I dropped in on a neighbour – and found her cocooned in newspapers, and sprinkled with dust. I immediately took to her. Does mess bind us together? If so then, why do we aim at the hotel lobby look when guests come over?
My mother, a brilliant conversationalist who hated housework, shrugged her shoulders, saying, “Guests leave my house feeling good about themselves. After all, their house must look better”
And I remember visiting retired friends, who had a sanitized, child-free house. In the car going home, I told Bill glumly that after that I would have to blitz our sitting room. Bill agreed their house was beautiful, but “a man couldn’t be comfortable there.”
I perked up. “What does a man need?”
“To be able to throw papers on the floor.”
“And have a loo I full of dog bowls and boots?” I query hopefully, getting into the swing of things.
My neighbour and I parted warmly, united in our happy messiness. To further cheer her, I told her about my mother selling her home. It was old and needed redecorating, so she was leery of the realtor.
“Old?” He asked. “Period – with cobwebs?”
“Cobwebs,” my mother replied, vindicated, “that I can do!”