I cleaned house this morning, and it has been an embarrasingly long time since I did so. I have an hour scheduled every Saturday morning for cleaning, but lately I have been in meetings or working at a computer instead of scrubbing.

I scrubbed the kitchen floor on my hands and knees. This is not because my mother taught me to do that. My mother had no housekeeping skills, actually. She gave me one piece of housekeeping advice: “You don’t want it to look like you just cleaned. You want it to look as though you always cleaned.”

But the summer between graduating college and starting grad school I took a mindless job as a maid in an upscale apartment complex and one of the women I cleaned for actually thought I was a maid.

I can’t imagine how she got that impression.

However, I remember her every time I scrub a floor, because she taught me how to do so properly, standing over me as I worked cheering me on with cries of, “We’ll make a housekeeper out of you yet!”

It must have been like the people cheering on their entries in turtle races.

So I got a bucket of hot soapy water and a sponge and a clean cloth and set to work. Actually, the proper techniques requires several clean cloths, but I am not a crazy person. I do it sort of right and then finish up with a Swiffer.

My husband criticized my technique. He sploshed dirty water onto the floor in large amounts and pushed a torn T shirt around in the dregs.

I left the room.

My husband has a hard time seeing other people doing work. He’s always convinced that he could do it better. He’s often right. Whether he is right or wrong, he has to step in and do it himself.

I scrubbed the bathroom, dusted the living room, and began to vacuum. This brought me into my husband’s line of sight. He told me to stop vacuuming; he would do it.

In any case, my house is nice and clean. I like that.