(And Other Reasons I’ll Never Be Featured in Good Housekeeping Magazine)
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, chances are you’ve heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” uttered a few (thousand) times – especially when one of your girlfriends tries to hook you up with a guy who “has a great personality”, but looks like Robert Carradine from the 80’s movie Revenge of the Nerds.
I agree that we should look beyond a person’s exterior in order to discover what truly matters – like whether or not the guy wears boxers or tighty-whities. But people aside, there is one thing in life that I believe should ONLY be judged by what’s on the surface – my house. I’m hoping that whoever walks in the door won’t find out that the appearances I work very hard to keep up…. well, maybe not that hard…. okay, not hard at all…. are about as superficial as Pamela Anderson’s boobs.
If you delve beneath the creamy, white surface… wait, I’m still thinking about Pamela Anderson’s boobs. Sorry. What I meant to say was that beneath the surface of my house’s tidy façade lies a dusty underbelly, exposed to any houseguest who dares to look too closely.
Here are my 7 deadly sins of housekeeping. Neat freaks might want to look away….
1. My tea tastes like Chili: I reheated my mug of tea in the microwave this morning and when I took a sip, all I tasted was chili – not exactly the pick me up I was looking for at 7:00am. Upon closer inspection, I could see that my microwave still contained the spattered remains of my husband’s chili dinner from the night before. I knew when I opened the door of the microwave that it smelled like chili but I thought, “How bad could it be?” The answer – fucking horrible.
It’s not just the microwave that looks like a graveyard for the ghost of dinners past, it’s every appliance in my kitchen. I can handle a certain amount of gunk and grease, but I have to take action when I end up with tea that a vegetarian would find morally offensive.
2. Closets, they’re not just for coats anymore: Actually, they’re almost never for coats anymore – that’s what the couch, doorknobs, and playroom floor is for. Our closets are predominantly for housing old toys, clothes, and mementos. I feel compelled to save useless crap like my son’s 2nd grade report card – what if he wants to know how he did in school when he’s too old and senile to remember? He might enjoy finding out that he never followed directions and couldn’t keep his mouth shut in class.
The problem with running a sentimental storage facility is that things tend to pile up after 14-years of parenting. So, snoopers beware – if you’re nosey enough to go poking around in my closets, expect to encounter something like this when you open the door….
3. Even Mr. Clean can’t help me now: Cleaning the bathroom is like the pap smear of household chores (guys, you can insert prostate check into that metaphor instead…. insert is probably a bad word to use there). It’s necessary but dreaded, and when it’s over you’re exhausted and feel like smoking a cigarette. Or maybe that’s just me.
I procrastinate for weeks, and watch with a growing sense of dread as the dried toothpaste stains and soap scum advance and eventually gain ground. I usually call on Mr. Clean right before they stage a coup and push conditions too close to public bathroom territory. After I have won the disinfectant war (what’s with all the military imagery, Linda?), I make my husband and kids come into the freshly scrubbed bathroom to admire how shiny and scuzz-free it is.
“Isn’t it clean? Look – the shower walls aren’t slimy anymore!!” I boast as I show off my sparkly-clean bathtub with all the pageantry of Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune.
They’re never quite as impressed as I think they should be.
4. Dust bunnies – the pets you don’t have to feed: I’m not sure dust bunnies is an accurate description of what I have in my house – by the time I get around to dusting they’re more like dust llamas. I hate dusting almost as much as I hate cleaning the bathroom. Wiping down tabletops is no big deal, it’s the time consuming dusting that I have a problem with – the curtains, blinds, ceiling fans, bookshelves, etc. I usually wait until those things start to look fuzzy before I resign myself to the chore.
If you ever want to see it snow in July, just come on over to my house and I’ll turn on my ceiling fans for you. If we get drunk enough, we can have fun dancing around in the “snow” like Winona Ryder in Edward Scissorhands. It’ll be magical.
5. A place for everything…. but dammed if I know where it is: Where can you find a staple gun, fruitcake and lint roller all living in harmony together? The answer is on my kitchen countertop. In any other house, this area might be used as an eat-in counter, equipped with some hip bar stools and matching placemats. Like this….
But instead, this counter (and pretty much every other flat surface in the house) acts like a landing strip for all the crap nobody knows what to do with. I’m sure if I thought long and hard about where all this stuff belongs, I could find a proper home for all of it (in the garbage). But who has the time? The past four seasons of Modern Family aren’t just going to watch themselves.
6. Martha Stewart can kiss my ass: The beds in my house are never made. Well, that’s not entirely true – when it comes time to put on clean sheets, I make the bed. But the other 29 days of the month, my bed looks like it fell victim to a dozen chimpanzees with restless leg syndrome. And yes, I only wash my sheets once a month – but that shouldn’t gross out anyone reading this because the neat freaks were already warned to look away. Remember? You might want to heed my warning this time because it only gets worse from here.
I had high hopes when I finally bought the four-poster bed of my dreams. I bought a pretty comforter set with matching throw pillows to complete the Martha Stewart vision I had created in my head. But after about a week, the bed stopped being made and the throw pillows found their way into a corner of the room; and there they stayed in a decorative pile, giving the dust bunnies yet another place to hide.
7. My recipe for homemade raisins: Chances are, if I have to get down on my hands and knees to clean it, it doesn’t get cleaned. Who am I, Cinderella? The areas under the couch (and any other piece of furniture) are usually neglected unless one of the kids loses a favorite toy (read that as an iPod or Nintendo DS) and we have to turn the whole house upside down to find it. That’s when science-project-level grossness is discovered. Stuff like this….
I know you’re jealous, and want to find out how you can make your own homemade couch raisins,
so I’ll share the recipe with you:
- Give child a bag of grapes as a snack.
- Assume child eats bag of grapes.
- Assume child properly disposes of bag instead of shoving it under the couch.
- Discover that all your assumptions were really, really WRONG.
I warned you it got worse, but you didn’t want to listen.