Okay. I blew it. Here it is, ten o’clock on Friday night, and I completely forgot to write my post for tomorrow morning.
So what can I share with you that you might actually find interesting or funny?
I’m not much of a housewife. As a matter of fact, I’d say I’m probably the worst housekeeper I know. Nevertheless, if I know you are coming, I will make sure that my house is as clean as I can possibly make it. When my grandmother calls and gives me less than an hour’s notice, I spend forty-five minutes cleaning and the other fifteen minutes trying to make myself presentable – and she’s not even critical of my housekeeping skills! I doubt she would notice if there were dust in the corners.
My mom is – or rather, was – the ultimate clean freak. She used to keep my childhood home so clean that the five-second rule could have been the five-minute rule. When we went to other people’s homes, she always pointed out the dust in the corners. Now, twenty-five years after I moved out, her house has a more relaxed vibe. Don’t get me wrong – the place is clean. But the strict cleaning regimen of bygone days has morphed into a more relaxed style of household management.
Back to me. My mother’s cleaning gene didn’t actually make it into my DNA. I wish it did, but I can’t even sweep the floors with a broom effectively. Dan has more than once taken the broom away from me and swept the floors himself rather than watch my awkward attempts. It’s not a ploy – I really suck at sweeping…and dusting…and, well, pretty much everything housewifely. Not only that, but I don’t notice when he cleans parts of the house.
A few years ago, what is now my office was an Arizona room – basically, an enclosed porch. Dan used the space primarily for storage, and it was stacked to the ceiling in places. To get to the backyard, we had a narrow path cleared from the kitchen door to the back door. One day, I came home from work. Since I knew that Dan was in the backyard, I walked through the Arizona room and outside to let him know I was home.
“What do you think?” he asked expectantly.
Instantly, I knew I’d missed something. “Um…did you get a haircut?”
He rolled his eyes. “How could you not notice?”
I looked at him, still not sure what I was missing.
“You walked through the room, Susan. How could you not see?”
I turned around and walked back to the Arizona room. The piles of clutter were gone; it was as if a cleaning fairy had visited the room. “Wow! This looks great!”
“Save it,” Dan said, tapping his cigar against the ashtray dejectedly. “Too late.”
And that’s how I know that I am clutter-blind.