Friday, October 26, 2012

Dirty secrets

My last post was a “…to be continued” that I failed to continue.  So, let me start there. 

I put his ass on the school bus. 

I’m sure you saw that coming.  Then, of course, I felt bad about it all day.  However, I would do it again.  I’m all about the tough love.

Anyway… that’s not why I’m here today.  I’m here today because I read a post this morning by a blogger that I “met” when her blog was brand new.  She had a just handful of likes, but I thought she was great.  I read her facebook posts and blog posts on a regular basis, and I’ve watch her popularity soar quickly. 

Meanwhile, my little blog stagnates.  Jealous?  No.  Absolutely not.  “Jennay” over at What I Really Meant to Say is a hoot!  Many blessings to her and her success as a blogger. 

I have been too “busy” to write.  Or so I tell myself.  Which is to say that I do not allow myself time to write because then I will feel guilty that I’m not doing something else.  This has come up before;  it’s a daily thing, really. 

This morning I read the newest post over at What I Really Meant to Say.

Go ahead and take a look.  I’ll be here when you get back.

Done? Okay, so I read that, and I immediately thought: That’s why I’m not writing anything. 

So, I’m going to use Jenn’s blog post as a writing prompt and give these fingers some much needed exercise. 

So, is what you will find if you were to come to my house on a NORMAL day:

We have too much stuff in our house.  Sadly, the two “extra” rooms are right off the entryway.  So, the very worst part of my house is the very first thing you’ll see when you step inside.  One of them is my fault; I have some extra furniture, donation piles, bookshelves, etc. in there.  The other larger room, though, is what shall henceforth be known as the Hotel for Bikes.  There are about 15 bicycles, give or take a few, housed in my former office at any given time.  Many of them like to hang out in the entryway, as well.  We treat our bikes like family around here.  

We have 3 dogs.  We had 2 for a while after our Belle passed away earlier this year, but we’re back to 3 now; Danny thought it would be nice of us to dog-sit.  For 6 months.  He’s got a big heart, what can I say?  She’s not really a problem except that our mastiff tries to attack her several times a day.  Which is really fun.  So, as you step in through the front door into the messiest part of the house you will be accosted by three canine family members that love to make new friends. 

We also have 2 cats.  I hope you’re not allergic.  Oh, and fish, too.  I haven't managed to kill them off.  Yet.  Take a look at the fish tank, it's quite lovely actually.  

Watch out for the vacuum cleaner cords and other random appliances or power tools lying around.  We do try to clean, but we tend to get distracted and/or not put things back where they go when we’re done with them.  A lot. 

We don’t have any carpet, thank God, but that means that the tumbleweeds of dog hair are free to roam around at their leisure.  See above re: vacuuming. 

Little Dog thinks it is his duty to mark his territory all throughout the house.  Please watch out for tiny but lethal puddles of dog pee.  We have resorted to putting a belly band on him to discourage this — when we can find one of them (we have 3). 

Dust.  Lots of dust.  If it wasn’t bad before — and okay, it was — we’ve been pulling out old carpet and scraping up old linoleum, so… yeah.  Dust. 

Don't walk around barefoot.  Three rooms have concrete floors right now.  I couldn’t stand the old floors, and new ones aren’t quite in the budget yet.  Maybe Christmas?  Maybe not.  We’ll see.

All of the walls are dinged or have paint scraped off in various places.  Children are hell on walls, amiright?

My beautiful WHITE microfiber sectional is… no longer white.  What were you thinking? you might ask.  I liked it, okay?  Damn kids… Oh, and the dog peed on it, too, which was a nice addition to the general grime. I did clean it the other day with a steam cleaner, so it's okay to sit on, but it ain't so purty anymore.  

I don’t do dishes.  I mean, I DO do them sometimes, even though Danny thinks I have craptastic dishwasher loading skills and would rather do them himself.  Right now, though?  Our dishwasher is broken.  Broken!  I cannot be expected to cope with that.  I have been avoiding the sink like the plague for 3 days now.  Use your imagination. 

(Danny said he doesn’t understand why I hate to wash dishes by hand.  He gets a sense of accomplishment by performing such tasks.  I said I don’t understand why he doesn’t just do the fucking dishes, then.  He’s not doing them because I’m not doing them.  He’s not doing them because the kids aren’t doing them.  He doesn’t mind doing them, gets a sense of accomplishment even, but HE’S STILL NOT DOING THEM. sigh)

The kitchen counters are a catch-all for every damn thing in this house.  At any given moment you might find anything from dirty clothes to power tools to food left out—sometimes all at the same time.  Also, the cats like to get on the counters and knock over drink glasses—only the ones that aren’t empty, of course.  (While trying to finish writing this, one of the cats actually pawed open an UPPER kitchen cabinet and tried to jump in with the glasses. Seriously, it’s a zoo in here.)

The big pile of trash you see over in the kitchen corner? That’s the recycling.  We’re doing our part, okay?  It turns out that almost everything you throw into your garbage can is recyclable.  Paper, cardboard, hard plastic, soft plastic, glass, metal… Don’t throw it away!  Recycle, dammit!  It gets a little out of hand, though.  By Friday, the recycling bins (yes, plural) look like a mini trash dump site in the corner of the kitchen.  We, as a family of four, usually only put out 2 bags per week of actual trash.  The rest is a mountain of recycling.  I bet the people that have to sort that shit hate us. 

The living room is Command Central.  Currently, the coffee table contains dishes, jewelry, hair pins, headphones, nail polish remover, coupon books, a ball cap, nail clippers, an iPhone wall charger, school work, school reminder notes, a tissue box, a mountain bike race medal, and a paper Spelling Queen crown.  Oh, and the candles and coasters that belong there are there, too, though the tealights have been knocked off the candle holder and not put back onto it.  The lower shelf contains a basket of dog toys, headphones, coffee table books, a tiny dog kennel, and two storage boxes for remotes and game system controllers (which are not in the boxes but in a pile next to them). 

The couch contains, strewn out across it (here, let me move it so you can sit down) a school folder, dirty socks, and another (God help me) fundraiser the Girl brought home from school today.  Also, I don’t have a desk.  Not one that I currently use.  I’m here on the couch, too, laptop stand and all.  The mess that usually clutters up my desk?  Yeah, it’s here next to me on the arm of the couch. 

There’s a wet bar in the living room.  We enjoy a drink every now and then.  We have quite the collection.  As the kids get older, we’re going to have to rethink the blasé display of booze.  For now, though — well, there might be a little dust on the bottles, is all I’m gonna say.

As you move past the bar, politely overlooking that fact that my printer currently lives on the wet bar, thankyouverymuch, you enter the true Danger Zone of the house.

I said that the 2 extra rooms at the front of the house were the worst?  I lied.  The kids’ rooms?  Holy shit.  These two heathens are terrible.  T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E.  There is a constant trail of detritus leading from their rooms out into the hall and out back into the living room.    I’m constantly harping at them to pick up their stuff, to no avail.  In frustration, I kick it into their rooms and shut the doors.  Thus, the entryways of their rooms are generally choked with debris.  It gets kicked back out again when they go in and out, because THEY DON’T GIVE A DAMN. Inside their rooms, you'll find laundry not put away (sometimes as many as 3 baskets), dirty laundry in the floor, trash, toys, shoes, and did I mention laundry?  It's out of hand.

Their bathroom, meanwhile, is toxic.  The cat litter box lives in there, because the cats are the kids’ responsibility.  If they are subjected to the cat mess, they will be more motivated to clean it, right?  NO.  Cat litter in the floor?  No problem!  Tracking said cat litter all over house?  No big deal!  Cat food on the counter, in the sink, and on floor?  They’ll eat it eventually!  And did you know that ADHD and peeing standing up are a bad combination?  The Boy can't stand still long enough to take a piss, so you're likely to find a less than desirable situation in there at any given time.  Don't use their bathroom, m'kay? 

Of course, to get to my bathroom you must traipse through Laundry Central.  You'll usually find at least one heaping basket of laundry in the hall.  You'll also notice that my darling husband almost finished the hallway upgrade (bead board, new doorway moulding), but then he got bored with it and moved on before the sanding and painting happened.  

As you walk through my room, try to ignore the fact that we use our 4 poster as a clothes hanger, that we have painting supplies stacked up because we are—seriously—going to paint that wall one of these days, or that we have an actual massage table set up in our room.  It's great for massages, and I do get them fairly regularly, because my husband is kick ass in the massage department.'s also great for piles of laundry.  Meh.  

Have you ever been backstage at a play?  You know, with the hair a make up stuff strewn upon every available surface in the dressing room, and costumes laying about carelessly?  Yes? Then my bathroom should be familiar to you, as well.  Go ahead and use the toilet, it's clean—please ignore the toilet paper holder that is partially unmoored from the wall, though, and the gaping hole in the sheetrock above your head.  Nothing will crawl out at you.  I think.  Oh, and you're welcome to use my shower, too, though it's maybe less clean.  Also, it's in need of total renovation, so please don't look too closely.  

The weather has turned nicer, we could go out back (you know, where the pool used to be).  Yes, the fence fell during Hurricane Ike, but the back neighbors have a chain link, so it's all good. Yes, it's a mess, too, with construction debris and other flotsam and jetsam that we shove outside.  The breeze is nice, though.  And the cell signal is better out there.  

So... There you go.  I got some writing done, and you learned not to drop by unannounced and expect... much of anything.  Wait, no... expect a glass of wine, a nice chat, a pair of less-than-amiable-to-each-other siblings that may or may not get sent to their rooms more than once while you are here, and a small pack of dogs that will be very happy to see you.  Just don't expect much to be very clean.  

Maybe one day.  But not today.  

I'm going to publish this post despite the fact that my husband might now die of mortification.  Honey, I'm sorry.  Look away.  Most of these people don't know us, anyway. Don't share me on your page, okay?  Love you!


  1. Would you mind taking some photos for me? Seriously? My hubs sometimes thinks we should live in a "model home" with no personality or clutter at ALL. Drives me bonkers. If I could show him some pics he may go...oh okay...we aren't so bad... KIDDING..totaly kidding. If our dishwasher breaks I am going to just throw them in the washer. Their all plastic what could happen?

    1. I might just do that. But then my husband might die of embarrassment, dear man that he is, because he also thinks that "people don't live like this."

  2. I could go through the same process you just shared regarding the home in which I grew up. There were 10 people living in 3 bedrooms with the formal dining room serving as a 4th. We had 1 full bath and a 1/2 bath in the master. The eldest 2 children (girls) were the designated housekeepers. I was the eldest one and can say to you that this was a thankless, constant job. I was mortified when anyone came over ... or might come, adult, child or family. As a teen I worked myself crazy trying to maintain some sort of order. Constant frustration and failure were my companions.
    Now as an adult, I crave order, demanding it and cleanliness! And I never wanted my offspring to experience what I had so we had cleaning days where I said "when there is work to be done" and they replied "we do it together". As we did this work together they were taught how to be a part of a functional family system.
    Looking at my adult kids, some are neat and others messy. All I hope is that they live their lives free of mortification and nonstop herculean mostly solo cleanup efforts, although I did acquire some valuable life skills as a result.

    1. It's too much for one person to keep up with, unless it's their full time job. And it's NOT my full time job. There are 4 of us. I just have to hope that one day soon the kids will be embarrassed enough about their mess to clean it up. It embarrasses me, to be sure, but I don't have the time or energy to deal with it. Too many other more pressing commitments, and it's not my job to be their maid. There are consequences. They get grounded, they get things taken away; and then there's the natural consequence of living in a total mess. None of it sinks in. The mess continues... *sigh*

  3. Hey....the kids are loved & taken care of. That is ALL that matters. <3 Hugs! Cyn

  4. Shit laying around adds character to the least that is the story I am going with!

  5. I love know that I do, and I would do almost anything for you, so long as we do it at my house because, seriously, I am never coming over.

    and no, I did not call your mother.


  6. Perhaps you should. Maybe you could give me some pointers. ;-)