Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our Lady of Perpetual Mess

I am, I freely admit, a disastrous housekeeper. My house is a shambles. Which causes no end of anxiety for me. I mean, my house is such a disaster, I sincerely fear play dates. Not because I know that nicely turned-out parents in their tidy vehicles will arrive at our door to pick up their darlings only to be shocked at the overflowing laundry bins and Lego underfoot, but because I won't be able to locate their precious, but oh-so-easily misplaced progeny.

Now, don't get me wrong, we aren't depraved. We don't share our home with cockroaches, mice, or assorted vermin (that we can see), and we're certainly not candidates for Hoarders (God forbid!), but we're so deeply mired in stuff you have to wade through the hip-deep detritus to find the couch.

I'm not proud of this, and I certainly don't relish having to shovel a path to the bathroom each morning--in fact, sometimes I become so claustrophobic I go on a rampage filling plastic bin bags with any and all toys, clothes, shoes, bedding, and assorted small appliances within reach and hoof it off to the Sally Ann--but I'm sufficiently uninterested to make a permanent change.

So I've decided to find and extol the virtues of living in a mess. It's my new mission, maybe even my new religion. I will convert at least 3 people a decade. It'll be a small congregation, but a lazy one. We'll call ourselves Our Lady of Perpetual Mess and some of our hymns will include, Go Throw it Off the Mountain and Amazing Glaze (on the Bathroom Counter). Of course the backbone of my new faith will be the Five Virtues:

: Avoid extremes of housekeeping. Forebear resenting injuries caused by tripping over your husband's shoes so much as you think they deserve.

Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, like a strawberry stuck to the kitchen floor for two weeks, or at accidents common or unavoidable from stepping and sliding on said strawberry.

Order: Let all your things have their places, and when they don't, let the places they lie be their new places. 

Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought, when you're not tired or to busy blogging. Perform without fail what you resolve, when your in-laws are coming for the weekend.

Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes, or wine glasses, but in habitation, give yourself ample leeway.

I feel a great weight lifted off my shoulders at this decision (mostly because I shrugged off my wool coat on to the floor). It's freeing to aim for the middle. No more battles. No more weeping. No more renting of clothes. No more shouting down the hall to get kids to pick up their backpacks, or threatening life and limb when I find a 4-day old bowl of mushroom soup in the laundry room, or frantically flipping through the Yellow Pages to find a divorce lawyer after discovering toenail clippings on the kitchen table...again!

And when Our Lady descends to finally bring me to that tidy, quiet, peaceful place in the sky, I'll know I did my job. I'll know that my family is safe from pestilence and disease because my conversion has enabled them to be exposed to every known virus on the planet, that, and the fact that they'll probably find enough money (and popcorn kernels and Barbie shoes and crayons and underwear) under the cushions of the couch to hire a house-keeper.

1 comment:

  1. I'm your latest "follower," now that I've caught up on your blog. Soooo refreshing reading you. :)