I Just Can’t Leave a Dirty House

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard my mother say:

I just can’t leave a dirty house.

Growing up, I never understood this phrase.  Sure you could!  I left my room dirty every morning (and it often miraculously cleaned itself after I was gone) and no one seemed to bat an eyelash.  No cleanliness god punished me for shirking my duty.  No strangers ever came in for a house tour and wanted to specifically walk into my room.  What was the big deal?

Well, I’ll tell you.  I know now.  It’s totally a psychological thing that happens after you own your own home.

Every time I return home after I’ve been away for any long period of time (overnight seems to be enough), I always think to myself, “I wonder if the house burned down.”  Not that I expect it to have burned down, but it always adds a bit of wonder, excitement, and mystery to the return home.  Maybe it’s just that we always expect something bad to have happened in our absence.  After all, we weren’t there to be the super hero and prevent it, right?

You know how they say we all become our parents?  Well, I think I’ve become my mother in needing a bit of order before I leave the house… especially if I’m leaving for any extended period of time.  I think it’s because I want my house in good working order if a fire crew or SWAT team ever have to break in while I’m gone.  I mean, who would want to have left your roller skates in the hallway and cause the fireman to trip on the way to putting out the fire in your network/server closet?  Come on.  I just couldn’t live with that guilt!

OK… I’m sick.  I know.

And yet, I have not reached the level where I will actually delay my departure just to straighten that last shelf or wipe the counter one more time like my mom so often does.  (Which is what really, really used to annoy me growing up.)

Then again, in her words… “I’m just a little anal.”

11 thoughts on “I Just Can’t Leave a Dirty House”

  1. Sam. I really want to help out here. I have this really great idea. Anytime you go out of town I will take care of your house! Ok mostly just the living room. But that’s not the issue. Peace of mind is what’s important here. Ya know? Knowing that if a SWAT team needs in the house… It’s probably my fault. If a firefighter needs to save the burning house it’s because I left the pizza in the oven to long. So the moral of this story is that we can remove all that stress from worrying about your house by leaving it in my very capable hands.

  2. It’s not anal, it’s not sick. That, my friend, is normal. You do it so you can feel good about coming home and not stressed out and grossed out. And also so you won’t keep thinking about it while your out of town.

  3. Yup your friends are right, it’s because you don’t want to come home to a mess, because you will be tired and hungry and cranky when you get home, and who wants to get out of your messy-golfish-cracker-crumbfilled car and walk into a messy house?

  4. Ah yes, leave a clean home and you will always return to a clean home….the same can be said for making your bed every morning…yup….and always wash your dishes every nite before bedtime and it is a must that you do not leave dirty dishes in the sink when you leave home for a vacation. Your Mommy is so right…she was taught by one who belived in all of the above. Oh what an angel she is. Thanksgiving is a special time of year that we can really say, “thank you” for all the blessings we enjoy….I am especially thankful for the challenges that came into my life this past year, for they gave me the oppurtunity to grow and to learn…and to appreciate life more.

  5. Yeah, and on the one day when you’re sick, your baby woke you up three times during the night and you’re just soexhausted you can’t see straight., your visiting teachers will show up unnanounced and then, my friend, you will be thankful you never go to bed with y our house dirty…hypothetically speaking of course.

  6. If you like to return to a clean home … don’t have pets! Dang fur gets all over and seems to multiply, even when the pet is outside!

  7. The only thing I took from this post is a visual of you roller skating through your house…thank you.

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