Friday, October 11, 2002

The Small Stuff

I am one of those people who have a slightly obsessive need for my house to be clean, orderly, picked-up and spotless. Why? It’s not like I have an ever changing array of people parading through it; 90 percent of the time it’s just me, hubby, Tipsy and Gabe (four-legged children). It’s just I feel better about myself when everything is in order. I don’t judge others by how clean their house but I always expect them to judge me.

While hubby was away on vacation I gave the whole apartment a thorough cleaning. I got out the little Swiffer Sweeper and got the dust bunnies off the ceiling, baseboards, walls, and etc. I dusted every piece of furniture and oiled all the wood. I bleached the tile and grout in the bathrooms and completely re-organized his closet. (Mine stays organized year-round) Well, while he was away the house stayed completely clean. When he returned it got a little messed up again and last night I was stressing over it and yelled at my husband because he left all his bags from his vacation in the kitchen by the laundry room. I’m sorry.

My brother is coming into town tonight and staying through Monday. I am so excited about his visit I want everything to be perfect! Growing up whenever we had company Mother would clean, then go through the house with Patchouli spray, light candles and the house always felt homey. Whenever I came home from college it was the same way. She had always made my favorite foods (Spinach-Artichoke Dip!) as if everything was prepared just for me. So, whenever I have company I want it to look as if House Beautiful were coming to do a photo shoot. I absolutely love to entertain.

Yes, I am neurotically obsessive about some things, my house is one of them. It’s just that I have this notion I cannot get out of my head: how clean my house is reflects on my character as a person therefore if my house is a mess then I am a bad person. So, I ask you, how does one combat the minutia the inability to focus on the big picture for getting lost in the details?

Again, my dichotomy is showing for I am not a “details” person in all things. At work I am a big-picture person. I modify the flow of things. I make sure everything is understandable both visually and verbally. If you give me a concept, like a recipe, I can see a finished product in my head. I can get you from start to finish even though I may not have every step along the way mapped out. Hmm, maybe that’s it. I can see the finished product (a spotless home) in my head and I cannot reconcile my mental picture with the reality of laundry that needs to be folded, carpet that needs to be vacuumed, dishes that need to be washed, and the dust on the television screen.

Maybe I am just stressed about my brother’s visit. We have not spent ANY quality time together since I left Texas and on November 1, that will be three years. I calculated in my head that we have spent maybe 16 hours together since last Christmas minus the time in January with all the family at Pappa’s funeral. I really miss him. We are six years apart and we were not close until later in life.

All the time I was in college, I missed his “growing up.” When he went to college we were about an hour and 15 minutes apart and when he would get stressed out at school he would come to my apartment and just vege for the weekend. Personality-wise we are almost total opposites. I take after Dad, he takes after Mom thus sometimes we fight. It’s just that since I don’t get to see him very often I don’t want to fight at all this weekend. I want everything to be nice and pleasant.

I guess I think if my house is spotless and homey everything else will fall into place. I know, faulty reasoning. But hey, I never said I was perfect. So now I am telling myself “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Just the fact that he is coming to visit is all that matters.


Post a Comment

<< Home