I once had a bowl
of two week old macaroni and cheese under my bed,
a bird's nest with an unhatched smelly brown egg in my closet,
and enough Snicker's wrappers in my underwear drawer
to wallpaper my bedroom.
And I didn't care who knew it.
That was who I was at the age of 13.
Just ask my Dad.
I don't remember anything significant in my life
that changed me from Grody Girl to OCD Lady.
I just know that at some point, I liked a clean house.
I liked my floors clean.
And my bathrooms spotless.
I would spend hours each day cleaning,
waiting for someone to make toast so I could wipe up the crumbs.
Vacuuming my carpet over and over again,
and making sure the vacuum lines made a pretty pattern on my floor.
There were nights that I couldn't fall asleep knowing
that the dishwasher needed to be unloaded.
The thought of entertaining would throw me into a tailspin.
Sleepless nights prior to people arriving.
Worry some more.
Everything had to be perfect.
And then something happened.
I went to Indiana to visit a friend I hadn't seen in several years.
Her home was beautiful.
But it was much more than that.
It was homey, and comfortable, and slightly messy.
There were a few dishes in the sink.
She was in the middle of folding laundry in the living room
when I got there.
Nothing was pristine,
yet it was just so perfect.
She didn't apologize for the mess.
She ignored it and paid attention to me.
Instead of feeling like I'd made some grand arrival as a house guest
it felt more like she was my next door neighbor.
The kind of house where you walk in through the back door
And help yourself to something in the fridge.
And everything changed for me then.
I still like a clean house,
but my house is now comfortably messy.
I don't worry about it any more.
I'm comfortable with people coming over without calling first.
I'm fine with people seeing how we really live.
We're messy at times.
It just doesn't matter.
Truly, it doesn't matter.
If you want to come to my house,
I may run the dust mop over the kitchen floor,
I may wipe the dog hair off the couch,
and I'll definately make sure there are
no short curlies on the toilet seat.
Other than that, what ya see is what ya get.
And isn't that refreshing?