“Rest and be thankful.” William Wordsworth, British poet
Once, when I was just old enough to read but not old enough to do much of anything else, I loved poring over household hints in magazines.
Now, such advice is the currency of Pinterest and more blogs than could possibly be read in a lifetime. Then, if you wanted to know the “best” way to slice an onion or fold a fitted sheet, you had to find someone who knew such secrets. Or, read about them in a “womens” magazine, many of which paid readers for such tips.
On sleepy Saturday mornings, I would rest in bed, trying to think up a tip good enough to weasel my way into one of these publications. Being 8 or 9 or 10, I had none. Not that it stopped me from trying. I mailed off several, no doubt to the amusement of whoever opened my handwritten letters.
Why household tips? I have no idea, but to this day, home life is one thing that gets my A+ effort. In a way, at least.
I will spend hours keeping the house tidy and pretty. A+ effort all the way. My closet could literally be photographed for publication. It is small, but it is arranged in chocolate-box splendor. There is even art tucked here and there.
Our shower tile will never be photographed, however. Grout cleaning gets only grudging minutes of my time. A seldom-opened cabinet in the kitchen is tidied only once a year, in spite of prevailing air currents that sail dog hair under its door. I have only vacuumed the refrigerator’s coils once in the last decade.
Why the difference? Why beauty but not universal deep-down clean? It goes back to the same magazines.
Once, when I was just old enough to read but not old enough to do much of anything else, I came across the Best Tip Ever. “Not everything in life warrants your A+ work. Sometimes a B or even a C+ will do. Learn to recognize the difference.”
Sometimes a C+ will do. The woman who wrote that probably got paid, but not nearly enough.