(A note: this may be a repost from a few weeks ago? Like, Reddit said it had posted, but then when I checked later, it hadn’t actually done so, according to my computer, so I canceled [?] the post, waited for reasons that will obvious in the upcoming paragraph, then decided I had to post it ASAP, because the future ex-Mrs. Pete
will doubtlessly need as much evidence as she can get when the judge ruled on her alimony payments.)
I have been away from Colorado since shortly after Memorial Day weekend. I was in Ohio to pick up an award for my screenplay at a horror festival, after which I decided to continue onto the East Coast to revisit people and places I’d loved during my scholastic years at Teeny Liberal Arts College (where I met Pete...and for that, they may NEVER get a donation from this alum!) and Big NameTM
University. Alas, the timing of the festival meant that I was to miss out on closing day at the one ski area still open in Colorado, perhaps in the whole country.
official end to the season two days before I left reminded me of another Bon Voyage party for my favorite winter sport from seven years ago, before I'd wished Passive-Aggressive Pete a less festive good riddance. The 2010-11 season had been incredible - if I recall correctly, one of our local areas got over 500" of snow that season. That same area finished off this year at 339", to provide context.
My cousins and I had taken shameless advantage of our grandmother's mountain condo during that season so we could avoid the traffic and general awfulness of I-70 during the storms that had frequented the high country, and since we were all in our twenties and were partaking in a sport whose clothing keeps the wearer warm mainly by being airtight enough to allow said wearer to marinate in their own juices, the place had gotten pretty gross by the time the lifts stopped turning. My oldest cousin, E., declared that we should have a cleaning party the weekend after closing, and the rest of us deemed that to be a fair thing to do as thanks for having gotten to use and abuse the place for free all winter.
On cleaning day, we divided the condo into sections to be cleaned by one person. I claimed the kitchen, my female cousin J. volunteered to take on the bathrooms, E. took one bedroom, his younger brother L. had the other, and Pete got the living/dining area. It was agreed that anyone who finished their section early would go help with whatever remained, and since we had a lot of grime to power through, we grabbed our paper towels, sponges, and mops so we could get to it.
Well, most of us did, at any rate. Way back in my post history are my woes re: Pete and cleaning. The tl;dr in case you are as eager to track them down as I am (mobile: can't live with it, can't live without it!) is that Pete claimed to be too anal retentive about cleaning to allow a slob like me to shoulder such an impossible mission, but that usually meant that the task got neglected entirely, as he'd get too busy with his heavy schedule of computer games and masturbating to do it himself.
Well, apparently Pete was just as concerned about my ability to clean the condo's kitchen as he was about my ability to clean the one in our apartment, because rather than get to the living room right away, he decided to hang around the kitchen to give me pointers.
Now, it is worth mentioning - nay, confessing - here that I am one of Dave Barry's Cleaning Impaired People; before I had a dishwasher, plates would pile up in the sink until I ran out, and even then, I might at least contemplate buying some paper plates at the store before resignedly rolling up my sleeves and grabbing the dish soap. Even these days, it would not be out of the ordinary to find evidence from my last meal in the sink right up until I'm about to eat the next meal. It's just not a priority for me, and since bugs aren't a big problem in Denver and more meticulous roommates aren't a problem in my home, I see no reason to make it one.
Still, I can - and do - clean up when it is necessary to do so. I know how to do so, as well. Trust me when I say that the ten to fifteen minutes Pete lingered in the kitchen like a hungover fart, blocking access to the sink while he lectured me on what a sponge was and how to use one, were both unneeded and unappreciated.
Eventually, the fact that I continued to maneuver around him so that I could wipe down the counters, stove, and fridge despite his attempts to correct my technique made him retreat to the living room in a sulk. I heard him take the feather duster and swipe halfheartedly at the blinds before I lost track of what he was doing, lulled into a surprisingly pleasant reverie by the uncommon silence from Pete and being lost in The Cleaning Zone.
My cousin J. was the first to finish her assignment, a fact she explained with a shrug of, "The bathrooms were definitely gross, but they're not that big," so she helped me wipe down the rest of the fridge, doubtlessly also in a manner that would have displeased Pete, had he been around to pay attention.
But he wasn't around, a fact that I, still in The Zone, wasn't really aware of even as my other cousins finished their assigned areas, came out to the living/dining area, and started cursing at how much remained to be done. I believe it was E. who busted out the vacuum while L. put the elbow grease into deep-cleaning the furniture, but it could've been the other way around.
Since J. and I finished around the same time our cousins did, I wouldn't know for years that Pete had shirked his duties. It wasn't until after he was but an embarrassing memory that E., perhaps at the same time that he leveled with me about my ex's porn preferences, why he and L. were the ones who had to clean all but the two feet of living room windowblinds that Pete had so daintily dusted:
"I went to look for Pete to find out why the hell the living room was the only part of the condo that had barely been touched. The front door was open, and since everyone else was inside, I took a look outside.
"There was Pete, in the middle of the parking lot, clipping his toenails. I thought about saying something anyway, thought about it really hard, and decided to leave him to trimming his talons. L. and I did a better job anyway."