Do you remember my Olympic bag?

I was carrying it one day when I went into my local LYS, and the nice lady there asked about it. I told her how I had made it, and she told me about her sweater, too.

It was a very enjoyable conversation — I think I wrote about it in my xanga, in fact.

I was surprised, however, to open the latest newsletter from that LYS and find a picture which could very well have been my bag, identified as “Cynthia’s Felted Drawstring Purse.” You can take a class to get the pattern and learn how to make it.

Check it out and see whether it seems perhaps to have been inspired by mine. She used a zigzag stitch instead of modular knitting, but I think it would have been more honest of her to mention that hers was inspired by the one a customer had made up.

Never mind.

I am going to buy a Swiffer. This is a sort of modern mop with Velcro and jets of water and stuff. It may or may not be associated with a commercial featuring a handsome Australian who comes in and cleans the floors of total strangers.

You see, I am not good at cleaning floors. I can always come up with a theory for everything, so I can offer a few theories for why I am so bad at floors. They are, of course, big flat surfaces, which I hate. And then, I am nearsighted and rarely wear my glasses, so it may be that I just don’t see them well enough. And — while I am sure that my mother cleaned the floors when I was growing up — I cannot actually remember any floor-cleaning going on, so I never learned how.

These may be theories, but they are no excuse. I learned later how to clean floors properly. In the summer between my undergrad and grad school, I needed a completely mindless job, and a friend hooked me up with a job as a maid at a luxury apartment building in La Jolla.

Oddly enough, the people I cleaned for mistook me for a maid. They gave me old shoes and magazines to take to my mother. One man, a physicist, used to shake his head and mutter about the waste of a fine mind when he paid me. And one woman kindly explained about Social Security and showed me how to scrub floors with two buckets, two cloths, and a brush. “We’ll make a housekeeper of you yet!” she said grimly as I struggled with this entirely foreign set of tools.

So that is the only way to clean a floor that I know, and obviously I’m not going to do that very often.

I do know how to vacuum, by the way. I vacuumed as a child. However, my husband comes from a foreign country, where they do not have electricity, let alone vacuum cleaners, and he got the impression that a vacuum was like a lawnmower, a machine which men would use, not women. He has lived here a long time now, and knows that American women use vacuums and even lawnmowers, but we have already established that vacuuming is a man’s job. Our vacuum cleaner is large and black and labeled “The Boss.” So I am speaking here of hard floors.

The Empress had given us permission to clean the appalling pit which is the kitchen at the store. All of us use the kitchen, at least to set our purses in, but The Empress and That Man own all the stuff in it, so the rest of us do not feel free to throw things away without permission. This we achieve about twice a year.

So the new girl was doing a slap-up cleaning job (she carries Clorox wipes in her car), and The Empress was inspired to go out and buy her a Swiffer to use on the nasty floor.

Both The Empress and the new girl have these things at home, though they both hastened to assure me that they preferred to clean hard floors on their hands and knees. Of course.

Me, I am hoping that the Swiffer will look to my boys like a tool or weapon of some kind, something a man would use.