I’ve written about my messy house before. It’s not that I am a hoarder. It’s that I’m a busy working mom. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do what I need or want to do.
I tidy up where I can, but for the last 12 years, it’s always some superficial rush job in which my definition of “clean” increasingly becomes “consolidated piles.” There’s the stack of fabric by the sewing machine for that glorious day when I have time to create something fun. There’s the big bag of beads and the crystal bracelets waiting to be restrung.
Furthermore, any sense of interior decoration has totally left the building. Furniture is a utilitarian mishmash that, at this point, also includes hand-me-downs from friends who moved away. It’s completely comfortable and makes us happy, but it’s so not a house designed for posh parties.
Unfortunately, a day came when someone was scheduled to come to my house. That someone was an ex-governor. As in, public official who oversaw the executive branch of government, not a fancy title that some boards give to their board members.
I tried to clean before he came! It was a busy week and I didn’t do a very good job. I warned him that it’s messy and, um, “local style.” That’s my public relations up-spin.
The governor came and went. He was cool about it. He’s a nice fellow.
A short time later, I had two social visits at my house. One was with fellow journalists. The other was with my cousin. Both times, I embarked upon a short cleaning stint before they came.
Each time, my husband teases me. “Oh, so you care about what your cousin with the equally messy house thinks, but not the governor?” “You’re really going to clean up for your coworkers, some of whom graduated from college ten minutes ago, but not the governor?”
I now catch flack every time I clean for someone who isn’t a former top official. I guess this means I have license to stop cleaning entirely until I can get another official to drop by, at which time I’ll have to redeem myself in my husband’s eyes.
Can someone let President Obama know I’ll need two days’ notice in case he wants to visit?