Today, my parents stopped in for a visit. Completely unexpected.
My house is usually clean – minus the pit, aka my office.
But not today.
Dishes stacked by the sink, teetering like a game of Jenga. Winter village basking in the spring sunshine. Unpolished countertops. A garbage bag full of water bottles in the entranceway.
It was a little embarrassing to say the least. My kitchen and living area are kept free of dirt or dust – with a fresh Febreze scent. During the entire visit, I kept thinking, “Please don’t go into the bathroom,” even though I’d cleaned it two days ago.
I was raised in a spotless house. The dishes were done right after they were used. Our house was vacuumed at least three times a week. The furniture was dusted weekly. When the chores were passed to my sister and I – since I loathed the central vac – I chose dusting.
My bedroom was spotless. Not a speck of dust on the furniture. Organized dresser and chest of drawers, inside and out. I hung my clothes by colour. Soft blue to navy. Baby pink to burgundy. My CDs were stacked in a holder from A to Z (because who doesn’t love Zappacosta) and labelled “TWK.” Yes, I was a neat freak.
Now, each room and drawer has its own level of neatness. The TV room is organized. Weights perfectly alighted with the couch. Workout mat suspended by a hook on the door. Sports paraphernalia on display – those not, tucked away. Need a band-aid? First drawer of the hallway cabinet. Bedroom? Why are you in my bedroom? Need socks? Um…good luck.
While the dirty laundry never looks like Mount Kilimanjaro, the pile of clean laundry is a close rival. If I need pants or a favourite shirt, I plunge through a 40-gallon teal tub in the pit. Truth be told, I work from the couch. But everyone needs a room for their binders, books and desktop computer. Nice segue from the clean laundry in the basket, don’t you think?
Knowing my house wasn’t sanitized, scrubbed and spotless, my parents didn’t say a word. My dad only said: “Keep the village up. You’ll be ready for next Christmas.”
I’m still doing the dishes though.