Earlier this summer, I told my friend Yolande I was cleaning my house so she could come over.
It never happened.
“Let me know when you do your annual cleaning next year, I will come over then,” she teased.
I know there are some heavy rumors about my lack of house cleaning skills and maybe the majority of them are based on fact.
Yes, my mother-in-law did bring me a broom one morning, claiming she assumed either I didn’t have one or mine was broken. That is a fact.
I did have a broom and I did use it. I am not sure what made her think I needed to sweep unless she spotted some dog hair tumbleweed blowing across the floor and mistook it for a critter. She probably did jump out of her pumps.
I don’t understand how these people with children and indoor pets manage to have immaculate homes. I know a few who will offer the precursory “don’t look at my house, it’s a mess” when you visit, only to walk in to find a spotless house that smells of Yankee Candles and Glade plug-ins.
Then there are the folks who don’t even have a pet rock and their homes are a mess.
Mine’s not dirty, it’s just small. And I have a lot of stuff.
“Junk,” Lamar will call it.
One thing I have noticed: my stuff is referred to as junk, yet 20-year-old, rusted bicycle parts are “memorabilia.”
“I did clean the other day,” I told Yolande. “I even dusted. You and Mama would have been so proud of me. But that was the other day. It’s got the protective coating back on it now.”
I do clean. I may not be the happiest little domestic goddess in the universe, but I do clean. It just never looks all shabby chic or French country or whatever look I would for it to look like.
I am just not a “fluffer.” You know, one of those women that can pull their living room together with a throw pillow or by setting their coffee table catty corner and ta-da, it’s a photo spread in “Southern Living.”
And there’s dishes. There is always a stray dish somewhere that needs to be washed. I have learned not to get one bit of satisfaction for having an empty sink – a glass, cup or dish will soon be discovered under the couch or bed and be plunked in the shiny silver bowl.
It never ends. I don’t know how people actually have those homes that never get dirty or have one magazine out of place.
It’s just not natural, in my opinion. But it does happen. I think it’s called an anomaly.
A house cleaning anomaly.
Sure, I could spend all my free time cleaning. Those are the hours I reserve for that overrated hobby of sleep, but I can clean. It just seems like no matter how much I do, it never all gets done. It’s a never ending vicious cycle.
“Is Yolande ever going to come back over?” Cole asked one day recently.
“Yes, as soon as I get the house cleaned up real good,” is my answer.
“Then I will never see her again,” he said.
He will, one day. I promise. We both will have friends over to celebrate the one day a year I get the house all nice and sparkly shiny mountain breeze clean.
It won’t be today or maybe not even this week, but it will be soon.
“Get started on the dishes,” Mama said. “You know you say you never get all the dishes done. Start now and maybe by the time she comes over, you will have them all done.”
“Mama, when I die, I want my tombstone to read ‘And the dishes still aren’t completely done,’ because there will still be dishes sitting in the sink.”
Mama was quiet, probably not appreciating my dark wit before replying with “I don’t know if that will all fit…”
So I will get the house clean, eventually, I will. I will get the house all spiffy clean, maybe even put a throw pillow on the couch and to make Mama happy, will even dust.
I just don’t expect it to stay that way for long so when I do, everyone better come quickly to see it in all its Pledge-d glory. It will be such a rare feat, I won’t even charge a cover charge.