For some inexplicable reason, my 19 year-old daughter and I were instant messaging about housework this morning. The conversation began when there was a delay in her response to me regarding another topic.
"Don't worry," I told her. "I was doing the dishes anyway."
"I wish," I continued, "that I could be obsessed with housework. As it is, I am simply depressed by the state of my house."
"Why worry, Momma?" Lora asked. "No one sees the house anyway."
No one sees my house? Is she kidding? Twice in the past few weeks I have come home after school to find Lora and her sorority sisters lounging in my living room. Her roommate actually came to my house for a shower on Saturday. She told me herself just a few days ago that during rush interviews she told potential pledges that when her sorority sisters are homesick for their pets, she brings them to my house for puppy and kitten time. Did she forget all this?
Actually I am quite happy that Lora brings friends over, but there are some caveats. For one thing, it would be nice is Lora and her roommate actually ran a sweeper once or twice before bringing strangers in my house. After all, two of the cats that shed on my carpet are theirs. Secondly, it would be nice if they did not leave their personal effects and garbage in the living room after the visit. Finally a call to let me know they are bringing company by would be greatly appreciated.
I don't think actually being obsessed about housework would be a good thing, but I don't think hiding in my room to escape the mess in healthy, either. Somewhere there must be a happy medium.
Last week, when Dan was New Castle, I was quite productive, even after school. I straightened the living room and ran the sweeper, changed the litter box (twice), took out the trash, cleaned my bedroom and kept up with the few dishes that needed attention. I even had time for naps. Why is it when people are in my house that I can't get anything done?
I think the answer simply is that people talk to me. Apparently, conversation is exhausting, leaving me with no energy to expend on housework. Add to this the fact that additional humans in the house cause the need for additional housework, and one can see how a virtual tidal wave of dirt and mess would accumulate.
I sincerely believe my options for dealing with this situation are limited. One, I could force myself to clean each night. Two, I could make Lora clean the house before and after she has guests. Three, I could simply not worry about it. Four, I can retreat to my room and ignore the entire situation.
Looks like number four is a winner to me!