunched-up newspaper, and use lots of elbow grease. Very old-fashioned that, good old elbow grease.

Here today, I glance at my windows—whoops. Well, there is always Windex. No one buys newsprint these days in our modern world. Must clean the windows, one cool day. Hello, coffee, now I am thinking about housework.

In that epic wedding, our Queens of Clean mums were the proud silver sixty-year-olds. Now I too, am a silver sixty. None of us seems to recall growing this old. I own my cellulite even if it looks a bit of a fright. I am pacing myself towards seventy, and take dreadful selfies, like a lot of us. Hilarious, best to travel through life incognito.

As I age,  I consider the best gifts in life cannot be bought. Peaceful, slow news days. Really, none of us would have it any other way, while aiming to be the best person I can be. Kindness can be magic.

Yes, I own silver hair now, plus cellulite, and believe in being kind to all I meet. Nothing wrong with showing gratitude to people in our normal routine. As a supermarket chick does say, “Have a great day!” Nicely, of course. In the past few years, we have appreciated the folk who kept on keeping on, doing their best despite the pandemic and lockdowns.

I do wonder if I have turned into a carbon copy of my Queen of Clean (apart from the windows). Those were the days when a young bride was expected to be on standby for housework and funny business. That was supposed to make my husband really happy. Sort of like a Mattel Barbie. However, this little Old Barbie considers we are humans, not state-of-the-art vinyl. We all ended up single, including the males, not the end of the world. There are other more positive things to think about.

Good call, setting positive, realistic goals for silver sixties. As well as cellulite, like the Queens of Clean, my friends and I all own a large, black shoulder bag, full of necessities. My bag contains items for any minor emergency. It holds Bandaids, Panadol, hay fever remedies, and tampons, in case any young chick needs them. Then there are tissues, address books with vital phone numbers and passwords, scripts, hankies, the purse, spare coins – you name it.

I can never find anything I really need, without intense rummaging, but that is normal for silver sixties women. Just a minute here, I shall rummage. Aha, found my car keys! Plus a spare set!

I must say, I do use other solvents for cleaning. “For this, I got married once,” I ponder, wiping the shower. Guess our Queens of Clean were a genre, as the years rolled past.

Yes, those were the days. Are we too nostalgic in our silver sixties, for times that may never have been so good?

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