Achievement Related Pleasure

I have a new bookshelf coming tomorrow from Scanteak. I had to move one of my Chinese antique cabinets up to the top level on my split-level dining/living room to make some space below. This cabinet currently houses all my grog glasses, plus the grog itself.

I removed the glasses and bottles and placed them on the dining table. I turned the cabinet so that it was back against the large step which divides the upper dining area from the lower lounge area. The cabinet is quite light so I was able to lean it back against the ledge and raise it slowly by myself until the bottom edge of the cabinet slipped almost imperceptibly onto the upper level. (I had a remarkable golf shot out of a greenside bunker once where the ball slipped perfectly on the green as if I had rolled it on directly, and it went straight on into the hole as surely as if it were placed on this earth only to follow that one path - man, that felt good.)

I thought my elevation of the cabinet was quite a logistical achievement from one so non-DIY as myself. I repositioned the cabinet in its new place, moving another antique Chinese desk to one side to make room.

Then I polished the shelves of the cabinet lightly with a dust cloth.

I was about to replace all those wine, champagne, cocktail and shot glasses when I realised they were dull, smokey and lacking in that appealing lustre of freshly clean glassware. (Crystal too, there are some Waterford pieces, a Christmas gift from my former boss in Hong Kong, as well.) In the old days, The Mouse would have regularly polished these glasses but the current maid (I have to look on my phone to remember her name) doesn't think like this, or perhaps I just never told her to do it. She is only here for a few hours a week and has enough work ironing, mopping, dusting and just generally putting things away to fill in her time. Whereas the Mouse had days on her own with nothing else to do except play house.

So I got a clean cloth (not the cloth I used to polish the shelves, as that had a residue of the spray-on furniture polish I'd used on it) and polished each of the glasses until they sang with pristine clarity. Most satisfying.

They look so nice now it'd almost be a shame to drink from them, but it would also be a pleasure, as I'd know that it was I who put that brilliance back into their limpid transparency.


The Shining


Would it surprise you to hear that my divorce was pretty much over how I fussed over the cleanliness of drinking glasses? Otherwise, you see, I am total slob. Look at this desk for an example. My ex-wife just couldn't reconcile such a personality discrepancy and it gnawed away on her until eventually she ran away with a door-to-door shower-rose salesman.


The Messing

I'd never actually get verbal or outwardly angry over her persistently substandard (to my degree of pernickityness) cleaning of the glassware. I'd just hold one of her finger-print or lipsstick smudged "clean" glasses to the light. Sometimes I'd say something like, "Would you accept this from a resturant?" She'd say, "We're not IN a fucking restaurant!" Or other times, and this would upset her even more, I'd say nothing at all but merely place the glass back -- on the dirty dishes side of the sink! She'd generally storm out of the kitchen at that point and I'd have the solitary satisfaction of cleaning them myself.

It wouldn't be the only solitary satisfaction I have that night week month.



Posted by: expat@large on Feb 11, 07 | 5:40 pm | Profile


I bought a dishwasher because I was fed up of having subpar washed glasses (yes yes by the maid) 'tis a thing of mine! I'll come and inspect yours next time I'm over your way.

Posted by: Mia on Feb 12, 07 | 7:31 pm

Feel free. Mia casa e su casa, Mia.

Posted by: expat@large on Feb 12, 07 | 7:50 pm

Oh the fumes from the burning tissues. A substandard means of disposing snotty MRSA infested fire-lighters.

Posted by: the Ex on Feb 20, 07 | 5:25 am

One the saviors of my next long-term realtionship will be that I hardly ever get those snotty colds in the tropics (not counting all last week). Who says I had MRSA?

Posted by: expat@large on Feb 20, 07 | 5:55 pm


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