Wednesday, March 9, 2011

353. Clean Up (A Dream)

(The following is a kooky DREAM SEQUENCE, one of many that grace my nocturnal hours. This did not happen in real life—it is only a dream!)

So there I am in my friend Sandy’s kitchen, drinking a glass of wine. I hear people in the next room laughing and talking, and I am immediately overcome with feelings of extreme self-consciousness and the realization that I am not supposed to be here. I accidentally drop my wine glass, which breaks into large shards on the tile floor. Shoot! What now?

I find a small broom and dustpan in the pantry, and I start sweeping up the broken glass. I hope it was not too expensive, or part of a set that has been discontinued. Now I hear footsteps coming toward the kitchen; it turns out to be Sandy’s husband, whom I’ve never met.

Yikes! What am I going to do now? Play it off like Sandy invited me? I look down to verify what I am wearing: nice gray pants, black cashmere sweater, black ballet flats, my chunky turquoise bracelet—I could maybe fit in with this party. But what if this is an extended family gathering, and clearly I do not belong?

I do what I do best in these situations: panic. Don walks into the kitchen, takes one look at me, then looks back in the direction of his guests. My heart is beating very fast, wondering what will happen next. Is he going to yell at me for the broken glass? What about the general trespassing and standing around in his kitchen without being invited?

I give a weak smile. “Hi,” I squeak, “you must be Sandy’s husband.” For some reason, I don’t actually introduce myself.

“Oh,” he says, gesturing to the broom and the broken glass, “uh, what happened?”

“The glass broke,” I shrug, employing a maneuver made famous by my younger son: talking in a passive way (the glass broke, never I broke the glass).

He turns away from me. What is he going to do?

He yells up the stairs. “Sandy! Sandy!”  He seems like he might be mad, but I don't know him, so I'm not sure. 

I feel like I am six years old and about to cry. I know Don is a lawyer, maybe he is going to have Sandy call the police and have me arrested for trespassing, stealing wine, and breaking his expensive Williams-Sonoma wine glass.

Sandy does not walk down the stairs. Who knows where she has gone. Instead, five or six other party-goers materialize in the kitchen and they are all staring at me.

“Well, looks like you are almost done there, huh?” says Don finally. “I’ll tell Sandy you’re done then.”

Ah, he is giving me the opportunity to leave, like it never happened. This is an opportunity I am going to take.

“Yes, yes, I’m done,” I say accommodatingly, setting the broom back in the pantry, “I will go ahead and leave now.”

“Let me get my checkbook,” says Don weirdly.


Don’s guests are standing around the kitchen, nibbling on cheese and crackers, ignoring me.

Don reappears with his checkbook. Now it is becoming clear to me that he is going to be writing a check to me for some reason.

This is all very mysterious to me. I decide I won’t argue with him, I will just graciously accept the check (for not suing him for almost cutting myself on his faulty wine glasses and possibly bleeding to death at a party I was not invited to?).

He signs the check with a flourish and hands it to me. I smile, say “Thank you,” and head toward the door. He nods, then murmurs, “See you next time.”

I glance at the amount of the check: $300. Wow! Cool! I can buy something great!

Then I read the “memo” part of the check: he scribbled in the words “cleaning services.”

He thinks I am the cleaning lady. I’m not the cleaning lady, I think, outraged. I’m not exactly sure why I’m in their house drinking their wine, but I certainly don’t want to scrub their toilets or clean behind their refrigerator.

Who does he think he is, assuming that I am the maid? I need to correct him and give the check back.

I do the only thing I can: I fold the check neatly and slip it in my pocket. I turn back to Don and say, “Tell Miss Sandy I’ll be back next Wednesday!”

(“Mistaken Other Version”)


  1. Mov,

    Have a question.

    You see those Reaction tabs you have right above this comment? Tell me how you have em set up. I mean, I am not for sure how to express my reaction appropriately. I always, well almost always, L.O.V.E the stories you tell. However, sometimes they are so HAHAHA funny, that I both L.O.V.E. them and HAHAHA them! Occassionally though, it will be ALL three. Help me, Help you. Should I check all three? Or will that even work?

    At any rate, this is ANOTHER good one. I could totally relate to those dreams that you don't want to end.. (I wanted to see what you spent the $300 on!)

    PS, I'd love to get paid $300 to clean... toilets, fridges and all.


  2. Hey Tera!

    Thanks for writing. This was a fun story for me to post. :) As for the reactions, it only lets you do one at a time. My understanding is, if you click on a different one, the first one is no longer checked. (A way around it is to read it on 3 separate occasions and check each box separately those times! ha ha).

    As for what my dream self would spend that money on... I dont' know. Since it is a dream, how about a really fancy pair of shoes that I would never ever buy when I am awake?!


  3. Sleep shoes? Nothing better than a pair of expensive sleep shoes.


When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)