I hate filth.  Filthy hands are horrible.  Some would even say I was prissy, and as a girl I certainly was.  You might think I would be a clean freak, but no.  Being organized is only possible in spurts, and then entropy relentlessly takes over.  If it were not for gloves, I would never clean a thing.

Some family stories have come from this trait.

As a baby, if I got anything on my hands, I immediately started crying and wanted to have my hands washed.  So imagine my horror when a macadam road (blacktop) was being poured, and I got my hands in the tar.  I had been warned to stay away from the road, but I was five.  I wanted that tar off my hands, immediately!  I was sent to the bathroom to wash my hands, but that did not work.  Dad eventually did get the tar off of my hands.

As a child of 13 years, I was taught to clean the fish a neighbor caught and gave to us.  The smell, the feel on my hands, the scales flying all over the place, and the mosquitoes that were attracted.  Yes, I was a baby about it.  I didn’t care.  I would do it, but I would not be happy about it.  Eventually we took the fish to the basement tub to clean, still gross, but no mosquitoes.

As a teenager I was expected to rake leaves, which included cleaning out the window wells of partially decayed and slimy leaves.  Again, I did the job, under protest. Working in the garden was traumatic.  I hate getting dirt on my hands.  I have been told that there is a difference between good clean dirt, otherwise known as soil, and filth.  I can see the difference, I would just like to avoid either.

As an adult, I stopped trying to just get over this aversion and came up with another solution.  It was remarkably simple.  It was so simple.  I was surprised that my very intelligent parents never came up with my solution.   Gloves.

Cotton gloves for dusting and other household tasks.  Rubber gloves for dishes, pots, and pans.  Outside I have gloves for different tasks.  When my own children would complain about yucky chores, I was ready with the solution.  Gloves!  Without gloves, I would require a staff of housekeepers and gardeners.

It’s a shame I wasn’t born rich.

13 thoughts on “Genteel

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