The Incorrigible Night Owl

July 28, 2004

This is why I don't do housework

I am the kind of person who, when I tell someone who wants to come over, "My house is a mess," actually means it.

I can't count the number of times I have dropped by someone's home at short notice and they have begun apologizing before I've even walked in the door about the state of the flat. Always it is done in such a manner of mortification that I expect to walk in and see live vultures feeding on a pungent, decomposing water buffalo carcass in the middle of the living room.

Then I enter the home and take a look around. There are approximately three small, child's toys on the floor and a tidy stack of folded laundry on one chair. And that, to people obviously much more conscientious than myself, constitutes a mess.

And then there's our house. Eternal laundry, in various stages of completion, perched, precariously, on random items of furnishing. Half our silverware in the drainer; the other half still in the dishwasher (hey, at least it's clean!). The five boxes of Christmas decorations that I hauled in and parked in the entryway 8 weeks ago, intending to repack them and then haul them up to the attic, which I just haven't quite gotten around to yet. Still more boxes, bearing a bizarre assortment of items, piled artistically around the dining room table -- more refugees from the garage that are supposed to be sorted through and rehomed in more appropriate areas of the house at some nebulous future date. And let's not forget the colony of Little People in my living room, the population of which is roughly the half that of Los Angeles. Forget about the sippy cups breeding. I think the Little People are doing a bit more than cruising in the back seats of those tiny plastic cars, if you catch my drift.

I have a friend coming over this evening who has never been to my house. So being the kind of person who says my house is a pigsty and really means it, but wanting to appear as one of the other types, I went on a cleaning binge last night to prepare for her brief visit.

Things went great. I was a madwoman; more ambitious than I've been in months (fear, in this case fear of embarrassment, is always my best motivation). I knocked through the Christmas decor and dragged it all back out to the garage; got rid of some of the dining room boxes and stacked the rest neatly along the walls; cleaned off the cluttered counter and entryway chest-top; and more.

Exhausted but triumphant, I put JZ to bed at 7:45 and relaxed. Robert let Madalyn stay up late, watching t.v. When he went to put her to bed around 10:30 he came out to the kitchen and began rummaging in the refrigerator. I asked him what he was doing and he informed me that Madalyn claimed she was hungry.

This statement brought me crashing unpleasantly back to reality and I realized, with horror, that, in the throes of my cleaning spree, I had forgotten to feed my children dinner! And the little one had gone to bed without it!

People, this is why I do not clean my house. I have learned my lesson.


Editor's note: We are leaving for Vegas tomorrow and will return Monday night. Blogging from Vegas is a definite possibility, provided the room has internet access via the t.v., which seems to be pretty common in Vegas these days. If not, will return with a full rundown on Tuesday, August 3rd.