White Gloves Optional

Growing up in a house with a large family meant that everyone had a job. During the school year Saturday was cleaning day. Summer meant everyday was cleaning day to a certain extent.  It was often difficult to find inexpensive household help …who am I kidding my parents had seven healthy children thus we were the free help. Child labor laws did not apply in our household.

This could have been any one of the four girls in my family.


While my three brothers also participated in the cleaning somehow they managed to always have plans that kept them from extended cleaning activities.

I do believe I may still be traumatized by the dusting of nick-knacks, ironing of sheets, vacuuming three flights of steps and that was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to cleaning in what seemed like a Titanic sized home. There was one bright spot… only one bathroom…

My mother was the chief supervisor of our cleaning tasks and you were not dismissed until she gave it her seal of approval…This approval looked something like…..

white glove test

Today and for as long as I have been keeping house I can say that I enjoy things to be neat and clean, but I have never pulled out the white gloves….and there are times when I let a paper pile get a bit taller than intended. When I am feeling a little OIP (overwhelmed in paper) coming on I declare a “Paper Reduction Campaign” is in progress…hold onto to  your tickets (really, it might get shredded)….because the shredder comes out, the power grid reaches a critical status and a trail of paper shreds leads to the guilty party (me)…giddily shredding . There is something quite gratifying watching the past month or two disintegrate before my eyes.

paper shred



Mission accomplished and not a tear is shred shed.



  1. Denise says:

    Same scenario in my house. Four children – two of whom were boys so they of course were excused. Fortunately, two bathrooms so no favoritism as to which daughter got assigned that task. To this day I still detest that job.

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