Yesterday my wife and I went to a workshop on house cleaning presented by our neighbor who does professional home cleaning services. Since I have done most of the house cleaning for the past couple of years since my wife's ability to do cleaning has been limited by sciatic pain, my wife thought I could probably use a few new pointers. Lo and behold, I was the only male there among 15 women. I immediately detected the possibility that men just simply do not do house cleaning and that house cleaning is strictly women's work. Nonetheless, I braved my minority status and sat through the 45 minute presentation and learned a few do's and don'ts that should help in my efforts to try and keep our homes clean.
I am not without janitorial experience, however. For four years, I was a janitor on the University of Wyoming Buildings and Grounds student janitorial crew. At one time or another, I carried the master keys to virtually every building on the University campus, including Old Main, which included the administrative offices such as the President's office. Looking back on it, I am amazed that a 17 year old kid was entrusted with such a responsibility. I'm not sure how much I learned. The routine was basically the same each night: empty the waste baskets, wipe the ash trays, dust the window sills, dust mop or wet mop the floors. Cleaning the "Half-Acre" Gym, Wyoming's original large gymnasium, involved pushing a six-foot dust mop up and down the huge expanse of hardwood flooring. At various times, I also janitored for the phone company and then was responsible, with my partner, for the Roach Building, Laramie's skyscraper at 5 stories high. Coal cinders from steam locomotives were the main affliction of downtown buildings and painful eyes, since diesels didn't come into being on transcontinental railroads until 1957. The main method of janitorial skill I learned was the "lick and a promise" method: Give it a lick today, and promise to do a better job tomorrow. Janitor work was hard work, and mostly done in the middle of the night and early morning hours, causing my 8:00 o'clock instructors to chew me out for dozing off once in awhile. But, at 75 cents per hour, it got me through school and so I was grateful for the opportunity.
So, at least, I am not intimidated by cleaning up messes, vacuuming, doing windows, mirrors, bathrooms, mopping floors, etc., etc. Mainly, I am thankful I am still able to do at least a reasonably presentable job of house cleaning since my wife has had to deal with her painful malady. Maybe I am making up for many decades of slothfulness and depending on her for everything. I sort of knew what all this work was like, but I have an even greater appreciation for what was done for me all of those years.