Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Fake Clean

Emily Cushing

This weekend we are blessing our eight-week-old baby. That is why I have been cleaning every nook and cranny of my house. While cleaning, I thought to myself, “I really need to do this more often.” But there’s a reason I don’t do it more often. The only time I really care to dust every nook and cranny is when I know someone else will see it. Why is it that, as women, we don’t want people to think that we actually live in our houses? Sometimes things get left out. Sometimes dishes don’t make it to the sink. Sometimes we even leave clothes on the floor rather than throw them in the laundry bin. But we don't want anyone to know these things.

It reminds me of the time my husband and I were at a wedding and my mother-in-law called to say that she and some friends were in our neighborhood and she wanted to show them our house. Although we had deep cleaned the house that day, in the pre-departure madness, we left cupboards open, wrapping paper lying around, and clothes strewn throughout the house. I did not want my mother-in-law to see my house in this state. For a split second I wondered if she would believe me if I said that I could no longer remember the security code to my house. If only I would have had ten extra minutes to put things away (or at least to hide them in my closet.)

Hiding or should I say shoving things in my closet is what I do when I know someone is coming over and I don’t have enough time to put things in their proper places. This is what my friend’s husband refers to as a fake clean. A fake clean is what people do when they know others are coming over and they want to deceive them into believing that their house looks perfect all of the time. So they run around the house frantically cramming things into drawers or under beds and then smile as they politely invite guests inside once they arrive.

More often than not, however, guests drop in unannounced. And they don’t ever drop in on the days that we’ve spent hours cleaning our houses, it’s always on the days when we haven’t done a thing. In these instances, we haven’t even had time to perform a fake clean. That’s when our true colors shine through. And like it or not, people see that we are human.

So anyway, to sum it all up, if you’re ever in the neighborhood, feel free to drop by for a visit. Just call ten minutes before you arrive and don’t look in my closet.


Tamster said...

LOL!!! I can totally relate! I wish my house EVER looked perfect. I'm not sure it did before we even moved in! It does seem like when I know someone is coming over, though, it motivates me to clean up more. Unfortunately, it is too much of a mess to ever get it "perfect," so I have to settle for it being clean to me, at least. I just hope that whoever the guest is doesn't realize that it's really that messy all of the time, in fact messier! :-) If you ever want to drop in at my house, I don't mind some warning because it helps motivate me, but either way, just close your eyes when you are here and imagine a PERFECT house!!! :-)

Kimberly Jensen said...

I can relate but I have also relaxed a lot! I read somewhere once that a house with dirty sneakers on the front porch and a garden hose strung out on the lawn meant there was "living" going on. So happy to say there is plenty of living going on at my house...dirty sneakers and all! And my mother in law still comes over!!! and I no longer make excuses!

Doug Johnston said...

We have about 40 pair of shoes in our entryway of our house. It is next to our "Visitors Room". The visitors room, is sometimes called a visiting teachers room or a home teaching room by many people. That is the room that people keep clean.
It used to bug me when we first moved in that all of those shoes, from five children, my wife, myself and my mom are all sitting there.
It doesn't bug me at all anymore. It is a conversation piece, and I always know where to find my shoes, any of them. Plus it lets people know someone lives there.

Janet Kay Jensen said...

If you have an eight week-old baby and a clean house - - - wow!