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Keeping up appearances?

    Why does it take the prospect of company coming to motivate me to do some real housecleaning? I need a notarized copy of a trip itinerary before I get out the furniture polish. Until I see proof, I’m sticking with the Swiffer duster. 
   As soon as the goods are produced though, I’m on it. I’m talking moving furniture to vacuum underneath, running a cloth on a couple of window sills and sometimes even a few spritzes of air freshener. I go all out. Then when it’s all over, I’m wiped out and I sit in the living room and ask myself, “What just happened?”  I love the way a clean house looks and feels. I just don’t like getting it there.
   On an ordinary day without guests, which is pretty much every single day, I’m content to wash the dishes and do some laundry. Oh, I’ll pick up the empty cups around the house and straighten a cushion or two in the living room but then I call it quits. If my feet stick to the kitchen floor, I might break out the broom and mop. Or I might wait a day or two. Cleaning house just isn’t my cup of tea, or in my case, coffee.
   Cleaning for company though, that gives me satisfaction. Somehow I think that these visitors must walk into the house and think, “Wow! What a neat freak! Isn’t she amazing?” Now, most of these visitors are family so you know they know better. They’ve seen the real me. I still get a kick out of their initial reaction though. You’d think by their astonished response I’d realize maybe I ought to pick up the pace a little bit and keep the place looking good.
   Then, after the company has been here about a day and a half, everybody’s socks are turning gray from walking around the house, there are iced tea glass rings on the tables, I’m out of paper towels and we’re eating out of cans. In other words, everything returns to normal and we can all relax.
   I’m wondering now if I am the only person who lives this way or do other people live a double life too? And if not, how the heck do you stay interested enough to keep such a clean house? What’s your motivation? 
   Weekdays, there’s no way I’m spending more than 30 minutes on cleaning. I’ve got more important things to do like work on that path from the recliner to the refrigerator I’m wearing into the rug. I can get my son off to school and then go sit someplace and stare at the ocean for hours at a time. I can walk to the library and browse the books and movies. I can call my family, text my kids, annoy my husband and think about what to cook for dinner, and the next thing I know, it’s 5 o’clock. Why would I want to give all that up? It’s not going to happen. I gotta go now. I need another cup of coffee.

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.
Erma Bombeck


Deb said…
Can you see the ocean from your actual HOUSE? I would certainly not waste time cleaning, either. Waves tend to hypnotize me and make me all mellow and happily paralyzed. Dust bunnies hold no such allure.
Connie Berry said…
nooooo not from the house. i drive a few minutes and THEN stare at the ocean. and dust bunnies rarely have sea shells.

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