Photo courtesy of PicApp
[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=housework&iid=653316″ src=”″ width=”380″ height=”381″ /]

Inside there are a lot of things made out of cloth, called carpeting and furniture, that you can’t toss in the washing machine. Outside there is soil. Where I live, the soil is reddish-brown. Shoes and paws walk on it. I have consciously allowed for this in choosing carpet colors to match the soil, and to select prints that will camouflage the dirt by their patterns. Congoleum and leather furniture make things easier, too.

My daughter and my STBX like to keep everything they own and buy new things to keep and own. He left most of his stuff here, and I can’t dispose of “marital property” (a.k.a. the two tubes of dried-up epoxy) before the mediation. If someone gave my daughter his or her Happy Meal toy during the third-grade field trip after the left arm snapped off, it has sentimental value and is here somewhere.

If I happen to drop in on someone, their pets bound over the pristine white carpeting to greet me. Yearning to feel normal as I visit the bathroom, I look for a speck of dust in a far corner of a shelf and come up as empty as my bladder.

It would literally take every one of my waking and some of my sleeping hours to get my house to look like that. I’ve noticed that people have hobbies and do things. Bikes go by my house on Saturday, and on Monday coworkers discuss leaving their homes, so people are not spending THAT much time doing housework.

I do have an old house, and I think they’re harder to keep clean, right? On the plus side nobody likes me so I don’t have to worry about a lot of visitors. And I never had the heart to be a Clutter Nazi to my family.

When it comes to housekeeping ability, I will always wonder what’s wrong with me.

But I do the best I can and try to live and let live.

I worked with a woman whose predominant memory growing up was of her mom’s back rushing away to scrub something else in the house.