Before our housekeeper comes, I require the kids to straighten up.  Some people, including my kids, cluelessly ask, “Why would you clean up for the maid?  That’s her job!”

These are the same people who freak out because they can’t find stuff after the cleaning lady leaves the house.  They cannot find it because she has moved it to dust a dresser or to wipe down the bathroom sink.  Had you put your stuff up in a place of your own choosing before she came, this would not have happened.

Straightening up is different from cleaning up.  As a rule, if you need a tool (brush, rag, vaccum) to complete the job, it’s cleaning.  If you’re just doing it with your hands, it is straightening up.

DJ has slovenly tendencies when it comes to her room.  And no matter how far in advance I warn her of the impending clean up, she waits until ten minutes before she leaves for school on the morning of Miss Julie’s arrival to begin to clear her counters.  Therefore, everything ends up in the top drawer of her large black nightstand, The Clutter Cabinet.

Recently, she misplaced her driver’s permit for about six weeks.  She found it was more difficult to replicate than she originally thought and therefore, after I told her she wasn’t going to get her license on her birthday if she didn’t do some more driving, she began tearing up her bedroom to retrieve the little ticket toward ultimate freedom.

As I walked up the stairs to her room last Monday night, she yelled, “Dad – I found my permit!  Oh, and look in the top drawer!”

“I’m not sure I want to.”

“No!  You’ll like it.”

I slowly pulled at the knobs, afraid a canned snake might spring out at my curious face.

Instead, I found… a neatened up drawer with only 9 items inside.  And every one of them was a pair of scissors.  A treasure-trove of double-bladed cutlery.


“Look what I found dad,” she bragged, “your scissors!”

She has 9 pair of my scissors upstairs in her nightstand, and I’m downstairs licking and folding wrapping paper back and forth to try to get it to tear evenly.  Little Suzie’s mother thinks I had her birthday present wrapped by a slobbering monkey.

“Michelle, why is your present moist?  Slobbering monkeys wrap it?”

“No.  Dad.  He licked the paper trying to get it to rip evenly.  He can’t find the scissors.”

As I gazed at my new-found booty, my mind immediately jumped to the 1990’s movie, Edward Scissorhands.


I didn’t see it, but the previews clearly stuck with me.  I never understood though, was he born with full-grown scissors as his hands or did he start out with the little kindergarten jobbers and grow into the full machete type blades?  His mother must have had a C-section.

How did he use the bathroom?  I worry about my zipper nicking something down there, imagine if you had scissors for hands.  Ouch.

And who came up with this idea?  Would you make a movie about someone with a hole puncher attached to their butt?  It’s just not that interesting.

Why would DJ need that many pair of scissors?  Has she opened a Supercuts in her bedroom that I’m unaware of?  Is she making her own clothes – cutting out patterns with calico fabric from Piece Goods?  Has she picked up making paper snowflakes as a high school hobby?

No – she uses one pair, sets it on her dresser, and then 10 minutes before school starts on Miss Julie’s day, she rakes it into The Clutter Cabinet.

I’m going to clean under her bed this summer.  Who knows?  I may find Jimmy Hoffa.

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  1. HA, I’m exactly like your daughter. EVERYTIME I have to clean up, everything either gets put in an ever-shifting pile that’s moved around the room (and drives my bf mad!) or thrown into a ‘junk box’ where things go to live forever and I usually just buy new ones cos I’ve forgotten I actually own one already. I own four phone chargers. This is why.

  2. Hopie

     /  February 6, 2013

    I think this post was destined for your friend, Randy — his 2 biggest gripes are picking up for the cleaning lady and where the 3 girls in the house have hidden all the scissors:) Thanks for keeping us all laughing — you are a great writer, Bruce!

  3. Leigh Ann

     /  February 15, 2013

    We can team her up with my oldest…she hoards all the tape in the house.

  4. Randomly found your blog through boredom. It’s incredibly heartfelt, poignant, and laugh out loud hysterical. Thank you for sharing your story! Many blessings to you and your beautiful family.


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