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On being alone, on being a neatnik, and other mother things

I spent ten days alone in my house.

You may think you have suddenly become dyslexic and I really meant to say that my house was alone for 10 days because my family went on vacation. So I’ll repeat it again.

My son and I actually took a picture of his closet before he cleaned it. The one great feature that our other closets have that this one didn't is that when you open them, something might fall on your head. It makes for suspenseful living!

My son and I actually took a picture of his closet before he cleaned it. The one great feature that our other closets have that this one didn’t is that when you open them, something might fall on your head. It makes for suspenseful living!

I spent ten days alone in my house.

I am the mother of two children, the wife of a devoted husband, and I am alone.

You’re reading this after the fact, because my husband and I both deeply believe that if we post on social media that I am home alone, a robber will come to take all our things (not that we have much worth taking….ooh, I hope they take the couch!) and all the neighborhood teenagers will come here because someone announced a party at our address on Facebook.

I’m not alone now, but I’m writing this in the past. Got it? OK.

So, I’m alone. What would you do if you were alone? Be very honest. Here’s what I planned to do:

Clean closets.

Yep. I was looking forward to being alone, and what did I want to do? Clean closets.

It sort of makes sense: You see, when you are a neat person living in a house with three people who are… um… less-than-compulsively-neat… you dream of having clean closets. But really you’re always one step behind the people making messes all over your darling house. So, in essence, the most horrifying aspect of your life is that you never get to clean the closets.

Or the freezer, but that’s something else that we won’t even talk about.

But here’s the question: What do you actually end up doing when you’re alone?

Well, if you’re me, you do your work, the stuff you get paid for, because somebody is paying attention to that. (Also, because you think if you make enough money you might get a new couch. But let’s not dwell on illusions.)

Then, what about the rest of that time? Time in which you would be:

  • Cleaning up after messy people
  • Arbitrating fights between your children
  • Shopping for more food because those people never stop eating!
  • Driving someone, somewhere
  • Cleaning up after messy people
  • Actually listening to what your husband is saying, and offering thoughtful responses
  • Planning what you’re going to do tomorrow so your kid doesn’t drive you crazy when you’re trying to work
  • Doing the thing that you planned to do tomorrow, because tomorrow always becomes today waaaaaay before you are ready for tomorrow
  • Et cetera

So that’s a lot of time you’ve freed up, right? You’ve got ten days alone in your house, and darn if you aren’t going to get some closets cleaned.

I could go on, but I will just end with some photos and captions.

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This is the flower arrangement I made. Isn’t it pretty?

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This is me drinking wine out on our back deck, perusing Facebook and learning such fascinating, important things.

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The is a cat I took a photo of.

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This is the same cat, different pose, different day.

 

This is a really hilarious satire I read, which I never would have finished if I hadn’t had ten full days in which to read it…

 

while forgetting…

 

I have closets to clean out!

Dear house sitters,

I know that I told you the last time we went on vacation that the next time you stayed here, our closets would be organized. I’m sorry to say that once again you will have to search high and low for a towel that hasn’t been used to clean up cat barf, a can opener, and the remote that allows  you to actually make our Roku box do what it’s supposed to do. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience. If you would like to have clean, organized closets the next time you house sit, would you please invite my husband and kids to stay at your house for more than ten days?

Apparently, ten days isn’t enough time in which to realize my dreams.

Posted in Culture, Parenting.


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