Tuesday, July 26, 2005


The Guest

Alas, T. (who stars in a few posts on this site, because I was afraid to have her down to visit based on what she'd think of our house and its contents) decided she's not going to come stay the night anymore. Five people and all our stuff is too much for her.

She said it nicely, but it still smarts, because no matter how hard I clean, it won't ever meet her standards. There's just not enough time in my day to play maid anymore, or to provide the kind of vigilance needed so that the bathroom floor stays hair-free for the 24 hours she's here. True, when she came down, it was gross, but Ki did a clean up of the kitchen and bathroom while T. and I went for a walk on the beach.

So, what's the problem? Why can't I just do a little more around the house? I work early (up at 6 AM, in the office by 7 AM) and I often teach dance or have dance practice after work, until around 9 PM. When I worked at home, I used my breaks to do everyone's dishes, dust, Tilex the bathroom, etc. Now that I'm offsite, it's much harder. I still come home and clean, but I've been gone all day and I'm tired, and it seems like there's more to tidy lately.

I was all set to do a big clear out when I got this offsite job, but I've lost steam. It seems that from my conversation with T. that even if my stuff was under control and I did a decent clean of the house, it wouldn't appeal to her to come stay. She doesn't like that we only have 1 1/2 bathrooms for 5 of us (6 with her), and that there's not a lot of space for her stuff. I can clear out some space for her, but unless I install another bathroom, which is only marginally more likely than my winning the lottery, the 1 1/2 is all we've got to work with. And I can't do much about my housemates' random stuff.

I guess I'm just used to living with people. Sure, it's a pain sometimes, especially when there's junk that's not mine strewn about, or I just mopped the floor and someone walks over it, but it also has its good points. Our housemates are bright and funny and have big hearts. They welcome any of our reasonably-behaved friends, and they feed and medicate our sweet kitty just about every weekend. Nine times out of ten that's enough to get me to overlook a little bit of bathroom scunge.

So, given T's announcement, while I will keep decluttering, I don't have the impetus anymore to do a giant decluttering right now. I can either spend my limited spare time making things nice--but not nice enough--quickly, or I can make them not-quite- nice-enough on my own time, a few items here and there, in a way that means I still have time to sleep, and dance, and sit in the hammock, and play, and to do the work that brings in money.

I do indeed want the house to look nice. I want it to be clean and decluttered. It's just a bit dispiriting to realize that your best efforts won't be enough for someone you love.

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