Anybody know how my house gets to be such a mess? It’s only January, and it needs spring cleaning already. Only the BFF and I live here, although she sheds enough hair to spin into a ladder for Rapunzel. I cleaned up for Thanksgiving, and it was a mess a week later. I cleaned up for Christmas, and it was a mess by New Year’s Eve. Despite vacuuming thoroughly, clouds of dog hair wrapped themselves around the legs of my dining room chairs within hours.
I’m not talking about cobwebs in the ceiling or the grease on the kitchen exhaust fan. They will be there until I drag out the 18’ ladder to change one of my track lights. I’m talking about the ordinary clutter that seems to multiply like rabbits. I’m talking about the stray stick-on bow that ended up under the sofa on Christmas morning and made itself known on New Year’s Eve. The ornament hook that wandered into my bathroom.
Does this stuff have legs? Does it party in the middle of the night and drop wherever it passes out like a frat boy?
Why is there a clean dessert plate under my coffee table? Oh, I know that one! The BFF was licking the remnants of Cheesecake Factory Lemon Meringue Cheesecake and must have shoved it there. Thank goodness she’d already cleaned it!
Why is there a box of light bulbs sitting in a corner of my bedroom? It’s been a mystery for at least six months now, because none of the bulbs fits any of the fixtures in my bedroom or bathroom.
The worst room is my walk-in closet, which ceased to be “walk in” about three months ago after I lost My Mother’s birthday present and threw everything on the floor in my frantic search. I blame it on being short. I can pull storage boxes off the shelves, but I need a step-stool to put them back.
So, I just don’t put them back, and then they’re all on the floor, and I can’t walk in my walk-in closet. I kind of lean over the clutter and stretch my arms toward the rack in the back. This works for taking the clothes off the rack, but it’s impossible to reach far enough toward the rack to rehang the clothes. Consequently, my clean clothes are hanging in the laundry room.
There’s a place for everything in that closet, but nothing is in its place except my shoes and handbags. I love them almost as much as I love my BFF, and, even when you factor in the cost of her two emergency exploratory surgeries, I have more money invested in leather goods than I do in her. My pricey Italian heels would surely snap off if I stepped on them under that mess on the floor. My handbags, which come with their own dust bags, have a place of honor on a shelf. Of course, most of the dust bags are on the floor, but the pricey leather goods rest securely five feet above the fray (conveniently at my eye level).
I have always been a slob. My Mother once gave me a magnet that said, “Dull women have immaculate homes.” I was never certain how to take that from the Queen of Tidiness. I’ll never forget the Veterinarian saying to me in the early days of our marriage, “Don’t you think that it needs to be swept in here?”
“Don’t you know that the vacuum cleaner is in the closet?” I promptly replied, without a hint of sarcasm. “It takes two people to make this mess. We both go to school full-time. Why should only one person be responsible for cleaning?” He wisely never mentioned it again. In fact, we used to joke that we had to have a dinner party once a month just so we’d get the house clean.
Eventually, in 1986, I hired a young dancer to clean. She wanted to earn money to spend the summer taking classes in NYC, so she asked me what I thought of paying $25 to clean a house.
“I think I’ll be your first customer,” I replied, “that’s what I think.”
Of course, I would clean the house before she came to clean, because I didn’t want her to see how dirty we were and because we didn’t want her to put things away where we couldn’t find them again.
I understand that women commonly do this. By the time you’ve cleaned for the house cleaner, you might as well have just finished cleaning it yourself and saved yourself some money. And in a pinch, I am not ashamed to admit, I have been known to fake out my family by emptying the trash, spritzing lemon-scented Pledge in the air, and swishing the toilets and sinks with Clorox bleach to make everything smell sanitized, which it was, when you think about it. You thought that was just a joke, didn’t you? Ha-ha! There are actually crazed women like moi who consider it a legitimate cleaning technique.
Think about it. There isn’t much that survives an onslaught of chlorine bleach into the dirtiest recesses of your home, such as the toilet, the shower, and the garbage disposal. Who needs multiple cleaning products when Clorox gets the germs and Windex gets the grease? Caveat: Do NOT use them together. That would take care of things in a way you probably don’t intend unless you don’t want to clean again for eternity. Can you spell l-e-t-h-a-l?
DATE UPDATE: Match sent me an email saying that January 4 is their busiest day of the year for people searching for “that special someone” or “your last love” or whatever cliché their marketing team concocted.
Who did they send me? I got three scammers and three real possibilities, including an attractive, divorced, medical professional in DC who was looking for an “intelligent and witty” woman aged 54-66 “who understands that monogamy is not a type of wood.” He mentioned that he is exploring his Italian heritage. Don’t you think that he and I are a match made in heaven? I understand medicine. I used to live in the DC area. I’m 62. I have an Italian heritage. I wrote to him about our mutual interests and signed it “Suzanne, who understood monogamy for four decades.” I thought that sounded both intelligent AND witty.
I guess he didn’t think so, because he didn’t respond. Two other men emailed me, a 62-year old divorced “professional engineer” with a master’s degree who lives in the next county north and had a boyish grin and shaggy gray hair and was looking for a…wait for it…”intelligent and witty” woman. He complimented me on the “nice pic [sic] of you and cute dog.” (The BFF is a guy magnet.)
The other, who also lives near DC and has never been married (but has children!), was looking for a variation, a “unique and intelligent, witty woman”, and wrote, “Like your profile and photos. Happy New Year.” My profile at that time said, “Lousy housekeeper (sorry)…looking for a man who doesn’t want a Stepford Wife,” because I believe in truth in advertising, unlike most of the people on Match. I wrote to both men, and neither responded. I changed the profile. “I am the real deal (otherwise I would have lowered my age, raised my height, and faked my photos).”
On New Year’s Day, a whopping 10 men expressed their admiration, either through the dreaded winks or by “favoriting” me. Unfortunately, they represented the states of Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, California, and New Jersey, which made a particularly strong showing with multiple unsuitable entrants.
On Sunday, still glowing from the wins by the Spartans and the Ravens (I just had to throw that in), I received a “favorite” from an incredibly attractive widower, aged 64, who lives in one of the most affluent DC suburbs. His profile mirrored mine! He was looking for an “intelligent and witty” woman 58-65! He was online at that very moment! And I was his favorite! I clicked to “Favorite” him…and he disappeared. Like Cinderella’s coach at midnight, gone. The message popped up: “Profile no longer available. Perhaps you would like one of these…” Really? In 30 seconds? Sounds like someone at match is manipulating profiles and photos.
I changed the profile again, because I read that you get moved to the top of the matrix if you make a significant photo or information change. Today I sound like a Stepford Wife, not so witty, not so intelligent, definitely not unique. (“I love football and would love to cheer for your team.”) Although I kept “Caution: English major.”
I’ve had 64 views in 48 hours (surely due to the BFF), and two more scammers with the usual scammer spiel. Today, I got this from someone who appears to be a native speaker of English from the information he lists, but I’ve never heard a sane man of any nationality talk like this:
“Can we begin together?
Hello Beautiful Smiles,
Good afternoon and how are you doing?? I hope your day is going well?
I would like us to talk more so we can get to know each other more better. We can begin a conversation and see where it leads, Life is too short and we all want to spend it with the special one,
So let’s give this a chance and see what happens. Here is my cell : 555-555-5555
Hope to hear from you soon,”
To me, the “special one” is Jesus. That’s my answer.
I think I take Beautiful Smiles to convent they not let me have own wine and probably make me clean room and no take cute dog. She like dirty house. So, who I complain?? Life is (mostly). Soli Deo Gloria!