When I first looked at this house, I was struck by a few things. A) How cute it was, 5) How cheap it was, and E1.a.9) How neat it was.
It turns out I knew the owners, or at least half of the owners. The woman is someone I work with, and she has always been impeccable. Her posture is astonishing, and her clothes were always the most ut, and it was sort of like I was working with Jackie Kennedy without the unsavory-Greek-husband period.
Once I moved in, I heard from neighbors about how exacting the husband was, and I can tell that’s true because nothing in here had a flaw. It was amazing. One afternoon The Poet was over, and we noticed that Milhous had batted one of his mice under the stove. “I’ll bet that’s where ALL his mice are going,” I kvetched, and proceded to move the bottom drawer out of the stove and look underneath.
“The Poet, look at this,” I said to The Poet. Under the STOVE, y’all, UNDER THE STOVE, there wasn’t a speck of dirt. Just clean, dust-free concrete.
As a result, I’ve aimed to be a better housekeeper. A few people have come over and exclaimed, “It’s so CLEAN in here,” which I hear about as often as I hear, “You have natural athletic abilities.”
On Saturday mornings, I sweep and I scrub the kitchen and bathroom floors. I dump out the litterbox and wash it and air it out. I clean the sinks. I vacuum. You wouldn’t even recognize me. You’d think, “That can’t be June. On Saturday mornings, June has her regular softball scrimmage.”
I have no idea what a “scrimmage” is. I just hear that word up close to athlete things.
This past weekend, I had shit to do, like read and hang out with Wedding Alex, so I didn’t do as much. I did sweep all the floors, because pet hair, but I didn’t scrub anything. Also, on Monday night, my friend from work Ryan came over unexpectedly, and I had a little flame of pride that I’d made my bed, which I try to do most days now.
But yesterday morning? I didn’t. I didn’t make the bed. And Edsel had tracked his damn muddy paws through the kitchen that morning. Usually, I spend a painstaking amount of time cleaning them when he comes in, but I hadn’t known it’d rained, so his paws being muddy was a delightful surprise.
I’m telling you all this because yesterday at lunch, there was a knock at the door and it was the tidy guy who used to live here. He’s in his 70s and he’s lived here on and off since 6th grade.
He also owned the house next door, but he’s sold it, which vexes me. The women he’d rented to was PERFECT. Friendly without being annoying, quiet, neat. And now god only knows what nightmare is moving in next door.
He wanted to ask me a few things about the logistics of that (I have this private alley and he wants to use it to get stuff out of the other garage) (I know how you all are. How you get off on TANGENTS about things. “What did he want, June?”) (“Tell us, JOOOOOOON.”) and while we stood talking on my porch, Edsel behind the storm door barking and grabbing his face and screeching like that kid in Home Alone, it dawned on me he might like to see the house. Since he lived here for, you know, 60+ years and all.
“Oh, I’ll come in for a bit,” he said.
In the living room, I have FOUR THROW PILLOWS piled haphazardly on a chair. I got them free when I got that loveseat I regret buying. They’re blue and tan, and I got them out this weekend to take them to Goodwill and then never did.
Also, both the couch and the chair have pet blankets on them, for the whole fur sitch, and the blankets were all…SMUSHY, and everything looked ridic.
Then I took him here into the den, my favorite room, and there was a sweater just balled on the chair. In four months of living here I’d never done that, BUT OH I DID THAT DAY. Goddammit.
Plus? There’s an orange on the side table.
Then, of course, we meandered into The Larry Mud Melman floor in the kitchen, the Tracks of My Paws floor, and the only good thing I can say is there were no dishes in the sink. But? Also for the first time ever? I’d thrown a coat onto one of the kitchen chairs.
And for the grand finale, the unmade bed.
Here’s your house! I’ll bet you’re glad you sold it to me!
Jesus. As he drove home, probably a single tear rolled down his cheek in mourning for his once-pristine dwelling.
So that’s my latest humiliation, in my line of humiliations that make up the fabric of my life.