cleaning products for Fall Cleaning

image: cleaning products set out for Fall Cleaning

|| 10 September 2023

Rewards for Difficult Tasks

Ann Leslie in New York sent congratulations of my successful assembly of the exercise bike. She then posed two questions concerning rewards. I answer those two questions in today’s Nouvelles.

Ann Leslie wrote:

Congratulations to you! You deserve the highest possible praise. And gratitude to people who post YouTube instructional videos. I was wondering what you do to reward yourself for such a great accomplishment. I know it’s not treating yourself to a dessert you wouldn’t ordinarily eat. What does a chic French woman do to indulge herself? A beauty treatment? Is that a good topic for a Nouvelles?

Yes, I thought it was an excellent topic for a Nouvelles. So first, let’s deal with what a chic French woman might do to reward herself for completing a difficult task. One reason I have shifted the focus of the website away from chic French women is that I am too out of touch with their lifestyles. I don’t know what a chic French women might do today. Things have changed radically in France over the past several decades.

But had I been asked this question in the years I was observing chic French women, I would have pointed out that, unlike American women, French women did not expect things to be easy and convenient. They accepted that many things were difficult and time-consuming — and they just did them. Without thinking they deserved any particular reward.

And what I did to reward myself on completing the bike assembly? Frankly, I was SO HAPPY to have that big 76 lb. box out of my living room where it had been sitting for more months than I will admit, that I did not feel any additional reward necessary.

But since I had rearranged much of the living room furniture to accommodate the bike assembly, I decided I had a head start on Fall Cleaning. So I began attacking corner dust and cobwebs, cleaning the hardwood floors with Murphy’s Oil Soap, polishing the furniture with Old English lemon oil. All of which has lifted my spirits as much as assembling the exercise bike. And I love the soft fragrances that the oil soap and the lemon oil leave behind.

Now to wash all the crystal on the mantel, vacuum the drapes, shampoo the carpets . . . When that's done, I think I will deserve a reward.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone