The amount of anger I feel when I wake up to a messy house is unreasonable. I’m not in any physical pain, yet within minutes my insides are scorching. My soul is on fire; the rage radiates directly from my heart – I swear I feel it – and extends like an asterisk to the tips of my fingers and my toes. Call this OCD or call it neat-freak, I call it biological common sense. No, I won’t die from the mess (but the stress may kill me). My kidneys will not stop suddenly, on strike, because the dishes are in the sink. My pancreas will not go on an insulin boycott and my heart certainly won’t STOP beating because there are two inches of dirt on the floor. No, I will continue to function, but the mess in my house is fucking pissing me off.
I can’t expect my husband, my teenage son, or my 6-year-old daughter to want to clean. What they don’t understand is I don’t WANT to clean either! I want it clean, I like it clean, and I’d love if someone else did it (according to my criteria, of course). It is scientifically, sociologically, and anthropologically proven that “clutter in your house is clutter in your life.”
The brown rings get darker and spread like a bacterial infection in our toilet and while I’m not testifying it will eventually crawl up my ass and give me toilet cancer, I wish they’d see it as DISGUSTING. Instead, they don’t see the apartment in shambles at all. Instead, it makes me unhappy, crabby, and frustrated especially at the excuse I get: “It doesn’t bother me so why should I clean it?”
I’ve tried playing along with this reasoning and try to let it not bother me. 281 days of writing and one of the big concessions I’ve had to make is to loosen up about a keeping a meticulously clean and organized house. Just for this year, I knew I would have to overlook the socks mysteriously multiplying under the couch and under the dining room table and anywhere other than a hamper.
I thought it would be easy to jump on the family’s messy bandwagon.
To be fair, my husband tries really hard to clean up and sometimes I believe him when he says he walked past the eight scattered books on the floor, the seven pairs of mismatched socks, and the crumbled up receipts without noticing. I genuinely want to give him a little head rub and say, “aww, I know you noticed the garbage has been full for two days and you keep meaning to do it. That’s ok, I’ll do it huffing and puffing and you will come running.”
I just want them to do it without being told over and over again. I want them to do it not because it bothers them but because it bothers ME.
As a mother, I astound myself with how much I can accomplish in a day and don’t understand why everyone else doesn’t function at my speed. I’m non-stop from the from the time my eyelids open and I think I can do it all, but sometimes I remember maybe I don’t have to. After all, my husband is quick to remind me that no one asked me to do any of it. They’re happy to eat take out in their house of mayhem wearing stained clothes. I’m the picky one.
I know the flood and delayed insurance payment and incompetent contractors have not helped. While it’s awesome that our silver lining is a new kitchen, the mess I’ve been dealing with all year has multiplied by a thousand and I think it’s inching me closer to challenging the common understanding that “no one dies of a messy house.”