Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Martha Went Home

I am not a neat freak. (Shut up CK) I accept that. That said though, neither am I a slob. I like to call my homemaking style "benign neglect". We're not being buried in trash, but you can sometimes (most of the time) write your name in the dust on the television.

My husband? IS a slob. Like a serious Collyer Brothers style house keeping when he's in charge.

I know this. I mean, after all, we've been married for about a hundred years. In theory, he also knows that I get majorly stressed out when people are coming over and the house is a mess. More of a mess, I mean. Not the haha yesterday's mail is on the coffee table and there are dust bunnies under the china hutch! messy. Really messy. Messy like a sink full of dishes, the dining room table piled with school papers and dust bunnies forming a zombie-style Apocalypse in the hallway. Messy like the laundry is over flowing and the shower looks like a science experiment. Messy like the camera crew is going to show up with Neicy Nash at any moment. I cleaned the house Friday morning before I left for home, but still. It's a bit of a wreck.

So what does my husband tell me last night at 10pm? That one friend is coming over for help with his resume and another is bringing her car to have the A/C looked at.


My unpacked suitcase is still on the bedroom floor. There are two baskets of unfolded laundry stacked on the desk and Jack has decided the dining room is a reasonable place to relieve himself and so the carpet needs shampooing and...and...and...STRESS

I think it's a girl thing. It's not so much that I notice if other women scrub their baseboards and dust their ceiling fans, it's that I think they'll notice if *I* DON'T.

Do you girls do this? Do you make yourself insane thinking that the minute your back is turned that someone is going to run a finger down the lampshade and then NEARLY DIE OF DUST POISONING and then they're going to sit down to a cup of coffee with another woman Nescafe commercial style and dish that you never vacuum under the sofa?

Why do we DO this to ourselves? It's not like other women don't realize that we're busy balancing a full time job with a full time home. It's not like we're not all trying to run circles around life and produce a Betty Crocker Dinner in a Martha Stewart home while looking like June Cleaver and staying as cool as dammit?

I get it. I get that you'd rather watch TiVo'd episodes of Chopped than organize the bookshelf, I understand that you spend seven hours a week driving kids to this game and that meeting the other practice.

Why don't we give ourselves a break? It's unreasonable to expect perfection. It's silly to believe that we can do it all and do it perfectly.

So here's what I think we ought to do.

Not go on strike, exactly, but rather go on...break. Let's all take a day or two or a whole week and just not give a shit if the Avon lady drops by and you haven't washed the windows. Let's sit on the couch this afternoon and finish that book that we started reading in July but haven't finished because the floor needs mopping instead of believing that we're bad mothers and terrible wives because you can't eat off the kitchen floor.

Wouldn't you be happier if you could look at the cobwebs in the corner of the garage and then shrug?

I would be.

I will be.

If y'all need me, I'll be over there googling maid services.

8 little kittens say Meow:

Baylee and Blair's page said...

I swear to you I did that one time while I was working. I didn't clean the house for almost a month and it was weird! I think since that little episode it made my OCD worse! Seriously I scrub my floors like 2 or 3 times per week. I also have an 18 month old that is not quite fully walking just yet on my floors all the time. But, I freak out if I leave my house in the morning and the beds are not made. Like seriously have panick attacks. It's the craziest thing!

So, I would LURVE to join you in a break!

Hugs - Tiffany

CK said...

I feel you. I know from what the place looked like before I moved in that MB just DOESN'T SEE the mess that drives me crazy.

There is a Simpson's bit where Marge wins free maid service and spends hours cleaning in preparation. Homer asks her why and she spins a tale of Irish maids judging her: "Do you know what I found in the dirty clothes hamper? Dirty clothes!".

Somehow that's what plays in my head as well when I think about other women in my apartment, even though realistically I know everyone else is too busy with their own crap to worry about my herds of dust bunnies.

Nadine Hightower said...

Maid service...that will show him!
It's therapy.
Yeah that's the ticket.
It's therapy.

Martie said...

You, you DESERVE a cleaning lady. I clean a friends house every other week. Mop, dust, vacuum the entire house, clean (ewww) all the bathrooms, change the sheets on all the beds.Clean the kitchen. I clean out her microwave. Wipe counters. Spray febreeze. Empty all trash cans. Wipe down the fridge. Unload the dishwasher. Cost her $60. She supplies the supplies. I can do it all in 3 hours (if she isn't there). She gets to come home to a clean house. Smelling good.

You deserve it. Look into it. PS: I live in East Texas or Id help ya out!

Chibi Jeebs said...

I do the mad dash, running around like a chicken with my head cut off "quick! shove the crap in the closets/drawers/baskets!" In my defence, I grew up with a mother who would dither and stress ABOUT the mail on the coffee table, so I'm trying to live up to unattainable standards.

I'm jealous of your maid, but you deserve her. Or him. I think you deserve a him more. A really SEXY him. Who likes to dust topless... ;)

Sheila said...

I too am one who stresses, but only at certain times. For instance, BJ & M2 came over the other night. Mail & assorted crap was lying in their designated spots on the counter, the ceiling fan was off & so the summer dust was hovering on the edges of the blades, the patio was even dirty.

But BJ & M2 are my friends, so I know they don't judge. It's life. They have the same hectic life & you know, some things just aren't that important.

But, had it been my neighbors coming over for the same relaxed evening, I would have FREAKED at all the clutter & dust.

And I even have a cleaning lady.

My thinking is that messy is OK, but dirty is gross.

Chelle said...

I have company arriing induced nervous breakdowns. Everything must be soOOooo perfect. Except the closets and drawers where I've shoved everything to prove my unbelievable housekeeping skills.

Then, when I go to other people's houses and there is dirt and dust (not filth, mind you. Not like- 1000 free raoming birds), I feel SO RELIEVED that other people have dirt. It's like I want to run around and compare.

"OMG, SUE! Your fridge is dirty! THANK GOD"

Chelle said...

PS. I didn't use spell check. The end.