Month: June 2015

The Loose Ends of Racism

Two months ago, I stood in my kitchen struggling to find the words to discuss the death of Freddie Gray. Another unarmed black man killed at the hands of the police who, in a perfect society, should have and would have protected him. Baltimore is just 45 minutes from my home in Washington, DC and, on that particular day, I was prepared to question why these moments of aggression towards blacks continue to happen with only a sound bite response from our elected officials. Unfortunately, I wound up sidetracked and didn’t write about the death of Freddie Gray, but I will never forget the fear and sadness I felt when I sighed and noted, “It will happen again…I can wait until the next time.” Next time, of course, arrived. This time in Charleston, South Carolina. And I am a black woman struggling with what to say. People finally seem willing to broach the topic of race. They once stood on the sidelines under the guise of “us v. them,” remaining blissfully colorblind. But now, so …

My Grandfather Gave My Girlfriend $2 — Here’s Why That’s Important

My grandfather’s name was Sam. He was my father’s father and spent his adult life first as a traveling salesman and then running a grocery store in Omaha, Nebraska, where my grandfather and his family were among the small crop of Jews in town. In my mind, this is what made my grandfather extra Jewish — the sense of belonging to a tiny tribe wandering within a wide desert of Christianity. Whatever the reason, when my grandparents found out I was dating a woman their first question was, “Is she Jewish?” Sam had a tradition of giving a $2 bill to every one of his children and grandchildren. Spouses included. The idea was to keep the $2 bill in your wallet in case of emergencies. And then if you ever needed to spend it, you would write a letter to Sam explaining the reason why you had to use the bill and he would issue you a new one. I remember stories about one cousin using her $2 bill at a tollbooth on the turnpike, another …

Why I Begged My Mother to Take Me Out of the Gifted Program

I understand what they were trying to do. When my teacher nominated me to be sent to a different classroom for part of each day, a class with older and more advanced learners, it was her way of keeping me interested in the learning process. Our school system was 90 percent black and, according to standardized tests, most of us were performing below grade level. Not me. At nine years old, my reading aptitude test scores were at the college level. My mother was so happy that she took out an ad in the local paper congratulating me for my grade-school accomplishment. She was proud. I was bored. For weeks after the test results came in, my teacher would create separate spelling tests and reading lists just for me to try to keep me engaged and challenged. I understand that was probably an extra burden on her. If I was a third grade teacher and one of my students was reading Romeo & Juliet during silent reading time, I might suggest she needed to join …

My Plea for the Pledge

The year is 1966. I am a first-grader at the H.B. Milnes School in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Every morning, my classmates and I stand beside our little desks, hands over little hearts, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Our teacher then bangs out the chords to one of a dozen patriotic songs we know by heart. My personal favorites: “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.” Though a few youngsters mangle some of the lyrics, there’s no doubt that one tenet has already been deeply inculcated: America — and the flag that stands in the corner of every classroom — is to be respected and cherished, for we are the greatest and freest nation in the world. As a kid, I embraced this fully. It had to be true since my teacher said so, as did my parents and President Johnson. For not only was the United States strong, it was generous. If another country’s citizens were hungry, we sent food. If they were attacked, we sent help. America …

How My White Perspective on Freedom Has Changed

Until fairly recently, I didn’t think much about how easily and freely I moved in this country. I took for granted the dozens — no, hundreds of interactions and experiences that I had over the course of any given week where I could just be, without worry, fear, accusation or confrontation. I have been able to work and live and love and play and move without really recognizing that these were freedoms, rather than just part of my daily life as an American. I took all of this for granted because America, the country that I love dearly, is “the land of the free, home of the brave.” [pullquote] I have been able to work and live and love and play and move without really recognizing that these were freedoms, rather than just part of my daily life as an American. [/pullquote] And while I’ve known that injustice and unfairness exist, I didn’t really know it. Not down to my bones. I didn’t really see that if we are not all free, then none of us …

Like Crickets to Fireworks: Blogging About Race

My first taste of online publishing, in 2005, was inspired by a now-defunct blog written by a teacher in Chicago. She wrote about her classroom and her students, and even though I hadn’t been there, she brought her surroundings to life in a way that felt so familiar. As a longtime educator myself, I could relate. Eventually, we would meet in person and become good friends. In that time we experienced marriage, a divorce, and children. Her writing opened my world up to freely express myself as a writer. In one post, she wrote in detail about one of her students, a reluctant reader, to try a book that she suggested. She clearly cared about her students and spoke of them in a way not often seen by those outside the profession. It reminded me of how I tried so hard to find something palatable for my students. Within a year, I decided that I wanted to do the same thing, share my own stories in a blog. So, I purchased my own domain name …

9 Days, 5 States and One March for Justice [PHOTOS]

On April 13, 2015, Justice League NYC gathered folks from New York City and around the country to march to Washington, DC in order to push for criminal justice reform legislation in our nation’s capital. The event culminated in a concert and march on April 22. Creative Mornings Community Director and social activist Sally Rumble decided to pack up and go (she joins below on Day 6.) Here is her story, in pictures. (Thank you to photographer Alex Arbuckle.) DAY 1: Staten Island step-off led by three women of color Somewhere in NJ Day 3: Blisters set in PAIN. Poem by student poet following the murder of Trayvon Martin and acquittal of his killer moves marchers to tears Day 4: Hello, Pennsylvania Stretch break PA STATE TROOPERS. Carmen equipped with a camera in case of police brutality directed at her BRUCE. Former Black Panther in the 70s. He marched the entire 250 miles without injury HOSTILITY. In Maryland, Confederate flag sightings, drivers yelling, “White Power!” and the n-word LOVE. Milly FaceTimes her three children while marching ALEX. Official March2Justice photographer and …

Margit’s Note: Free to Be You and Me

In 2nd grade, we always held hands with another student in our class when we walked to lunch. For me, that other student was Carla. I can see Carla’s smile like it was yesterday, maybe even feel her soft palm clasping mine. And then one day, another little girl whose name I don’t remember pointed at me and said, “Why are you holding hands with her? She’s black.” I had no idea what “black” meant or why it was a bad thing, but suddenly I understood us and them; me and Carla. The idea of freedom seems so black and white (pun maybe sort of intended), like, here are the rules — abide by them. It’s a free country, y’all! But there are these insidious, subtle “isms” that exist in everyday moments and create their own sort of prison. “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” The quote, often attributed to Gloria Steinem, rings true as we wonder why so many obvious “rights” take so damn long to be …

7 Shows You Should Be Obsessed With This Summer

What better way to celebrate sunny skies and sultry temperatures than to hide inside, surrounded by the comforts of home and episode after episode of riotous comedies and tissue-requiring dramas? Here are a few that you’ll want to watch in their entirety while hunkered down in the air conditioning. A few you’ve heard of, and some may be brand new — to you. 1. Burning Love A tart refresher for fans of The Bachelor‘s roses-and-rings universe, this Ben Stiller-produced show has some of comedy’s brightest lights — among them Ken Marino (Party Down, The State), June Diane Raphael (Grace and Frankie), Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars), and Natasha Leggero (Another Period) — taking on the American ideal of “happily ever after” and the not-here-to-make-friends archetypes that populate competitive reality TV. Packed with absurd situations (“fruit run,” puppetry) and the sort of people who would only be welcome in your living room through your television, Burning Love offers laughs that are just familiar enough to be passable as actual Bachelor segments. (Stream it here.) 2. iZombie Ever been to …

I Can’t Unplug (And I Don’t Want To)

I may not be all that social these days, but I used to be. When my first son was born in 1995, I logged on to AOL nearly every day to talk to other moms in the “Online Mom” group. (Yes, I still have the t-shirt.) My real-life friends and family thought it was really odd that I sat on the computer and “talked” to strangers for hours. But I knew then what millions of moms know now: Misery loves company. Moms everywhere have realized that a great way to combat the loneliness and isolation of new motherhood is to go online to share experiences, get tips, ask questions and generally figure it all out. (As if anyone can figure it all out.) Flash forward to 2005. I had a busy life filled with work, friends and family, but I still found time to blog nearly every day. I read and commented on my friends’ blog posts and discovered new sites from their blog rolls. There was so much to learn and so many relationships …

My Crime Novel Addiction Revealed!

I was one of those kids who always had her head in a book. I didn’t just adore reading—I loved being transported to fabulous other worlds, rendered magical by clever fiction writers. The first books I remember reading were those “learn to spell” picture books Dick and Dora. “This is Dick. Run, Dick, run.” I don’t remember Dora doing much running, but Nip sure did. At age nine, I remember being asked by my teacher to read The Hobbit aloud. I had excellent comprehension skills and a quick eye, so I didn’t stumble over the tricky names or complex dialogue. No one else got up to read to the class. Towards the end of primary school, I was placed in an advanced reading strand along with one other boy and we were granted access to a more challenging set of kids’ literature. To keep up with my insatiable appetite, my mum enrolled me in a borrow-a-book club. Various slim paperbacks started arriving by mail every two weeks. It was so exciting! During lunchtime, I mostly …

The Bravermans Are Going to Be Ok — And So Am I

As I write this, the anniversary of my mom’s death is tomorrow. I’m approaching the date with sadness obviously, but nowhere near the numbed out pain I felt saying good-bye 2 years ago. Nor is this moment as hard as waiting for the milestones of that first year to pass. But the spring weeks between Mother’s Day – June 6th will always be raw. I will always remember the last time we spoke on the phone, and the stupid cheery orange pashmina I bought her for her birthday on May 24th that I took back several weeks later. The anxious plane ride from NYC to Pittsburgh I took with my younger sister when we knew it was the very end. Celebrating my son’s birthday while sitting shiva. Though I’m doing fine — trying to be present and feel grateful for my husband and children and other blessings, there is still a major Judi shaped hole in my life. Her loss forced an adjustment and a rebuilding that is ongoing. As Oprah-ish as it sounds, I’ve …

(Not) Born To Run: Why I Finally Stopped Running

I always wanted to be a runner. That’s why I invested in good running shoes and a heart monitor and an iPod Nano. I read Born to Run, the bestselling book about the greatest distance runners in the world. I bought summer-weight leggings and cold-weather pants, lightweight gloves and a thick pair for winter mornings. I even got a runner’s beanie. I’m not sure why or when this notion of being a runner got lodged in my head, but my yearning to be athletic dates back to childhood. When I think about the girls I admired in grade school and at summer camp, they were athletes. They were the girls who could dive into the lake like a dolphin or do back handsprings across the gym floor. I wasn’t completely uncoordinated or chosen last for teams, and I had other strengths, especially in the classroom. But there was something about their natural athleticism, physical confidence and innate competence that made me feel inadequate and envious. It’s easy to tell who’s good at sports just by looking. …

Why I’ll Always Worship the Sun

El sol. Le soleil. Il Sole. In any language, in any part of the world and regardless of the temperature, I love the sun. I could be in the hottest of deserts (I grew up Arizona) or the coldest of climes (Chicago at 30F has brilliant sunshine), either way, the brightest star in the sky makes me happy like nothing else does. Perhaps it’s a function of genetics or environment, but I feel like everything in life is happier, brighter and infused with more energy when it’s sunny outside. Winter offends me, unless I’m traveling to it as a novelty. One of my favorite days of the year is when we turn our clocks ahead and an extra hour of sunlight appears. (I dread the converse.) France has the right idea — each major French city throws a serious party to celebrate the summer solstice, when it stays light until 10:30pm. Bliss! A well-respected futurist once told me that everything about me indicates a foundational need for the sun. My favorite beverages are sun tea (iced …

Margit’s Note: Thank You, I’ll Have Another

I am a binger. Not in a dangerously unhealthy way. (Well, that’s debatable.) But if it can be done in handfuls, consecutive viewings or multiple purchases, I’m a sucker. Shades of lipstick. Back-to-back episodes of Orphan Black (although this season, shark=jumped.) Dozens of delightful Swedish fish… I’m working on that last one. Why do we do it? Perhaps that joyous feeling of naughty line-crossing. Perhaps because we’re masking another emotion, or it’s a lack of mindfulness. We overspend and overindulge. Serving size says three will suffice. An episode is 54 minutes, not 324. Really, do I need Saboteur, Tangerine and Riviera red? When we binge, we’re in control. Time stops, we tune out our better judgment and see how far our endurance can take us. And with television shows, when we watch long enough, it’s like we’ve immersed ourselves into another world — proceed with caution. A decade+ after HBO’s Oz ended, I decided to spend a weekend and part of the week watching back-to-back episodes. I strongly advise against this. You’ll find yourself daydreaming …

Talk TueNight: Been Around the World [Photos]

Sixty+ women joined us last Tuesday night as eight storytellers took us on a round-the-world tour: Singing through Buenos Aires, hitchhiking across Italy, under the Great Barrier reef, returning to Haiti and more. For our fourth live storytelling evening, we partnered with Yahoo Travel who hosted us in their lovely Midtown offices. The event was also a benefit for the wonderful organization Girls Write Now. Here are some of the photos from a raucous, hilarious and moving evening of tales, courage and worldwide jaunts. Margit had a chance to interview Yahoo Travel’s Paula Froelich, and the star of A Broad Abroad, who talked about how “travel is not a luxury anymore, it’s a mandate.” We should all get our of our comfort zone, embrace more life leaps and travel. “If your gut tells you it’ll work, it’ll work!” said Froelich. She vouched wholeheartedly for traveling solo, which segued nicely into Courtney Colwell’s piece later that evening.   Courtney reads her piece Cyclone Approaching! Why I Chose to Dive Anyway. “A remote rocky beach in Greece? Sign my shit up.” — …

That American Woman: Finding Myself in Africa

My father once said to me, “Just once I’d like to get my feet on African soil, to stand anywhere on the continent if only for one day.” It’s a fairly common sentiment held by those of us whose ancestors were brought by the African slave trade to the Americas, the desire to reconnect and bind ourselves to an identity beyond our short and tragic history here. Given his advanced age and fear of flying, I’m sad to say it’s a dream I doubt he’ll ever realize. I, however, had the great fortune of spending a couple years after college as Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia during the pre-war years, an experience I will never forget. Full of hope and wonder, I was excited touch, see, smell, hear, and taste the wonders of “the Motherland” for myself. Despite my enthusiasm for reconnecting with my roots, however, I was disabused of any notion of belonging almost as soon as I arrived. No amount of sun could darken me enough to stop the locals from referring to …

A Globetrotting Romance

My marriage splintered after just five months when I discovered my husband deemed free trips to Miami and New Orleans a nuisance. He loathed travel, preferring to burrow into the earth in one place. I grew up believing divorce was a sin, but my need to traipse across every inch of the earth was stronger. After my divorce, I medicated myself with travel. I wanted a man who shared my odd sense of humor, was smart but kind, didn’t want kids and had the contradictory quality of loving intense travel yet having a home base. I was sure he didn’t exist. After seven years alone, I finally decided that Maddie, a little black lab, was the real love of my life. She loved road trips. The solitude of the open road has always rearranged my cells in a way I can’t pass up, so on a recent trip, I went to Portland. For the past year, I’d been tweeting with Lourens, a guy who was living there temporarily. When he learned I was in town, he suggested drinks. I was …

The Trip and the Tribe That Changed My Life

A coworker of mine used to give me shit about my fondness for getting together with my “Hawaii girls,” a group of writers I met in the Aloha State. A mere week after our group parted ways, we were planning our first reunion. “Don’t you guys have friends of your own?” she asked. “Of course we do,” I replied. “We just really, really like each other.” Last June, bleary from a pre-dawn call-a-car ride to the airport and a turbulent connection from New York City to Atlanta, I plunked down in my seat on a massive jet for a nine-hour flight to Honolulu. The woman beside me looked strangely familiar. Had we met somewhere before? “You look like you might be on the Starwood trip,” she said. “I’m Kafi—I am, too!” Kafi is a fellow writer, and she and I were both headed west to check out Starwood Hawaii’s health and wellness programs. Nine hours is a long time to share an armrest, and by the time we touched down we’d told each other the stories …

Lesvos, Ayvalik, Istanbul, Astoria

In 2005, I was waitressing in New York City and thought, no, was convinced that I was destined for so much more. I called myself an opera singer/actor, but I wasn’t making a living at it. Many of my friends had far fancier, better educations than I did, better jobs, and, in most cases, more money. That is a reality of living in NYC, but I had only been here a couple of years and hadn’t fully accepted my place “in the middle” yet. I decided that the best way for me to become more equal with a friend whom I idolized for her intellect, creativity, and worldliness was to travel more, like she did. She was just starting to freelance for Lonely Planet and Rough Guides, and I shared her curiosity for other cultures and places, so it didn’t seem so crazy that I would make it a goal to just get on a plane and… GO. My friend (who I’ll call Z) and her then boyfriend, now husband (let’s call him P) invited my …

Hitchhiking in Italy: The Worst Travel Decision I’ve Ever Made (Shocker, I Know!)

There I was, age 19, exactly 24 hours after setting out on a three-month tour of Europe, walking along the narrow shoulder of a busy freeway on the outskirts of Naples — then considered the most dangerous major city in Western Europe — bent under the weight of my backpack and the near-paralyzing fear that I would not live to see the sunrise. It was the middle of the night. My friend Angie and I had just been unceremoniously dumped from the cab of a transport truck onto the side of a busy exit ramp and left to fend for ourselves. From the start, it had been one of those episodes that, if it had gone another way, would have been the sort of headline-making story fellow travelers shake their heads at in an “obviously, this is what happens when you’re an idiot” way and parents brandish as a dire warning to children setting out to travel for the first time. In my own defense, the one good thing I can say about the worst …

A Superstar Visits Buenos Aires

Gospel music has a way of making people sound like better singers than they are. I should know—I’m one of those people. In general, one should not make too many assumptions about someone’s talent simply because that person sings professionally or publicly. When a person chooses to sing or not sing in front of other people, that choice doesn’t necessarily reflect the person’s musical ability (or lack thereof). Not all people who can sing do sing, and not all people who do sing can sing. If you’re wondering into which category I fall, the answer is who the hell knows? Can I carry a tune? Absolutely. (*Clears throat. Puts right index finger to ear and points left index finger to sky, like Mi-mi-mi-miiiiii. Do-re-mi-fa….*) Can I hit high notes? Usually. It depends on how many Marlboros I smoked (or how much Malbec I drank) the previous night. But when you sing in a gospel choir, especially an African-American gospel choir, hitting your notes is beside the point. The music is as much about the message …

Cyclone Approaching! Why I Chose to Dive Anyway

When you go on vacation, are you the cautious type, heavily insured and fully prepared for anything that could go wrong? Or are you a more adventurous type, for whom the worst seems easily resolvable with a little Immodium or an immediate call to Amex? You’re optimistic—you are on vacation, after all. You could be mugged in Mexico, and it would still be better than being at work. I’ve been that person. I’ve spent hours researching hotels and dining but overlooked required immunizations. I’ve put myself in questionable situations that could have been easily avoided with a little forethought—or any thought at all. Like the time I took a bus alone from Montevideo to Punta Del Este, Uruguay. It wasn’t until boarding that I realized that it was highly improbable I would know which stop was mine. I had just assumed there would be a large sign, “Welcome to Punta Del Este.” Or at least an English-speaking bus driver. Somehow, I managed to find a fellow passenger who knew both the stop and English, and …

Why I Kind of Hate Disney World

If you asked me to describe my worst vacation scenario, it would go something like this: The destination is perpetually crowded, it’s hot and noisy, the accommodations are bland at best, the food is unhealthy and unappetizing, I must wait in line to do anything, and I have to pay a sizable sum of money to have the crap scared out of me several times a day. Sound like fun to you? Then you must be a fan of Disney World. As you might have guessed, I am not. But it’s not Disney’s fault. On the contrary, I believe that for those who are so inclined, the place is top-notch. I don’t get the appeal, but I know that even grown-ups without children visit the park regularly. Some couples even honeymoon with Goofy. And for those people, Disney definitely hits the spot. You might assume I have shunned The Mouse’s kingdom, refusing to set foot near a single spinning teacup. But you would be wrong. For not only have I stomped my boots at the Country …

Margit’s Note: New York Walkabout

A trip can be a journey to Singapore or it can be a jaunt around the block. Both can do wonders to change your perspective and open up your mind. Come to think of it, I’m having a bit of writer’s block, so let’s go outside. First, I head to the Starbucks across the street on Broadway to get my usual green iced tea but a sign on the door reads, “Due to an emergency, we’re closed,” with a note about other nearby locations. Huh, ok. Recalculating. I stand for a minute and watch other people’s reactions. They stop dead and look around, confused, as if they can’t quite believe their daily routine could dismantle and/or what the hell kind of emergency makes a Starbucks close. Moving along… I walk to another Chinatown coffee shop and along the way notice this cool Basquiat-Warhol poster — a throwback to an older, grittier downtown. Dodging women hawking knock-off “Louis Vuitton-Michael Kors-Marc Jacobs” bags, I watch tourists pull off to the side and hover over a map. I …

Why Bathing is the New Hotness

  When we chatted on the phone today, my mother reported that, thanks to Governor Jerry Brown’s stipulation, she and other California residents must reduce their water consumption by 25%. She now feels guilty about even letting the water in her shower run until it’s warm enough to stand beneath (though she catches the cold water in a bucket and uses it to revive her drought-flattened garden). I chuckled in sympathy and offered to bring a suitcase full of New York City tap water when I visit her later this summer. Then I went for a jog and cooled down in my second shower of the day, at one in the afternoon. It’s possible that I’ll take another when I get home tonight, if I walk home in the rain and need warming up (a cold front is sweeping through the city this week). I also might take one if I have trouble falling asleep—it’s so much nicer to go to bed when my hair is wet and my skin is a little damp. I …

When I Got Clean, My Apartment Did Too

“Messy Bed, Messy Head” I’ve heard this saying forever. And I get it — if your bed’s not made or your home is untidy (and you keep putting off cleaning), there’s a chance your clutter may be a reflection of something troubling going on inside of you. I never gave this slogan much credence. Because while I’m no neat-freak, I’m also not a messy person. I like things to be organized and presentable, however if a pile of clothes are left on my bed after a rushed morning, or our living room is littered with glasses and plates because of a successful dinner party, I can wait until the next morning to clean it all up. And none of that, I thought, meant I was “troubled.” I still don’t think it does. However, since getting sober, this little phrase has taken on a whole new meaning. When I was active in my alcoholism, especially during that last year when I was more or less staying in my apartment and drinking all day, messy wasn’t even …

The Life-Changing Magic of Cleansing My Gut

  I’m finally getting clean. It’s not what you think. Well, in a way it is. I’m cleaning out my gut. And yes, that sounds totally disgusting, but it’s also kind of awesome. Before we start using code words like “elimination” and “move,” let me ease you in slowly. A few months ago my friend Stacy was extolling the virtues of eating in a clean manner. I was all, “You mean with a napkin and such?” “No, no, a cleanse, the Clean program. It’s two shakes and a meal every day — but also this amazing mental journey. For the first time in about 10 years I am controlling my eating habits, they are not controlling me.” Well, sign me up. She’d lost about 10 lbs. on the cleanse, more after the cleanse was over, and it kick-started some other positive health changes for her — the results were evident in her glowing face. When I think about a cleanse, I envision Beyoncé and Gwyneth Paltrow on California patios sipping hot water with lemon sprinkled …

The Young & The Cordless: The Story of Our Robot Maid

  The dawn of the internet, the mobile phone, the widescreen TV, and the Apple watch are just a few of the technological advances I’ve seen in my lifetime, but nothing has stirred my futuristic soul quite as much as the release of the iRobot Roomba in 2002. As a child, my favorite cartoon was “The Jetsons,” and for decades I dreamed of owning my own domestic droid like Rosie, the family’s Jane-of-all-trades metallic maid. The real-life Roomba was simplistic compared to Rosie, resembling a large Frisbee on wheels, but despite its humble appearance, the Roomba’s introduction sparked the world’s love affair with autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners. My wife, Sophia, and I were two of the inaugural owners of a Roomba due to a chance encounter with an iRobot salesman at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2001. It took just one look at this new wheeled wonder-product, and we were hooked. Cleaning the house had been causing tension in our marriage, and one of our least favorite tasks was vacuuming. The cord …

Lady MacDeath to Dirt

  Out, damn’d dirt! Out, I say! I entreat you, be gone from my hardwood floors this day   Swiffer in hand, I walk this abode all the hours long, My heart a-full with dark song   Why must this grit persist? We are not that kind of a home, I insist!   When I wake, I run the Roomba, and that’s not a moment too soon At noon, comes the Dyson vacuum   The evening brings the Wet Jet And yet and yet! This dirt remains set   Oh how I long for a clean, clean floor Shining in the sun, greeting me as I walk through the door   I crave that smooth, silky feel beneath my feet, No dust, no junk, no earthly particles do I want to meet   No crumbs, no scraps No Lego pieces that go snap   No shriveled Cheerios No nastiness from heaven knows   I want “House Beautiful” clean, Scandinavian cosmopolitan clean, Never-have -to-wash-your-gray-feet at night clean Friends, do you know what I mean?   But this …