When guests breach the boundaries…..
I’ve never been a huge fan of house guests. I like my private space private, where nobody moves my stuff about and I can wear fat pants for extended periods of time sans judgement or horror. Of course a lot of that was compromised when I met and married my current husband. Suddenly this big, very messy, very noisy and very clumsy Wookie was knocking about the house causing me daily anxiety over broken cups, open cupboards, pissy loo seats and huge piles of washing. Then we procreated. Twice! And thus my anxiety was threefold. But hey-ho, this is now my daily life. I deal with it and I digress.
I do harbor a secret fantasy of living like a Stepford wife.
I am a very houseproud person. I’ve given a lot of thought to decorating our home. And from about toddler height upwards, it’s perfect! If I could just cling wrap it all and get the family to live elsewhere whilst I sit on the couch sipping g&t’s in my pearls, that would be super! But annoyingly, they continue to live here. If my husband goes away, he always returns and the small ones somehow always manage to find their way home again eventually.
The reality is, we live in organised chaos under a thin veil of grime.
I use my babies trouser knees as a benchmark for when to mop. I clean the bathrooms when I can no longer stand the guilt. I hoover when the toy box is more dust bunny than fluffy bunny. Maintaining my home does feel somewhat like pissing against the wind, but I do my best.
And then sometimes, once in a blue moon, someone really oversteps the mark and comes to stay…
As soon as the suggestion is out in the ether, I feel a creeping anxiety set in. Where will we put them? Will they disturb the kids? Now I’ll have to clean the house. Properly. I hope my house doesn’t smell funny — like of baby shit or last nights fish…… How long will they be here? What will I cook them? Will they think I’m a good hostess/mother/wife/human being???????
You may be thinking at this point that I’m a bit of an uptight control freak. But I’m actually a very balanced person. My family know that the amount of mess they make will be equally balanced to the amount of shit I unleash on them for creating it. House guest’s don’t know this rule. It would be rude of me to convey this point on their arrival. It would be rude of me to follow them from room to room tidying, realigning, fixing as I go. So I always wait for at least 5 minutes after they’ve left a room. They may return from the loo catching me mid-fix but hey, nothing a lighthearted joke can’t diffuse!
My mother always said “Guests are like fish, they begin to stink after a few days.”
Never been a fan of fish……