Too often when I read pieces about parenting, they give me either a headache or a panic attack. This one, however, did neither. It made me laugh and it made me feel relieved. It injected a healthy and much-needed dose of sanity into my day. Because I am the person who greets you at the door, wildly apologizing for the state of my house, except my house is not immaculate, it's actually filthy. Guests will actually brush crumbs off my bar stools. They will step on tiny Legos and cry out in pain. They will need to wait for a glass of water while I wash them a cup from the overflowing pile in the sink. They will not be able to stop themselves from taking a paper tower and just wiping down the counter because it will only take a second to dispose of the dried Rice Krispies and then they can focus on the conversation.
My apartment is so frequently such a sty that my husband and I refer to it as Das Messen Haus which is in no way correct German, but a term we invented to add some humor and tension relief into the air because when we look at the state of our house we are, basically, always horrified.
I've written about having people over at my messy house before -- My House is A Pigsty, anyone? It's a problem I can't solve until I A. have less kids living in my tiny apartment or B. have enough money to pay for a housecleaner. So, what I really need is permission to let myself off the hook, and assurance that other people are in the same filthy boat. I need this:
"Normal: There is a room in your house that always stays cluttered and messy, and much like Lady Macbeth's hands, will never be clean.
Normal: Your kids' bath toys are right where they left them after the bathwater drained
Normal: Cups and cups and cups. Everywhere. All the time."
Elizabeth Broadbent, you are cordially invited over to play at my place. Just don't wear dry-clean-only clothes.