Daily prompt: Me and mess

Daily Prompt
Sweeping Motions
What’s messier right now — your bedroom or you computer’s desktop (or your favorite device’s home screen)? Tell us how and why it got to that state

My most memorable sweeping motion was the one used to wipe everything off my son’s desk and onto the floor.

I doubt if it taught him anything he didn’t already know – namely, that if mum threatened, she carried through. It certainly made no long-term difference to the state of his desk. But who am I to quibble? We’re pretty much on a par, these days. The only difference is that the Phoenix of saleable material rises daily from the ashes of his mess, but not from mine.

Back then, though, it was a principle. I taught my children to be tidy up to about the age of 12. Beyond that, I considered their rooms to be their personal space, and as long as their mess didn’t encroach on communal areas (thus causing their father’s awe-inspiring displeasure to skewer me as well as them), I wouldn’t interfere. They knew how to be tidy if the need arose, and if they chose to live in squalor, it was entirely their own business. On that occasion, my son had been asked to tidy his desk – told to tidy his desk – threatened with consequences if he didn’t tidy his desk. He didn’t. The consequences happened.

Me, I don’t particularly like living in clutter. It’s claustrophobic. So mostly, I tidy up and wipe down as I go. But I don’t like living in impersonal sterility, either. As my mother used to say (with undisguised glee, once she found it in one of those betty-homemaker household manuals), A little sweet disorder lends charm to the home. But I have to admit that from time to time (mostly when I’m on a writing roll) the disorder gets beyond sweet. Until the day of reckoning arrives.

Like today.

I’m going to Sydney tomorrow. Two of my grandsons have birthdays, my youngest daughter and family are moving house, and my son and family are flying out to Los Angeles. And when I come back, I don’t want to open the door on depressing mess. The bones of ‘OK’ are there, but I know all too well that dust has accumulated in corners, the sheet protecting the dining table I use as a desk has a large coffee stain on it, and I need to do the washing if I want to take clothes with me.

Which is why I’m sitting here rambling on, and off-topic to boot. Ho hum. Procrastination, thy name is Hells-bells.


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14 Responses to Daily prompt: Me and mess

  1. Noah Weiss says:

    There is definitely a balance between sterility and squalour. My living space more frequently tends toward squalour than sterility…

  2. Beth says:

    I always liked the saying “Boring women have immaculate houses”:0)).

  3. My computer desktop is clean, solid black and not an icon on it. The bedroom is a bit less tidy than my computer’s desktop, but not too bad (my computer desktop at work is as clean as my home desktop, but my real desktop at the office has all kinds of stuff all over it). As far as a clean house goes, there are times you can’t tell much difference between the outside and inside of the house with the cats and us dragging dirt, leaves and whatever other vegetation happens to be on us into the house, when we come inside. But we generally keep things orderly, which gives a semblance of being clean.

  4. bkpyett says:

    my eyes are suffering from hay fever probably because if the dust…. A job to be done. Have a lovely time with family Helen.

  5. My kids are the same. They know how to put books on shelves, fold and put away clothes, wield a vacuum and dusting mitt but clearly choose not to. Luckily their domain is on the second floor and I just try not to go up there if I can help it.

  6. Tidlidim says:

    Have a great time in Sydney!

  7. Aunt Beulah says:

    Oh, how I loved this well-written post. I laughed and related. I also thought you must be a very good mom. I, too am a fan of “sweet disorder” and another bit of advice a friend once gave me: You don’t have to clean the way your mother did.

  8. Pingback: One Lovely Blog Award-Again! | Live Life in Crescendo

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