I am not a housekeeper. Never have been, and I dare say, never will be. Despite a strong desire for a sparkling, pristine, clean house, I have little to no enthusiasm for housecleaning. I have far better things to do and can ignore housework like nobody's business. In fact, the house does a far better job of keeping me than I do it.
I also live with cats. Cats that drop fur everywhere they go like they're leaving a breadcrumb trail in case they need to find their way back to the bedroom again. As if they couldn't find it any other way. Sheesh.
And then there's the litter. We have two litter "trapping" mats; however, the cats are amazingly adept at stepping over or around them as they don't like how they feel on their little paws. And litter "decorates" the floor like seashells on the beach but with far less appeal.
So, now I have cat-hair-dust-bunny-thingies the size of chihuahuas hanging out under furniture and in the corners. Sometimes they brazenly sit out there in the middle of the room. Like they owned the place. I'm pretty sure I heard one growl at me when I attempted to get at it and its kin with the vacuum hose. The nerve! Oh, and they routinely hijack the vacuum cleaner and hold it hostage. They render it useless by wrapping themselves around the roller brush.
I think they must have gotten that idea from watching the "save-our-planet" channel and seeing tree huggers trying to save an endangered animal/tree's life by chaining themselves to the tree. It does the cat-hair-dust-bunny-thingies about as much good as the tree huggers.
It just slows down the inevitable.
The other reason I hate to clean....is the cats. They are terrified of the vacuum cleaner. You'd think, after 18 years with no harm befalling any cat in the household, they would figure it out. But every time the beast rolls out of the closet and roars to life, it is cause for instantaneous and complete panic! Fur flies, claws skittle and scrape across the hardwood floors as they try to find purchase so quivering, feline bodies can be propelled to safety in the nearest hidey hole.
And let's not forget the heart failure the cats give me when they burst forth from their hiding places like a startled covey of quail because the beast was getting too close! Paws and claws justaflyin' as they streak past me and the beast, me forgetting to breathe for a few seconds until I can sort out the racket and commotion.
Such fun, these creatures. Not.
After the beast has quieted and been escorted back to its "hole in the wall," one by one, they slink into the living room to see first hand the desecration of their homes.
Only....there is none.
So then they start looking sideways at me as if to say "Are you okay?" Tucker begins to hang close, giving me occasional, worried looks with a patina of pitying annoyance. He also feels it is necessary to escort me everywhere I go in the house lest I fall under the spell of the beast yet again as simpletons are wont to do.
With trauma of housekeeping being what it is, I have found only one way to truly get the house cleaned up, and I do mean clean, on an annual basis.
Invite people over for a holiday party.
Three days before said party I panic and turn into a manic cleaner, tossing things, hiding stuff that can't be tossed and cleaning anything I can reach. And wonder, the whole time I'm engaged in this cleaning marathon, why I do it. I'm not fooling anybody. These people are usually family. They know me. And they know I did not suddenly sprout a halo and turn into Miss Susie Homemaker.
I don't seem to be able to help myself nor stop the insanity. It's a compulsion. Am I afraid of being reported to the sanitation/health department for substandard conditions? That someone's going to run their white-gloved finger over the edge of the baseboard and give me a raised eyebrow? The only person likely to do that is my mother and she wouldn't bother as she already knows the sordid truth.
And did you know that no matter how well you've cleaned, dusted, vacuumed mopped and otherwise beat the house into submission that the cat-hair-dust-bunny-thingies are required to come casually rolling across the floor and gently land at the tip of a guests' shoe? It's a union contract thing. They have to do it or they could get kicked out of the union and lose their bennies.
Of course, they seem to be enjoy it just a little too much. It's as if they're taunting me as the saunter gleefully across the floor, pausing and pirouetting in oh, so, slow motion to make sure everyone will notice them. And I can tell you that when this happens, it will cause my mother to raise an eyebrow. As if to say, "Didn't I raise you better than that?"
To which I can say nothing and only hope that the stars and planets will align and transport me into some space vortex/black hole at that very second.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I still have things to hide, a cat or three to terrorize and a house to beat into submission before guests start arriving.
Whether you are in America and celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I hope your table is overflowing with good eats, good laughs and plenty of love!