At this very moment, in my house, things have reached a critical point. It's not just dirty. It's out of control. There are balls of hair rolling around the floor in the bathroom, visible dust on most surfaces, dog hair in the pantry (eww!), the kids' bathroom is a disaster (wait, that's normal), and the carpets....well, let's just say they have not seen the sucky side of a vacuum in over a week.
Recently, I had family visiting for my daughter's graduation. I envisioned a house cleaned like never before, sparkling and presentable, with nary a dust mite. Fat chance! Instead, we were scrambling to put clean sheets on beds and the best contribution I made to the whole affair was buying new towels. The house, while vacuumed, dusted and straightened before the arrival of guests, deteriorated in the alarmingly rapid way that only a house with four kids and three dogs can, and all was for naught just hours after my family descended.
For one thing, my kids have NO concept of making guests comfortable by perhaps altering their routine of slovenliness for a few days. Like, perhaps, they could have refrained from leaving dirty underwear on the floor of the bathroom being shared by guests, or thrown away the wrapper/box/paper/container that their various food products came in instead of leaving them on the counter/next to the computer/table. Also, chores seem to fly out the window when guests arrive and the kids enjoy using "visiting" as an excuse to pretend they are in a hotel and I'm their personal maid.
Then, there were the meals. I envisioned a lovely meal each night of our guests' stay. My husband, being an excellent chef, would prepare meals that would astound and we would all gather around our large dining room table and enjoy sumptuous feasts every night. Instead, we found ourselves eating Burgermaster while standing in line for graduation, and me tossing a box of donuts on the counter for breakfast before dashing off to work.
We spend hours cleaning the house and it's undone in minutes. It's hardly worth the effort. Which could explain the current state of our humble dwelling. The funny thing is, if I were a guest in this house (or this was someone else's house), I'd be appalled at the housecleaning efforts. Pink rings in toilets, piles of random papers, a lollipop wrapper stuck to the kitchen floor for two days (that one astounds me - I could have picked it up yesterday, but I thought I'd experiment. Each time I conduct this experiment, the results are the same: I am the only one capable of picking it up!). I'd be grossed out if I had to live in this house. Oh wait, I DO live in this house.
So, today it's rainy and crappy out and there's really nothing better to do than clean this pigsty up. And I'll do it with a hefty dose of resentment, muttering under my breath about WHY can't they just pick up after themselves and WHY doesn't anyone ever follow the rules about not eating in the family room, and WHY is there SO MUCH CRAP? And I'll toss a bunch of stuff and fill a bunch of bags with donations and at some point I'll get distracted by a pile or a mound or a disorganized drawer/shelf/area and I'll spend hours organizing it so it can be undone in minutes. THIS, my friend, is the drudgery of life.
Or maybe I'll just stay here in bed on my laptop, drinking Starbucks and eating a scone........because, really, what's one more day of dust?