“Hold on, while I throw the clothes into the freezer.” Seriously, what else are you going to do? The house was a mess. I mean a real mess. I hadn’t been home before 10:00 pm in a week. The kids had basketball tournaments, homework, Scouts. Their in-progress science projects were strewn across the living room, and I hadn’t done dishes in three days. The realtor called – he was bringing people by to see the house in 30 minutes. After fantasizing about killing him as he walked through the door (I had specifically told him upon signing, that I had to have three days lead time…minimum…before showing the house), I got busy and did what I could.
The problem with people coming to look at a house for possible purchase (as opposed to just the unexpected drop-in relative) is that they can legitimately look in all of the closets. Really, if you think about it, the big chest freezer in the laundry room is the only safe place to stash stuff – well, if the washer and dryer are already full! Any other drawer, cabinet, closet, shower stall, or appliance is fair game for a peek.
I guess it’s a moot point, at this juncture, to say that I am not a good housekeeper. I’ve always been a pig. I just don’t get it. I have cousins who are great at “keeping house.” In my early years as a wife, my mother often made the point that there is a big difference in “keeping house” and “cleaning house.” She is right, of course, though I don’t do much of either one these days. I’ll never forget my amazement when my cousin Vicky mentioned in passing during one family reunion, when we all had little kids, that she mopped the floor every night before she went to bed. What? Who does that?
I’ll be real honest with you…I gave up housework for Lent about 30 years ago, and I haven’t looked back. Some people are blessed with the clean-gene, but I am missing it. I tell the tale on myself, that when that big, old farmhouse finally sold (to people looking for a fixer upper), I had to pay a cleaning crew $1,235.00 to clean the house. I tried not to take it personally. I have other qualities.
I was set free from my guilt about this particular issue several years ago, when I first started reading the Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency books. Precious, the heroine of the series, suggested that it was the “Botswanan way” to spread the wealth. Since she was able to make money by doing her detective work, she was happy to hire others who needed to make a living by cleaning her house. While I had given up on housework long before reading those books, Precious set me free! I now feel good about letting someone else clean my house, instead of feeling lazy. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!