Despite my feminist sensibilities I’ve never been able to suppress the anxiety of being judged and found wanting when it comes to “homemaking”.
A little Martha Stewart shaped devil sits on my right shoulder pointing out the crumbs in the silverware drawer and the cobwebs in the chandelier. My deficiency is glaringly apparent in the lack of top-dressing on the house plants and fresh liner paper in the linen closet.
The house plant anxiety famously manifested itself the day before our wedding when re-potting the plants became the number one priority before the rehearsal dinner. Talk about displaced anxiety.
I think part of the problem is that I’m not a good house cleaner, but I am a dynamite straightener. So we get behind on the cleaning until we need a full-out cleaning blitz. And the only legitimate reason for a cleaning blitz is house guests.
Parties only require you clean the first floor, but house guests mean the whole megillah.
My daughter reminds me regularly that no one cares or notices the “flaws” in our house. Her friends think we have the cleanest house they have ever seen that has a teenager living in it. While I don’t clean for teenagers, I do change the table-cloth because even they don’t want cat hair in their food.
Intellectually I know that I’m taking a big bite out of that Enjoli sandwich thinking my house should be as clean as if I didn’t have a full-time job, but I can’t help it. Clean house, good cook, sparkling conversationalist is some kinda propaganda I have yet to recover from.
The good news is once the doorbell rings I can completely relax into a good time. I have no problem leaving the dishes in the sink and having another glass of wine. Maybe we need to have guests more often so there is no time to clean.