|A little bit of bunting to draw the eye away from everything else…|
How many times have you said that to visitors? Yeah, me too.
Even on the occasional times when there was no mess, no clutter of toys, no cobwebs, no stains, no odd smells and no dust, I said it. Only then I was hoping to pull off that trick where the visitor thinks: “Crikey, if this is messy, I wonder how immaculate this awesome woman’s house usually is.”
Actually I have never measured someone’s awesomeness by how shiny their flat surfaces are. Not once. Sometimes I’m intimidated by it and occasionally puzzled, but not in awe.
I tend to judge people on whether or not I like their company, feel comfortable in their houses and if they make me laugh. Other people’s mess always makes me feel comfortable.
Put it this way. Which would you rather someone did before your visit – spent an ill-tempered day doing an unhealthy amount of housework, or off out having fun/earning money or both?
I have met some people who claim to enjoy housework. I’ve stared deep into their eyes and only seen ‘normal’ looking back at me. But then again, that’s what a lot of people say when they later recount having met utter psychos.
The best course of action would doubtless be to make peace with the mess. Something I’ve given almost as much energy to as I have brawling with the domestic bedlam. Yet, that seems as out of reach as actually living in rooms that don’t have sinister balls of stickiness and fluff skulking in the corners.
The thing is, I like to have floors I don’t stick to, surfaces I can put things on flat and, oh yes, being able to find things because there’s a place for them that actually gets used. In fact, I’d go as far as saying the permanent of mild irritation and conflict has become one of the cornerstones of my very being.
Therefore, there’s not point in trying to hide it – pretending everything in the garden’s orderly. Passing myself off as a good housekeeper is more than a bit of a deceit.
Instead, I’m going to try very hard to say nothing about the squalor. And if I can’t I’ll simply say that the visitor should consider it a complement that I am relaxed enough with them to show my true self and all the coffee rings and toast crumbs that go along with that.