And no, boys, it is not what you think.  Those three little words, “I love you”, as nice as they are, will not curry you the favor that my three words will.  If you accept these three words, you need to plan your action, jump into action, and then hide any evidence that you acted at all.  You may not brag about the action.  You may not point it out.  You may merely perform the action and get out-of-the-way.  Your lady has to discover what you’ve done on her own (that step is easier than you think), or it is all for naught… And here are those three words:
CLEAN THE BATHROOM.
I have yet to meet any wife who claims exclusive rights to the cleanliness of the bathroom.  I’m sure there are some, but that’s because they’ve so given up on the efforts of their Mr. Right – getting him to do it at all, or to do it with any semblance of quality.  Eventually, it’s the old hands in the air, the huff of ‘I’ll do it myself’, and there you are, one chink lower on her scale of the estimation of whether or not she should have ever paired up with you in the first place.
But hey, let’s get to the favor currying I mentioned.  Yes, you can clean the bathroom efficiently and with enough panache that your sweetie will maybe even more or less notice a little bit….and that, dear brother, is enough to matter.  Commitment of time: 45 minutes.  Favor curried: more than you know.
Here’s the game plan.
First, she needs to be gone for about an hour or so.  So, when she grabs her coat to go use that coupon at Kohl’s, hit the grocery store, swing by the library, and drop in at church to get her pans back from the last potluck, you need to move into action.
Your first action: amass your supplies.  You want to get done quickly and efficiently, wasting no time running downstairs again for this cleaner and that sponge.  Your list – and yes, you should have a small idea of where these things are – Windex, paper towels, a bleach type liquid cleaner, a foaming liquid cleaner, a toilet bowl cleaning solution, a little floor cleaner, a sponge, the vacuum, a bucket of water.
You are ready to start: and here’s step one.  You need to empty the bathroom of ALL clutter.  Not just the rug, no sir, you need to take it all out.  You may not pile it in a corner of the bathroom – it has to go out into the hall and out of the way…. AND you need to remember to replace it exactly as it was, or your plan will be thwarted when she comes home to find the plunger in the bedroom across the hall…. Not good, sir, not good at all.
So you will remove at least the following: the rug, the toilet brush (which will be in its little caddy – women like caddies, so there you are.) the plunger (yes, another caddy.  Do you want to make a million dollars?  Design a plunger caddy that will serve as a good-looking thing AND will also not flop open and drip as you move it out into the hallway… you know the type; the clamshell device that just doesn’t lend itself to portability.)
If there are other things on the floor, remove those as well.  Take out the garbage can, too, but keep that handy for disposing your paper towels as you go.
Next, remove anything on the vanity, on the sink, on the toilet tank.  This includes baskets of those cute little round soaps that we’re not supposed to use, the toothbrush holder (the difference between a holder and a caddy is that anything in a caddy is out of sight…) any towels of any size that are out, that squirt bottle of soap, the Dixie cup dispenser (which is a cross BETWEEN a caddy and a holder).  In the shower itself, you’ll need to pull out the bottles of shampoo, body wash, oatmeal dips, bars of soap, loofa sponges and any razors in the way.
You should now have cleared anything off any surface you plan to clean.  But you may NOT start cleaning yet.  Your first step it to get the dry dusty stuff out of the way.
One basic rule: Clean from the top down.  You don’t want to drag the gunk from the bottom up at all.
Get a paper towel.  Your job: to dust everything.  I already hear you cringing: dusting just isn’t in a guy’s DNA, is it?  It is a struggle, but you can do it.  Go along the top of the shower doors or curtain rod, whichever you have.  Dust any shelves or cabinets…. And the real impressive one: dust the light bulbs.  Any wife will be blown away by a guy who thinks of dusting light bulbs.  You will notice all this fluffy stuff will drift down to the top of the sink, the vanity, the toilet tank – don’t just stand there, man, dust THAT off as well, so that it goes on the floor for the next step.  Put the used paper towel in the garbage can.
Plug in the vacuum and clean the floor.  Start as far into the room as you can, backing out as you go.  Be sure to hit every corner and every square of tile – you could even make a game of getting each square, pretending each square is a kingdom, and as you clean it, you can ‘claim it’ like in a game of Risk.  Once you are done with this, put the vacuum away JUST AS YOU FOUND IT – or she may see it out of place and wonder what you broke now….
Put some hot water in the bucket.  Grab a couple of paper towels, get one of them a little wet and wipe down each square, just like your first game of RISK.  Wipe off the dampness with the other towel.  When you have done the whole floor, throw away the paper towels in the garbage can with the others.
Add some of the floor cleaner to the water. Get more paper towels, get one wet, and repeat the floor tile process – game three of RISK.  You will now have a cleaner floor than you had before.  If there is any dampness left, grab a handful of the towels in the garbage can and wipe it down one more time.  You have now completed a big step of the project.
Get your toilet bowl cleaner.  Flush the toilet before you start to eliminate any nasty stuff sitting around.  Read the directions while you wait for the flush to cycle.  You may have never seen a bottle-shaped like this before… or at least not seen it in use, so you need to know what you’re getting into.  Apply the liquid right under the rim, letting the goo slide down the side.  Now here’s the secret.  THIS IS ALL YOU DO TO THE INSIDE OF THE TOILET BOWL.  (Your wife will go to use the toilet, see the pretty blue water, and realize what you have done.  That revelation, my dear friend, wells up feelings in your lady that bring about such wonderful fruits.  Do not screw it up by using the bathroom before she does.)
Clean any mirror surfaces with the Windex and paper towels.  You must get these absolutely finger print-free or you will lose points.  Be careful to not get spray from one panel on another – it must ALL be clear. Any streaks at all will reveal to her that you just gave it a casual try and didn’t really clean anything.  (Just like talking politely to the Avon lady or the mother in law…..)  Clean mirrors imply cleanliness, so you get points.  Streaky mirrors imply laziness, which may be what she thinks already anyway, so you lose anything at all from doing the whole project.  Also, use the same paper towels to wipe the metal work of the shower.  If you have glass shower doors, Windex and paper towels, there too – with attention to drips.  Deposit all used paper towels in the garbage.
Next, fill the sink with nice, clear water to use as a rinse as you use the bleach bathroom cleaner to clean the sink and the outside of the toilet… use  the sponge you took out, but NEVER let the sponge touch the rim or the inside of the toilet.  If she finds this out, she will all but call in a HAZMAT team to throw it away.  All porcelain surfaces should be cleaned and rinsed to a nice shiny twinkle.  Pay attention to the fixtures – no streak here either for the same reason as the mirrors.
And now to the shower.  You’ve already cleaned the metal, (and maybe the glass) so avoid getting finger prints on it.  Using the foaming cleaner, spray the walls as much as you can.  Strip down, step into the shower, taking a sponge with you.  Turn on the water to a comfortably warm temperature.  Using the water coming out of the shower head, wipe down the walls – and again, remember the streak rule – none here either, buddy.  No foam should be left in the bottom of the shower.
You may step out of the shower now, making sure to wipe up any wet footprints, using some of the less wet paper towels in the garbage can.  Get dressed, return everything to its place – and put it back exactly the way it was…. Labels facing the same way, the sponge wrung out, the vacuum cord wrapped like your wife wraps it….. the secret cannot be given away at all.
Your wife will come home, put down her packages, take off her coat, and go into the bathroom.  In just a few minutes, she will emerge with a strange smile on her face, look at you in that certain way, and you will realize you have earned some points
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