Notes from the Formerly Tidy

My mother's house is organized and immaculate. It's like a model home...a house that is made to look like real people live there but is actually unoccupied. The canned goods are lined up perfectly in the cupboards, the hand towels hang from the rods unrumpled, even the photos on the mantel look like they probably came with the frames. This was the way I grew up, which probably explains a lot. When we bought our house, Luisa and I cleaned regularly and everything was always in its place. People would say, "Oh, a mess shows that life is actually being lived!" and I would smile politely and then mock their  wise little voices. I kept thinking, "Hey! I'm livin'. Look at me...I can lick my floor if I want to. If that's not livin', well then, I don't know what is!".  Then, we had a baby and things slipped a bit. Then, we had another one and things collapsed completely. These days, I am suspicious of people with pristine homes. The other night, my friend Laura (who also has kids) and I were at the Y and playing Dueling Dirty Houses. She assured me that her house was messier than mine. Having lived with Laura back in the day, I doubted it. Laura is, afterall, a person who once suggested that we vacuum the dog. She persisted and then said, "I'll take pictures tonight and send them to you tomorrow".  And she did.

Here are a few pictures of Laura's house...

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I cannot explain the relief I felt when I first looked at the pictures of Laura's house. I wanted to scream from a rooftop (not mine, of course, because I would not be able to step over the mountain of clutter to get to the window), "I am not alone!"  

Because I still think I win Dueling Dirty Houses, here are my pictures...


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 So, fess up! What's your house look like?