So Laura has only been back to school a few days, but she's made a new friend in her class, and on Friday afternoon, the girl's mom called me to invite Laura over. They're just one subdivision away, so I was over there dropping her off lickety split. The other mother was very friendly, outgoing, great. We chatted on the driveway for a minute and then I drove away.
When I came back for the pick-up, I stepped inside. I was regaling the mom with tales of our basement project (yes I'm talking about it with everyone), and saying hi to the other members of the family. There are three kids in the family and a couple of those tiny dogs that always seem to be wet on some part of their bodies. So while I'm chatting and trying to be all getting-to-know-you, my eyeballs are magnetically drawn to look at the staircase, which is right in front of me, facing the front door. It was a stair with hardwood steps and white painted risers. What I couldn't stop ogling was a black dirt stain in the middle of each riser, as though months (and years?) of feet had kicked the riser on the way up. I thought, this is totally an instance of how you sometimes don't see your own dirt, 'cause there is no way she wouldn't be scrubbing that right this minute if she knew how it looked. I was trying to pay attention to our convo but my neck wanted to swivel around and look at the stairs. I longed for a magic eraser and a moment alone.
Anyway, we said our fond farewells and then I was in the car with Laura. She said what a great time she'd had with her new pal. Then she said, "Their house is really messy though. It was kind of hard to be there." And then I'm all ears, but I'm trying to be all casual and not lead the witness, and I want to say DID YOU NOTICE THE STAIRS?? but I also don't want to be snitty, but I am hoping simultaneously that I'm raising a child who is observant of these things, even though it is not a huge deal, and so on. So what I decided to say was, "Oh?"
And she said, "Yes, we were making cookies in the kitchen, and it was kind of dirty, and Mrs. D was using a dustbuster to catch fruit flies out of the air."
I said, "Wait, she was doing WHAT?" And Laura described how her friend's mom was standing in the middle of the kitchen, holding a hand-held vacuum, like a butterfly hunter with a net, turning and spinning this way and that, jabbing into the air with her suction wand.
Y'all, I laughed this cleansing laugh that started deep in my belly and bounced off of the sky. It rumbled over the hills and awakened tawny deer nestling in the woods, my laugh did.
Just picturing it, man!
Then we were back home. I told Laura, "Okay, do it again, act out what she was doing." She assumed a half crouch, with the turning in a circle, the crinkled brow, and the semi-fearful jabbing at the air. And she said "Vrrm! Vrrm!" to be the vacuum cleaner noise. Vrrm! Vrrm! Jab jab. Vrrm vrrm!
I wonder if that even works as a way to rid one's living space of fruit flies?
As we say down here, BLESS HER HEART. I want to spend more time with this woman. I think her housekeeping needs work, but I really like her. She has a certain joie de vivre that I want to get next to. Just a hunch.