I have no idea why but before my mother visits my house, I have an inexplicable urge to clean. Not that I don’t usually clean – of course I do.
I mean really clean. What people here in the UK call a spring clean.
A total dust, polish, wipe, clean, bleach, tidy, wash of every item in the house – like, at once.
It’s like the sheer thought of her stepping over the threshold inspires this whirligig of activity which to be fair, she wouldn’t ever expect or believe to be warranted.
I don’t have a dirty house so why the sudden clean-freakiness?
My partner tells me our house is a house that is meant to be lived in – a home.
And he’s right. Whilst I do have my OCD tendencies on particular issues, I am lacking on others (see my previous post, ‘Routines’). We have demanding jobs, busy lives, other things to do and to be fair, sometimes we’re just downright tired and can’t be bothered.
My mother knows that, she’s not judgmental. She’s lovely.
The pressure comes from me.
Because when I visit her house – a lot more regular than she visits mine (due to logistical reasons aka blessings in disguise) – her house is meticulous. It’s still a home – it was a very happy home for me for many years – but her perfectionist leanings manifest in housekeeping whereas mine manifest in … well, I’m sure there’s something.
You won’t find a magazine pile on the kitchen table, a crinkled pillow, a dusty ornament nor a wonky picture in my mother’s house. Everything has its place and it is impeccably positioned.
And as today is ‘visit from my mother day’, I sit here typing this from an incredibly clean, fresh smelling, tidy house… but I better give the kitchen another once over, you know – just incase…