The Disgraced Dutchwoman wakes up


Dutchwomen are known for being tall.
Maybe blonde.
Clean. Really clean.
And thrifty.

I am a Dutchwoman.
I can do tall. I used to be 5’7”. And a bit.
But the shrinking economy is doing something odd to yardsticks. They’ve gone all stingy and now they say I’m 5’6’. And nothing.

Did you know not all the Dutch are blonde? Oodles and oodles have dark hair, or hair that was dark a decade or so ago.

That clean part, now—
My mother-in-law is a Dutchwoman. She cleans her bathtub on hands and knees and then dismantles the drain to clean down it.
Not because it is plugged. Not because anybody will ever look down her drain.
But because dirt might have assembled there, all smug, thinking she could never reach it.
She cannot shower in peace knowing something grubby lurks just beyond her toes.

Please, dear mother-in-law, don’t peer down my drains. Don’t pull the vegetable drawer from my fridge to see if rogue spills escaped detection. They did. Crumbs cluster on my butter dish and dust lives in peace for weeks—sometimes months—under the spare bed.
Do I scrub my front stoop? Do you need to ask?

The Dutch can be fabulously thrifty. (Some might even say tight.) And while I can brag up garage sale finds and 90% off end-of-season deals, I’ll invite ten people for dinner and buy enough food for the US Olympic team. And store the leftovers till they get freezer burn and I don’t feel as guilty dumping them.

In spite of my hundred-proof Dutch blood, I make a poor showing. But when my credit card bill showed a $99 yearly charge for ‘The Tuesday Prude’ where I post, at best, once each season, something in that sluggish Netherlands blood began to trickle, then swirl, then positively surge through my veins.
Almost a hundred dollars for something I never use?
This shall not be.

The plan is to blog more. Maybe, like the dirt in my mother-in-law’s drain, no one will ever see. But I’ll rest easier knowing ninety-nine dollars didn’t just chug down the pipes and into the blog sewer.

16 thoughts on “The Disgraced Dutchwoman wakes up

  1. Please blog more…it isn’t clear, but it doesn’t sound like you can clean less, so I won’t say that. Your cleaning prowess sounds like mine — but I have no mother-in-law anymore, and mine was 100% Irish anyway.

  2. I, too, was afraid you were going to save your $99 and quit blogging. I was starting to think of ways to raise the money for you (e.g. a FLAME alumni choir concert, tee-hee). If I lived closer, I would offer to come clean your refrigerator while you wrote. What a relief that you will continue to brighten my Tuesdays! (Is that selfish?)

  3. For a moment there you scared me. I was afraid you were going to say you wouldn’t be blogging anymore. I’m so relieved! I will be glad to read more of your witty, insightful posts!

  4. I am obviously 100 per cent of dutch blood, and I am blonde (underneath the gray) , used to be 5’6″ however economic times got the best of my yard stick as well cause it states that I am now 5’5″, but I am certainly not clean. My sister and mother love to clean, their place can’t be clean enough. I watched my mom clean growing up and must have told myself no way am I doing that. Now compared to my kids I am very clean so it is all relative I guess. My mom just turned 84 and actually declared not that long ago that she spent way to much time of her life cleaning. All I could do was agree with her , I mean there really was no reason for the socks to be organized alphabetically by color. The one thing I did inherit though is iron the bed sheets. Yup I do.

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