Not sure if it’s just me, but as I get older I’ve decided you can call me whatever negative thing you want.
I just don’t EVER want anyone to say I’m nasty (unkept physical appearance) or my home is nasty.
I’m rather paranoid about it especially when I know I’ll be entertaining. Even when I’m positive things are clean, I have a tendency to worry someone will see something I missed and they will talk behind my back about it and it will be seared in their brain that I am nasty.
Sometimes I have a tendency to be a clutter bug. I have a lot of books and magazines and papers and old mail that I admit I let pile up. Then on a Saturday, I get to work getting rid of while old episodes of Sex and the City run in the background. I have a lot of clothes and shoes, so as the work week goes on and as I undress when i get home, sometimes things don’t make the hamper.
The two h’s are paramount if you consider yourself grown. Hygeine and Home.
My mother started my paranoia about personal hygine from day one. She stayed on my sister and me about being clean.
“You are young ladies. Young ladies have to keep themselves clean. Even if you are homeless and in the street, you need to find a way to wash your armpits and between your legs.”
My mother also coined a phrase for neck dirt probably meaning “moldly” but pronounced as “moley”.
“Come here, you better not have no moley neck,” she’d say while lifting up my hair and scrubbing me raw and red as a child.
There is nothing more embarassing than not being prepared for company (which I honestly don’t have a lot of) or visiting someone who wasn’t prepared for company. I have been on both ends of that coin and it’s just straight awkward. For both the guest and host. Sure, folks will say “please excuse my home, I haven’t been able to clean this week,” but in the back of the other person’s mind a judgement is being formed. Like “itch please, your bathroom floor hasn’t seen a mop since before you moved in.”
Another woman besides my mother taught me the value of a clean home. My aunt. She was the model for always having her home company ready. So much so, she’d vaccum when her guests were still sitting on the couch. Usually folks knew the drill and would just lift up their feet and keep the discussion going. My cousin (her son) joked at her funeral that she is probably vaccuming a floor in Heaven right now.
But as I get older, I get her point even more and have resolved to do better in my own home. Whether she lived in a small apartment or a three bedroom house. Her home was a point of pride. Cancer or not, she wasn’t having it and despite us telling her to rest, she just couldn’t until she knew things were straight, her way, up until the end.
I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with male friends who said they thought they met a cool, fine sexy woman, but things changed when they found out she didn’t keep a clean home. It just killed the mood. Mind you, these gals didn’t have to have a home straight out of Elle Decor, but it certainly needed to be clean.
Now if personal pride isn’t motivation enough for a grown woman to keep her home tidy, nabbing Mr. Right should make you want to start wearing Pine Sol as perfume. Hmm, that kills both the home and hygine birds with one stone.