“An immaculate house is the sign of a wasted life.” (Author Unknown)
I’ve been told I have high standards where housekeeping is concerned. I do not consider this a compliment. I like things to be picked up and I’m a little weird about bathrooms, but there are certain places in my house that could use a good scrubbing even if most people don’t see those places. But I’d rather write. Or paint a wall.
When my kids were small, I had lower standards than I do now. And I’m proud to say I was never one of those mothers. You know the ones I’m talking about who have perfectly clean houses and perfectly clean kids? The women who don’t sleep? The ones who creep the rest of us out and make their kids and partners nuts? Yeah….I’m not one of those moms. Really. I promise. Just ask me.
The only mammal in the house who could safely eat off my floor in those days was the dog. And she ate rather well, as I recall.
My two college kids are home for the summer. This is great. Their bedrooms, which a month ago had fully made beds and bare floors have become transformed back into the comfortable and messy lairs of their childhoods. This pleases me greatly because they are home. They are comfortable. Their messes are not my problem. Both bedrooms have doors that close. The doors are closed a lot this summer.
The dog is happy that they are home, too. She was in a major funk after they left. She is old and partially deaf, but when her kids are home, she plays more and smiles more and gets a lot more ear scratches and hugs and treats.
Early this summer, the Boy left for a week of work out of town. The first day he was gone, I discovered the dog asleep in an open suitcase in his bedroom. Since she rarely ventures down the hallway to his room, I figured she was missing her Boy. Then, the next day, she went AWOL from the rest of the house and when I went to look for her, there she was again…..standing in the middle of his bedroom. This time, she was staring straight ahead in some sort of Beagle trance. I thought she’d had a stroke or was meditating. Concerned that she might be getting completely senile, I chased her out of the room and closed the bedroom door.
Toward the end of the week while I was putting laundry away, the mystery was solved. There were candy wrappers on the desk and a half full bag of those fancy rectangle mints were in a bin just high enough up that she could smell, but not see the bag amidst all the other Boy debris. Ah ha! It wasn’t the Boy she missed! It was the aroma of chocolate that kept her coming back. Luckily, she never found the stash or I’d be writing a much sadder tale about an old lady dog who took advantage of an opportunity to gorge herself on sweet treats. An obituary for a dog whose last. dying breath was…um….minty fresh.