The Magical Cleaning Fairies Are Threatening to Sue

Dear Friends,

Sad, disquieting news from the Cleaning Fairies ahead.

A couple days ago, I mentioned to you that the Magical Cleaning Fairies still haven’t cleaned the kitchen or the bathrooms or finished mining the myriad mountains of laundry because those damn fairies never ever show up even though I ask and ask, and I think we should talk to the Better Business Bureau about them because I hear I’m not the ONLY one with this problem and, frankly, I’m tired of their slacker ways.”

Unfortunately, the Cleaning Fairies (one of whom might be my father, who resided in our home with a few of our wily, wild children while we were on vacation) have officially, and in writing, objected to my statement.

Yesterday, I received the following Pre-Grievance Notification:

Fairies Brotherhood International
Oregon Local 97000
April 24, 2016

Ms. Beth Woolsey


Ms. Woolsey:

This shall serve to advise you that under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) dated October 13, 1973 (revised January 14, 1995) between the Fairies Brotherhood International (FBI) and Beth Woolsey (successor of Elizabeth McDonough) Section 4.B Professional Conduct our member(s) employed at Your House, Oregon allege defamation under the above referenced section, to wit:

You did knowingly, and with intent to defame, publish in a public media venue on or about April 23, 2016, the following:

 …still haven’t cleaned the kitchen or the bathrooms or finished mining the myriad mountains of laundry because those damn fairies never ever show up…

Our members, the Magical Cleaning Fairies, have provided sworn testimony that between the dates April 8, 2016 and April 18, 2016 (inclusive) two (2) bathrooms, one (1) bedroom, the laundry room, and the kitchen of their assigned place of employment, i.e. Your House, Oregon, were in fact clean, neatly arranged, and “mountain free.” Our members further testify that any degradation of these circumstances is entirely the due to the actions (or failure to act) on the part of the Employer, i.e. Beth Woolsey.

Under Section 23.C.4.c of the CBA Pre-grievances, you are afforded ten (10) business days to resolve the foregoing issues raised under Section 4.B Professional Conduct to the satisfaction of our member(s) or this violation will be formally filed with the System Board of Adjustment.


Thugly N. Forsser, Esq.
Contract Administrator and Legal Counsel
Fairies Brotherhood International
Oregon Local 97000

Here’s the thing, folks. The Magical Cleaning Fairies claim to have left several areas of my home “clean, neatly arranged, and ‘mountain free,’” and blame me — ME! —  for the “degradation of these circumstances.” As though *I* have failed to keep my house clean instead of relying, as I should be able to, on supernatural creatures to magically appear and enchant my house into the perpetual, preternatural state of cleanliness to which it and I am entitled. I know. I’m finding their missive hard to swallow, too.

Now I know the internet is full of too much misplaced outrage these days, and I swear to you I’m not trying to add to it. Occasionally, though, there are some stands we must make and some banners we must take up to protect both ourselves and others who have been insidiously silenced, and, let’s be honest; there are many of us, numbering into the millions who have NOT had the kind of cleaning service from the fairies — or, hell, even Snow White’s or Cinderella’s woodland creatures — that we deserve. Which is why I didn’t bury the letter above and why I’m speaking out now.

So the question becomes, how do we move past our collective outrage, because obviously we’re all outraged, and move toward fundamental, necessary change? I mean, I could point out that the Magical Cleaning Fairies have no proof that they ever cleaned my house, particularly considering the state it’s in right now. And I could point out that, although they claimed in the subsequent phone call I made to discuss the Pre-Grievance Notification to have “witnesses,” said witnesses are historically unreliable. I could point out a number of things, but what I’d rather do is discuss Meaningful Change.

Thus I turn to you. If you have any ideas for how to handle this kind of unfair, baseless communique from the Magical Cleaning Fairies — any similar experiences you can share — please let me know. The time for change is now. And we will not be intimidated.

For us all,





P.S. For the few of you who may feel sympathetic to the Magical Cleaning Fairies’ missive, I offer these photographs, most of which were taken yesterday, and ask you whether it’s likely these areas were truly “clean, neatly arranged, and mountain free” a mere 6 days prior:


IMG_7741 - Copy

You can see more of our linen closet here.

IMG_7740 - Copy

And you can see more of our entry-way lockers here,
which, frankly, are supposed to work better than this.

IMG_7742 - Copy

You see my point.

AND — P.P.S. There are still a few spots left at TWO upcoming retreats in June. I would LOVE to hang out with you there. If you’ve been thinking about it, or if you have any questions, or if you want me to talk you into coming, email me at These retreats are my Favorite Things EVER because they breathe life into my weary, waiting soul, and I want to share that with you.

The Magic in the Mess Writing Retreat makes space for writers to explore their creative voices, discover a supportive writing community, and give shape to the messy but beautiful stories we each carry with us.


The Grace and the Grime Spiritual Formation Retreat exists to create space to deepen our experience with God in an authentic, encouraging environment. In addition to the grounded and the graceful, we welcome those who are weary, wary or unsure, and we believe we’re all wildly worthy of love and grace.

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13 responses to “The Magical Cleaning Fairies Are Threatening to Sue”

  1. I bring this up not to invoke the wrath and anguish of your wily and wild children (referencing the WOOLLY WORM Festival of October past) but only to give a possible reason why the said “Magical Cleaning Fairies” are unavailable to assist in the upkeep and cleanliness of your lovely home. There is a Fairie Festival about to take place in our neck of the woods. (Don’t let your darlings see this post) Featuring a new King and Queen of the May, Sprout Scouts, live music, dancing, bubbles, magicians, fairies, goblins, over 70 fairie craft vendors, and more winged things than you can count! The Fairies really have been very busy and preoccupied with preparations for a mystical May Day festival! While I am there with my own wily and wild child, I will petition their prompt and magical appearance at your house once the festival concludes (and after they come to my house of course!). I truly expect to find my house enchanted into a state of beauteous wonder worthy of Better Homes and Gardens.
    While you await their arrival, I say go outside and enjoy searching for signs of spring and fairies. The mess we will have with us always!

    • P.S. I would also post some pictures of my glorious mess but I am afraid it might possibly scare even the most Magical of Cleaning Fairies!

  2. Your dad is awesome.

    Also, we can have our house clean as clean can be, and within 2 days it is heading toward wreckage. Evidence of entropy, I say.

  3. Have you ever tried getting rid of stuff? Any mountain existing longer than say three weeks just gets discarded… Tadaa!
    And to placate the fairies: try sending a box of chocolate (as in good chocolate, such as BELGIAN chocolate – they’ll be sooooo over the moon they will forget any Pre-thingy thingies and witnesses and they might actually be back sooner than you’d expect them to be).

  4. This made me clean out two ‘junk drawers’ – junk no longer! (That’s a neat picture above the lockers…)

  5. I have often noted that our cleaning fairies are slacking and not one single person seems to get it. So, perhaps that there’s even a response is a good thing? 🙂 Either way, I love everything about this post.

  6. My sister was in the staff room after a birthday celebration and someone commented on how tidy it already was. My sister said, “Looks like the cleaning fairies have been busy.” Her vice principal was at that moment drying and putting away the last dish.

    Her vice principal is gay.

    He looked at her and deadpanned, “Yep. The cleaning fairy is all done now.”

    And she died.

    I would like to submit your blog post as evidence that The Cleaning Fairies are known to be supernatural assistants, not a derogatory term for our gay brethren.

  7. As one of the “witnesses”, who can attest to the cleaning fairies’ handiwork, now I am aggrieved, having been labeled “historically unreliable.” I have witnessed “before and after” the visit of the cleaning fairies, and regret that I don’t have photographic evidence to submit. I also regret that they did not come to my house after the rest of your children left here.

  8. Not to join the side of the fairies but having six kids myself I can say that could totally have been clean and neatly arranged 6 days ago. I think we need to turn our efforts towards the mess makers. .

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