Friday, May 8, 2009


I have a neat-freak for a daughter.

But just one.

My second daughter has an apartment that makes a male college freshman's dorm room look immaculate by comparison.

We have a continual battle of things like taking out her trash... after TWO WEEKS of accumulation. She insists she can't vacuum her carpet.... because you can't SEE it under months and months of growth of pizza boxes, dirty laundry, papers...

Okay, let's get off that subject, I'm beginning to nauseate myself just by my own description.

But my other daughter is...

Well, let me just say that she is being driven slowly and irrevocably insane having to pick up after a husband, a two-year old and a four-year old... and a 53 year old when I come to visit.

My son-in-law is not a neat freak, but a PRECISION freak. His undergraduate degree is in mathematics, and he is all about measuring and right angles and spacing. He still is a normal male-type of slob - I mean, why pick up clothes that you are just going to put back on again in the morning, and stuff like that - but he also adds baggage (literally) to my oldest daughter's compulsion(s).

And I'm not at all certain where I stand.

Well, actually I do, I'm just not quite certain I wish to make it public.

I am neat about some things... I have to have the kitchen cleaned and the trash emptied before I go to bed. And I have to make my bed... at least before I can crawl back into it.

But a lot of things... ensuring that laundry ends up in the dryer instead of slowly growing mildew left in the washing machine - vacuuming the carpet when the overall color is being determined by the fur shred by my animals instead of the original dyed hue - dusting furniture and ledges instead of relying on our regular winds to blow everything clean when I leave the windows open...

Well, let's say that I do not allow myself to be distracted or encumbered by housework.


And I am notorious for doing what I call "overall and sweeping brushstrokes" - which anyone who would like to be polite would call quick and dirty - and if you are honest, fast and of doubtful quality.

Over the past week, I have painted three interior doors some very... definite colors and striking contrasts.

They look marvelous... from a distance of at least fifteen feet.

Maybe just a little bit more.