Thursday, September 15, 2011

9-15-11 One of those "sorry I'm crazy" mornings

It's never a good sign when you say to your husband, as he walks out the door to work, "I'm sorry I'm so crazy."

Since I hopped on the confession train last night with my appalling lack of dental visits, if that didn't run you off, let's give this a try.

I am turning into a hermit. Well, not a hermit exactly. Just someone who breaks down into paroxysms of fear at the idea of having someone over to her house. It's been getting worse, I think, over the intervening years and I'm not sure if that's because I'm growing more disgusting in my house keeping or just more aware of how disgusting my housekeeping has always been.

Courtney is coming tonight and I've been calmly knocking out the chores all week, freshly laundered sheets on the bed, getting new pillows, vacuuming, wiping down the guest bathroom . . . until this morning.

It never fails. The day of someone's arrival, I cannot seem to get past the inevitable breakdown over how dirty everything in the house is. It's as if I've just awoken from a coma and can finally see clearly around me and I am horrified by what I see. No, wait, that's not right either. I am horrified by what I think other people will see and be horrified by. Because animal hair and dust are just not on my radar of things to be concerned about. (Then again, neither is flossing and you see where that's gotten me.)

I had all the burners off the stovetop scrubbing it down with Comet this morning when the coffee pot started malfunctioning. It overflowed its filter and the counter and the floor with little black grains. Bob and I grabbed towels and got the machine over to the sink and investigated the problem, which appeared to be that the filter wasn't snapped in correctly. So one lost pot of coffee later, we cleaned it all up and gave it another go. I got back to scrubbing the stovetop. And while I am doing this, the voices start up. Ok, the one voice. My own. And it begins on the same old script: why can't you keep up with the cleaning like everyone else seems to do? Look -- how long has this stuff been baking onto the stovetop? Look at that dust on the light fixtures. How gross. When's the last time you cleaned out the oven? Or wiped down the microwave? Why can't you manage to vacuum more often? Or dust? It doesn't take that long. How can you live like this? Aren't you embarrassed?

In the meantime . . .  the coffeepot explodes again. Bob, who has seen the storm clouds building and knows what's coming but can't hear the voice, manages to catch this malfunction earlier and there's only just a small puddle of coffee and grounds to clean up. Second pot of coffee wasted.

I should mention I'd gotten out of the shower, gotten dressed, and come downstairs to start the coffee when I found myself unable to keep from getting distressed over the state of the kitchen and starting the full-scale scrub down of the stove. My wet hair was drying as I bent over the sink and the stove and the coffee pot. By the second malfunction, my hair was beginning to resemble something out of an insane asylum movie, all in my face, at crazy directions, frizzing and sticking out.

So watching the second round of coffee grounds go down my sink (that needed scrubbing), I pretty much lost it.

And what puzzles me is how, rationally, I know none of this matters. My friend is coming and she loves me. If she's grossed out by anything in the house, she'd certainly never let me know and never make me feel badly about it. But the very idea of showing that side of myself just makes me nuts. The funny thing is, it's not that hidden. Even when I do go into a whirlwind of cleaning activity before visitors come over, it's never that clean. It's really obvious I'm a crappy housekeeper who lives with five animals who shed like mad in a state where dust is more copious than sunshine. It's not like my darkest secret is coming to light here, but I cannot seem to get past having at least one moment of craziness where I just need to scream and tear things off the walls (I don't . . . tear things. Ok, maybe a little. There's usually at least one primal scream involved, too.)

I must give props to Bob, who in years past would have hopped right on the crazy train and made things worse. He calmly reviewed the problem, fixed it, had Pot #3 successfully done in a few minutes, and brought me up a cup with just the right amount of creamer. That would be just a few minutes after I'd pulled myself off of the floor and put the shower curtain back together.

I started a load of laundry after Sammi got off to school and was obsessing over the list of things I haven't cleaned as I grabbed the still-wet, still-coffee-ground-filled towels and tossed them into a full washer of jeans. So we'll have coffee jeans for the rest of the week now. I cleaned out the cat box (which I, of course, never do often enough, because I'm disgusting and dirty, says the voice) and managed to spill a nice trail of sand through the hole in the sack, which resulted in additional sweeping beyond what I'd already done, watching tumbleweeds of dust bunnies dashing under the couches with each motion. And when I looked around and didn't see anything else I could manage to get clean without breaking out the mop and removing all the furniture (which I considered briefly) I decided to enjoy another cup of coffee and blog about it instead of make myself worse.  I will do what I can do today and no more. I will just have to let good enough, be good enough. At least until next time. ;)


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