Illustration of an ant finding a sugar pile on the kitchen counter with pink hearts above the ant's head.

I missed a spot

A sticky spot on the counter leads to a book on cleaning and, ultimately, thoughts of revenge


Handsome gave me a book on cleaning. He handed it to me and then promptly walked away. I’m not sure what response he was expecting. In his nightmare scenario, ear protection may have been needed. But I found myself silently standing with the book in my hands, unsure what to think.

Obviously, it came across as a commentary on my cleaning abilities thus far in our relationship.

At least he didn’t buy it for my birthday, anniversary, or any other date when presents are expected. Because then there is the societal expectation that I should thank him for the “gift,” and that wasn’t going to happen.

A cleaning book as a present rates about the same as getting a feather duster or a bottle of migraine medicine as a gift. It is practical and disappointing. That is the stuff you pick up at the local grocery store because it is on sale. Not. a. gift.

Handsome gave me a book on cleaning…I’m seriously contemplating all the ways I could get him back. A small pile of sugar on the kitchen counter might do nicely. Welcome ants!

I’m pretty sure I know what prompted him to give me the book.

The other day Handsome found something sticky on the counter. Evidently, he laid his lunchbox on the counter right on top of it. It got on the bottom of the lunchbox too. Not ideal.

Rather than grab the sponge and clean the counter and the bottom of the lunchbox, he went on and on about its lack of cleanliness and my assumed guilt for said condition.

As I listened, all I heard was disapproval. It is as if he believes I’m not good enough as a roommate because I don’t keep the counters clean every moment of every day.

I explained that I wiped up the breadcrumbs from cutting bread at lunch, and I wiped the counters again after making dinner. I didn’t know how the sticky spot happened or how it evaded my two counter scrubs that day.

Handsome replied, “I guess you are doing your best.” The words were resigned, but the tone was judgmental and somewhat sarcastic.

To see his perspective, you need to know he has worked in a five-star restaurant where keeping things clean is the law. Cleaning the counters is practically written in his DNA at this point.

For me, I have to see if the counter is dirty before I feel compelled to clean. Crumbs, bits of food, standing liquid…something has to be visible on the counter for me to clean it because I do like a clean counter if for no other reason than it doesn’t attract ants.

Apparently, my cleaning counters whenever it visibly needs it, isn’t good enough.

Oh no, I didn’t get the sticky spot—wherever he found it—wiped off the counter.

Now, he has taken his dissatisfaction to a whole new level by handing me this book on how to clean.

I’m seriously contemplating all the ways I could get him back.

A small pile of sugar on the kitchen counter might do nicely. Welcome ants!

Revenge is sweet…and attracts wildlife.

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Honey Madison