Friday, February 1, 2013

Redemption (Ladies Only)

Am I the only one out there who looks on certain days as redemptive? As in today, I am going to be redeemed!

How does this work, you may wonder. And, I'll bet those of you wondering are mostly men who (sorry, boys) rarely think deeply enough to realize that they even require redemption or those of you who are perfect. Any hands up for that last one?

As for the ladies, your approach to redemption may be different but I suspect many of you will relate to the experience.

I have regularly sought redemption for years. It's simple, to the point, totally non-religious and multi-dimensional.

First, for me, it typically involves cleaning the kitchen. For some, it may mean purging a closet, a garage, or tidying a bedroom. I plow through the stack of dishes and pots left to soak in the sink, wipe down smudged surfaces and wash the floor with a real mop as opposed to my Swiffer Wet Jet.

As great as this is, sometimes it just has to be a real mop.

I will then toss out all the tiny foil-wrapped packets in the fridge without even checking to see what's in them and, occasionally, I'll start a soup on the now-sparkling stove. This may seem contradictory since cooking = mess but this is to redeem myself in the eyes of Seth who adores soup and is very disappointed that I ate the last bagel.

Next, on Redemption Day, comes the pledge to eat better.

I write a shopping list containing lots of colorful, anti-oxidant laden crucifers, whole grains and absolutely NO DIET COKE (because I can feel it killing me with each swig) and promise my very soul that I will take my vitamins and get on that goddam exercise bike every single day.

By now I am starting to feel like Mother Teresa in elastic pants so I throw in a laundry (discovering a wet load in there from yesterday, so I pledge never to let that happen again, too), collect recyclables, answer email and pay bills.

Ahhhh, the house work is done. Litter boxes are clean, the cat's water is freshened, I can already feel the toxins flushing from my system and the aroma of Seth's soup is filling the house as it simmers.

Now for the personal grooming -- and most psychologically restorative --  portion of Redemption....

This involves a spa-like shower experience (unlike the quick -- but thorough -- morning dailies) with exfoliation, hair conditioning and lots of cleansing steam. I will focus on my aging face: checking for stray brow hairs, using my homemade sugar scrub, moisturizing thoroughly after which I will floss my teeth--telling myself, and the cats (who have witnessed more than a few Redemption Days over the years) that I will floss every day from this moment on.

I will then straighten out all toiletries and cosmetics, returning some to drawers and slots, lining the rest up on my counter like the good soldiers they are, tossing towels into the hamper and, finally, attacking my feet with both a vengeance and a variety of Dr. Scholl's products.

then dress in my finest sweat pants and feel like the Queen of England until the next morning when I find a forgotten can of Diet Coke in the fridge, forget to floss and ignore my vitamins.

Redemption only lasts so long in an imperfect world.


  1. Add blasting Led Zeppelin and it sounds like my redemption day.

  2. Ahhhh, for me it's Neil Diamond, Michelle! Thanks for reading!