Having sojourned in several places of late, I reacquainted myself with homes through the eyes of a guest. One would think I'd be brimming with new ideas and tricks for whipping your house's ass, but as luck would have it, or rather, as I would have it, and not any other way, I was a guest at the home a few friends who thank GOD keep a really clean house. My days of ignoring sticky spots of unknown origin right next to me, various rotten foodstuffs all about, nary a cleaning solvent for miles, silent prayers for a mask, and no guts to say anything are OVER! I really believe that when taken to an extreme, the manner in which one keeps his/her home can reflect more than just their passion, or lack thereof, for cleaning. 99% of people I know fall in the middle, where there are toys on the floor but the dishes are safe to eat off of, and you won't catch anything off the toilet. On one end of the spectrum, practically falling off but held on by the new grippy kind of rubber gloves, is me, who has lemon-scented Lysol under every cabinets, wipes in every compartment of my purse, has drank the Lysol, bleaches the shit out of everything, knows whose fingerprints are on the mirror, cannot sleep with a fork in the sink, notoriously wipes my surfaces down six times, ad nauseum. I fully own my disorder, really. The worst part is it often feels like the other end of the spectrum, the home wherein peach pits adorn the floor, dogs eat brand new clothing while people laugh, sheets whereupon accidents have occurred are left to rot, virtually everything not made of cast iron is broken within two days, the closest soap product being the nearby grocery store, broken, scattered, random, wet, shredded ruins like a sea of death, and the stench of misery heavy in the air. I have seen it all. Can you imagine Person A and Person B being friends? I can't either. Well I mean not until 4,000 mgs. of Xanax is not lethal, although sometimes I'd rather take a lethal dose of ... anything rather than continue to lay my eyes on such unqualified filth. Now, seriously, none of you fits this profile. I so know I'm going to get 15 emails asking "Was that me?" No, it wasn't. I will undoubtedly get some anonymous heat too, but I can take it because like, no one glued your retinas to this blog. It's just from the data files of my life.
My broader point, after a glass of gin (very clean), is that I am much more attuned to my own habits as a guest than the crumb I might see or the closet full of sins, literally, in the form of non-white hangers. Amendment, now-broken non-white hangers. I've noticed that no matter how tidy your shower kit/makeup is, it becomes Ursula in someone else's house and takes up their entire bathroom. Also, if you dye your hair somewhere, rinse the bleeding colour off the walls really well. Throw a load of bath mats and towels into the laundry as a courtesy every other day, and also because sharing bath mats is awkward. I make sure the drain is clean, and use the kid wipes to wipe the floor, baseboard, sink/counter, doorknob, etc. I don't do it to be noticed, I do it because well, I'm hell of OCD, and because I wouldn't want my hosts to be like "OMG wtf did she do in here?" I also straighten things as I see them, make my bed when my feet hit the floor, and here's a biggie: Not letting my 75,000 Dasani water bottles pile up like bowling pins. I've not been offended nor disturbed by a single aspect of my gracious hosts' abode, save for the spider and their thieving son who is quick as lightning and loves my phone. Mostly it feels like my suitcase vomited everywhere and I keep fearing that a U-Haul will pull up with all my shit in it. It has been a great visit, really. It is so easy to relax in a clean house. Ironically, my friends are insane and hallucinate and think their palace is a shit hole and I am incredulous and would rather talk about my shit hole. You know?
God I haven't had gin in months, I had better churn out some challenges before I give Evil Anonymous too much bait to ignore.
So, we have some ideas as to how to be a good guest.
What if we were hosting:
-Keep those dishes hopping, extra mouths to feed.
-Laundry is the name of the game because sometimes Arby's puts mayonnaise on your sandwich and you puke all over yourself but you can't wash your own clothes because the dogs in the garage will kill you and you must entrust your amazing new jogging suit to someone else and hope they are still your friends afterward.
-Keep coffee brewed, or better yet, have Starbucks ready by my, ahem, your guest's bedside when s/he wakes.
-Try to have shampoo (conditioner optional), soap, and a RAZOR and shaving cream in the shower. Except I come prepared, as per aforementioned home in which a square of toilet paper is also a towel.
-Please have an outlet up high for phone chargers.
-Simple meals and/or eat out. Damn, who wants regular dishes let alone EXTRAS???
-Make towels available, lest random acts of streaking occur.
-Please announce any signs of Swine Flu.
-Please have E! Channel. And DVR.
-Please also have that lesbian pundit who is so awesome with the atrocious hair. Rachel...?
-Do not take pictures of your guests in compromising situations, such as in a towel on the phone.
-STOP APOLOGIZING FOR EVERYTHING. Your filth is not filth, only mine is, and I can't even see it.
-Allow your guests to rape your iTunes. This is greatly appreciated and will serve me well in further travels.
-Maybe have a Snuggie on hand, despite my notorious anti-Snuggie rants, because of accidental mayonnaise poisoning/new outfit destruction.
That's a start. And has no bearing on your actual lives, so post with pride about what you did do, the two of you who do not currently have Swine Flu. :)
Someone asked about posting pics of everyone's successes--YES!!! Let's do it! Send 'em!