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  • It’s Not A Party Without Properly Cleaned Switchplates

    November 26, 2006

    If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know that Antique Daddy and I are both kind of obsessive compulsive. He is an obsessive wiper downer and I’m obsessive about orderliness. It would probaby be okay if we just limited this brand of craziness to our own house, but we don’t. And that makes us delightful house guests. If you want your bathroom linen closet rearranged and wiped down.

    Over Thanksgiving we stayed with Aunt Jean who is in her mid-80s. Her schedule rivals that of Condoleeza Rice. The woman is busy and does not have time to be bothered with a misfolded towel or a water spot on the counter. Enter the Antiques.

    The day after Thanksgiving, Aunt Jean hosted the annual gathering of the cousins. About 35 people descended upon her house like a horde of pimento cheese-eating locusts. Since we were staying with her, we “helped” her get ready for the gathering. By helped I mean that I arranged the sandwich tray so that it was symmetrical and Antique Daddy wiped down everything.

    The next morning as we were eating breakfast, we basked in the glory of the success of the event. Aunt Jean agreed. “Yes indeed,” she said, “The party was a big success and I think we owe it all the fact that Antique Daddy unscrewed all the switch plates and wiped behind them.”

    Zing! Oh to be so quick and snarky. I bow at her feet and pray that my son might have inherited some of her DNA. And that just a smidge might rub off on me by proximity.


    1. Linda says:

      She’s a hoot!! As far as compulsive cleaning goes, I think my husband’s late Uncle won the prize in our family. As soon as we got up from the table after a delicious dinner, he would whip out the vacuum cleaner and start vacuuming the dining room. You had to be quick in order not to be swept off your feet!!

      November 26th, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    2. Big Mama says:

      It’s because once you reach your mid-80’s, you’re fully aware of what makes a good party.

      November 26th, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    3. Blog Antagonist says:

      I sure like Aunt Jean. Would that we could all have one of her in our lives!

      November 26th, 2006 at 7:26 pm

    4. Traci says:

      Zings like that are priceless…Do you think one can get some of that good kind of quickness and snarkiness just by reading about it on a blog? I can hope, can’t I? (My DNA tends to O/C but either dry as toast about it all or else a leetle bit tooooo snarky.)

      November 26th, 2006 at 7:32 pm

    5. Sarah says:

      How have I been reading your blog long enough to know immediately, “Oh, Aunt Jean –she’s the one with the bouncin’ and behavin’ hair!” but just now be figuring out what a neat freak the two of you are??? I’m trying to get over it — quick and snarky are the defense mechanisms of those of us who feel as if the neat freaks of the world are grossed out by us because they go around and clean up behind us! I love Aunt Jean more all the time! 🙂

      November 26th, 2006 at 7:49 pm

    6. His Singer says:

      BEHIND the light switches???

      Oh Lordie, my mother has met her match!

      November 26th, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    7. Lyric says:

      Love the word “snarky” – haven’t heard anyone use it but me in ages!!

      I love dropping here… 🙂

      November 26th, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    8. Pass the Torch says:

      Oh my good Lord.

      You’d both go totally crazy in my house.

      We don’t even have half our switchplates.

      November 26th, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    9. Elise says:

      Aren’t you afraid that if a smidge of her DNA rubs off on you, your husband is going to have to wipe it off? 🙂

      November 27th, 2006 at 12:15 am

    10. Jenny says:

      That’s the kind of wittiness we *all* aim for.

      PS. When I saw that your husband was an obsessive “wiper-downer” my first thought was “does wiping down mean wiping toward the ass or toward the crotch? Which way is down?”

      Sorry. Should have kept that one to myself probably.

      November 27th, 2006 at 4:59 am

    11. Homeschool Mama says:

      The whole time I was at my mom’s for Thanksgiving I was wondering if she would notice if I threw some stuff away and cleaned. I’m sure I sound crazy, but she STILL has a broken stool upside down on the cabinet in the laundry room from my middle school years. I’m 32…
      I also was imagining what I would have to do to sell the house, like on Flip This House. I think I’d rather just tell my brother “It’s all yours!” What a nightmare!

      November 27th, 2006 at 7:27 am

    12. chilihead says:

      LOL. Lovin’ the auntie.

      November 27th, 2006 at 9:13 am

    13. Shalee says:

      Well if you got a smidge of it on you, Antique Daddy would probably just wipe it off again.

      And I long for you all to be house guests… How about right before we put our house on the market, say in the spring?

      You certainly are blessed with Aunt Jean!

      November 27th, 2006 at 9:29 am

    14. Leslie says:

      You’re invited to my house anytime! I could use a little help in the orderliness department.

      November 27th, 2006 at 10:44 am

    15. Wendy Boucher says:

      Priceless. I hope I am exactly like Aunt Jean when I’m older.

      November 27th, 2006 at 11:29 am

    16. Kristin says:

      Fabulous…but yet, could Antique Daddy come round to my house to help me tidy up?

      November 27th, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    17. Jules @ Everyday Mommy says:

      And, when you’re in your mid-80’s you have nothing to lose. You can say anything you’d like. What are people going to do? You’re in your mid-80’s! Ziiiiiiinnnnnggg!

      November 27th, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    18. Faith says:

      If you are in your 80’s and anybody says you are quick and snarky – it is a successful life indeed!! Go Aunt Jean!!

      November 27th, 2006 at 4:00 pm

    19. Cathy says:

      my house goes on the market friday, send antique daddy on over here!!

      November 27th, 2006 at 9:21 pm

    20. Damselfly says:

      Did he really?! Wow, that *is* obsessive.

      November 28th, 2006 at 7:49 am

    21. jen says:


      November 28th, 2006 at 9:08 am

    22. Delphine Leach says:

      On a wet, cold Sunday aftermnoon in England, you are a joy to read. Look forward to reading all your blogs

      December 3rd, 2006 at 10:06 am

    23. Gina says:

      I found your blog in a round about way. I make switch plates and googled using the word switch plates and this came up.

      I really enjoyed your story, it gave me a chuckle. Your Aunt Jean sounds like a spitfire!

      May 27th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

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