Friday, April 3, 2009

Necessity is the mother of invention

A couple of my co-workers have questioned my sanity at purposely making a decision to go on a vacation where I would be staying with my mother. You may remember me freaking out when she was coming up for Christmas, but she ended up being fine. I realize I may have given her too bum of a rap.

Yes, she drives me crazy and yes, she often is crazy, but she's also much more than that. Much of the time she is funny, and she has a great sense of humor. And she has a general tendency to allow you to pick on her and find it funny.

I won't be staying with her for too long, and she's different when she's in her own territory. I also have to admit that she is much more patient with me that I am with her.

I want to share a small anecdote about her that I find both quirky and amusing. She's always been crafty about finding ways to save money. When it comes to something she feels is worthy, she has no problem opening the purse strings. But she knows that the purse strings aren't always wide enough to open, so she is frugal when she can be. In the last few years, after she retired and moved to Florida, there just wasn't any money to play with. In addition, she started dating a man who has taken frugality to the next level, I'm talking the Florida Jew level. And again, rightfully so. He is 12 years older than she is and is worried that he will outlive his money. In this economy, I don't blame him in the least. Although, I have to say, if you want the pint of blueberries, buy them even if they are not on sale. The blueberries might outlive you, at this point.

Anyway, back to the story. When she was here over Christmas, I pulled out my Swiffer Wetjet to clean up a spill in the kitchen. My mother admitted that she had broken down and bought one after seeing mine last summer. She raved about how much she loved her "Swiffler" and how much lighter and easier on her back it was than a regular mop, but when she found out how much the replacement liquid and pads were, it no longer seemed like a great deal to her.

I have to admit that when my liquid ran out, I sprayed whatever I had handy on the floor instead of replacing the specific cleaner bottle. But I never would have thought of what my mother did. Instead of buying the Swiffer specific "pads" for her Wetjet, she went to the local dollar store and bought a package of generic Maxi-pads. She peels off the back of two of them, sticks them on her "Swiffler" and cleans her kitchen floor for a fraction of the cost. Think about it, they are absorbant and have odor control, what else could you ask for?

I warned her that this was going on my blog, and I don't know why I haven't posted about it before now. How many other people's mothers clean their kitchen floors with female sanitary products? I think this should be the next American Pie movie, where all the characters are elderly, and the "Swiffler" instead of Stiffler talks about all the stuff that post-menopausal women no longer need to worry about.

What do you think, did I take it too far?


the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Are you kidding, my mother hasn't cleaned the floor since her oldest child came of an age where it was possible to put a vacuum or a broom or a mop in his hands!!!

No, no, you didn't take it too far. You showed the brilliance of Mama Schmancy.

Lady Jane said...

That is sooo funny and yet a genius idea!! I think I am going to do it. Tell your mom thanks! Glad I found your blog:)

MY said...

I'm so glad I found this blog... What better way to start a Sunday than to read about someone cleaning their floor with Maxi Pads (read: I will try this).

Thanks for the support for broke brides, albeit through the grapevine.

I'll stop on back to your site!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

That is a brilliant idea! It saves all those unused Maxi Pads in the stores from an early disposal.
I say, hey, whatever works...

JoJo said...

That is soooo funny. Did your mom grow up during the Depression like mine did? That'll explain her frugality and innovative cleaning supplies.

chaos37 said...

People are looking at me weird here at work since I almost fell off my chair laughing MAO. Thanks, I needed that!

Fancy Schmancy said...

mjenks, I swear that is the best reason my mother had so many daughters - to clean her house.

Lady Jane, I'm so glad I found your blog, also.

MY, ditto. I will be checking in on you to see how you are doing!

Candy, my mother has her moments of brilliance, it is true.

JoJo, she was born in the middle of the depression, and has always been resourseful, if nothing else.

Kouf, don't people always look at you weird at work? But, no, really. We could do worse than turning into our mother. We could turn into our father. I call Mom!

Laura said...

I just laughed out loud. Fancy this takes big guts to do something like this. I love that you thought as soon as you heard this is going to make a great post. I have to start telling people that as they 'inspire' me. Too funny!