Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mess Rating

The downside to going to bed at 8:00 PM is that I don't much done around the house. On the other hand, the upside to going to bed at 8:00 PM is also that I don't get much done around the house. Many evenings, as I lie with the kids while they fall asleep, I know that I should get up and be productive, and tackle satisfying activities like paying our quarterly income taxes. Or cleaning out the litter boxes. Or -- wouldn't this be fun? -- paying quarterly taxes WHILE cleaning out the litter boxes. And then I could claim the cats as business expenses.

When I do manage to get up after putting the kids to bed, I spend most of the time trying to get the house in some semblance of order so that it doesn't look like it was affected by some sort of bizarre micro-quake (5.2 on the Richter scale). David somehow manages to be in total denial about the state of the house. In fact, even when the house is a complete dump, he considers things to be relatively picked up. How is he able to do that? Is that some sort of natural gift that is associated with male hormones? Because I would totally risk male pattern baldness if it meant I was able overlook the level of chaos and clutter we have in our house.

Let's take a look at some days this week when our house was messy, and you will see what I mean. On a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the neatest and 10 being the messiest, I would give this table a 7, which translates to "pretty messy, and I might even clean it off if I can take a break from thinking up disgusting yet hilarious jokes about Santorum dropping out of the presidential race."

David, on the other hand, would give this table a solid 2 for a mess rating, because it has a book on it. But only one book! He simply can't see all the other books.

Here's another example. When the kitchen looks like this, I don't want to answer the door, because it might be social workers coming to take my children away. (To be honest, I don't like to answer the door even when the kitchen is clean because it might be someone who wants to know if I have "five minutes to talk about the environment.")

David, on the other hand, considers this kitchen to be pristine. In his mind, this could be a training kitchen for best practices in food safety. And the truth of the matter is that we really don't have any problems with common kitchen pests like cockroaches or mice, but that is probably because they have gone in search of cleaner houses.

One more picture of our house, below. On a scale from 1 to 10, I'm going to give our living room a 9. That rating includes extra style points because that is a rainbow-colored feather boa on the floor along with the other toys, and that is just plain fabulous.

David, on the other hand, wondered if I had surreptitiously hired a cleaning person, because things were just so darn sparkling around here. And then he checked to see if it was too late to get our house included in the Parade of Homes.

There is a silver lining to David not being able to accurately assess the mess level in the house. He is never cranky when the house isn't clean -- because to him, the house is always clean. I wish I could join him in thinking the glass is half full, although to be honest I'd just as soon skip the male pattern baldness.


  1. Hi Tamarine, I have to agree with David. And my hair still spills way past my waist.


  2. Aravinda, you truly have the best of both worlds!

  3. really... if you think this is messy, randomly drop by our house on your way home ANY DAY. You think that is a messy table? Most nights we just shove our piles of papers (yes, many many papers) aside to eat. Not kidding. And... I'm starting to think that this is ok and allows me to occasionally read a book. I see you too are reading some 'weird' novel... these things are correlated! Embrace it?!