(Michele Wojciechowski, part of the 2012 EBWW faculty, is publishing her first humorous book, Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box. Here’s an excerpt.)
There are some things in life that just don’t mix: oil and water, gas and a match, ketchup and ice cream (unless you’re into that sort of thing — gag).
I’ve discovered a new one: my husband and the Magic Eraser.
If you don’t know what the Magic Eraser is, let me tell you about it. It’s this cleaning thing (yes, I’m sure those are the exact words used by the product’s marketing department) by Mr. Clean. It’s white and kind of spongy, and is shaped much like an eraser.
And it’s magic. Really.
You wet it and wipe a black mark on your wall — POOF! It’s gone. No sticky cleaners to use. Nothing. It’s just gone.
It reminds me of what my late grandmother used to say about the fax machine: “I don’t understand how it does it; it’s like voodoo.”
Since we’ve gotten our house together to be shown, we’ve cleaned it so much. In fact, we’ve probably cleaned it more in the last week than we have in the last decade.
(And if you’re my mother-in-law, and you’re reading this, please disregard that previous sentence. It’s lies, all lies. Our house is always sparkling clean. I swear.)
The one thing about getting your house so clean is that you start to notice things that you normally wouldn’t.
Here’s the part where my husband and the Magic Eraser come in.
Brad began using the Magic Eraser on spots that were obvious, like fingerprints or a smear here or there.
Now he’s begun to get a little batty with it.
He’s a man on a mission…
I came downstairs the other day—and it was on a day when there were people scheduled to look at the house—and he suddenly came walking by, eraser in hand.
“Honey, what are you doing?” I asked. “We’re getting ready to go.”
“Just a minute. Look at all these spots on the wall. I’ve got to get rid of them,” he replied.
I didn’t see a thing. But his face was about one millimeter from the wall, so he must have been able to see things that I couldn’t.
Or he’s developed superpowers and can see into the very fiber of the walls. The way he’s been cleaning, that’s more likely what has happened.
So we’re getting ready to leave to have lunch and see a movie. He got the Magic Eraser again.
“Wait a minute, there’s a mark here on the door,” he said, scrubbing away.
Then he saw — GASP — a tiny spot near the doorknob.
On the basement door.
Where no one is going to look anyway.
(I can guarantee that there are no spots of any kind on our walls, doors, doorframes, ceilings, closet doors, or cabinet doors. At least none that I’ve seen or that my husband and his superpowers and trusty Magic Eraser have seen.)
He kept Magic Erasering the walls until I told him that if we didn’t leave immediately, we would not only miss lunch and the movie, but we would look like goofballs when the people who were coming to view the home walked in.
Can you imagine that? We’d look completely OCD. Or like we were cleaning up from a crime scene — neither of which makes a good impression on potential buyers.
By this time, our house was even more sparkling clean than it was five minutes before, when we were initially leaving. And he had used this particular Magic Eraser until it was all scrunchy looking. It had seen better days. He threw it away, and we got ready to leave.
First, though, he had to run upstairs to get something. And it’s a good thing he did.
In his quest to keep our house looking as clean as possible, my husband had taken all of our dirty laundry down to the basement early that morning.
Except for one thing.
A pair of dirty underwear that he dropped on the steps.
Where anyone viewing the house would have not only seen them, but also had to step over them.
And I don’t know about you, but seeing someone else’s dirty underwear doesn’t exactly make me want to buy a house.
The checklist we consult before leaving the house will now include, “Make sure there’s no dirty underwear on the floor.”
Because that’s one thing the Magic Eraser can’t get rid of.
— Michele Wojciechowski
Michele Wojciechowski, part of the faculty at the 2012 EBWW, is a national award-winning freelance writer and humorist who writes the weekly humor column Wojo’s World.