To say that my family was filled with “clean-aholics” is putting it mildly. There is a point when you cross the line of being good clean and too clean. I’m not sure why, how or who started the whole thing, but I’m glad that it basically doesn’t exist any more. I think we all know the difference between clean and obsessive now.
When I was a little girl I can remember being at my grandmother’s house, taking a bath, putting on clean pajamas and instead of sitting on the “spread-covered” couch I had to sit on the sterilized floor and not move too much. My mother wasn’t like that, however, she was very clean. We spent our entire Saturday’s washing and drying every knick-knack, polishing every nook and cranny, scrubbing baseboards, washing window screens, etc. Of course, how dirty can any of those things get in a week when you don’t wear shoes in the house, don’t have any pets, no one smokes and everything was put back in it’s place as soon as it was no longer needed?
With this clean-everything-perfect mentality and at the age of twenty-one, I took off for college fifteen hundred miles away from home, to live in an apartment with three other girls that I had never met before…THAT was an awakening.
My room mate had hair that went past her knees and was a dance major. She was the sweetest girl, but her long hairs were EVERYWHERE and would wrap around our legs or toes and it was like the living vines in a horror flick. Cleaning the bathroom and doing the dishes was not the room mates top priority, so you know that scrubbing baseboards or washing knick-knacks didn’t even get on the list. That experience changed me and eventually, I initiated the same kind of change in my mother who still leans towards the obsessive, but is able to keep the monster in the closet.
When Alyssa and Brittany were little, I never made a big deal over a mess or breaking things. First of all, I have to be one of the world’s biggest klutzes, so I have compassion for accidents. And secondly, I always felt and still feel that every moment with them is a privilege and a blessing.
One day I remember I was in the kitchen stirring the meat for the spaghetti sauce and Brittany said, “Do you want me to get the spaghetti?”
“Sure, that would be great,” I said.
I always purchased groceries in bulk and the spaghetti noodles were stored in big plastic containers. Brittany was such a skinny little girl and off she skipped with her massive red curls to the extra pantry closet to get the noodles.
The next thing I heard was a thump and then Brittany’s little voice saying, “I had an accident.”
When I came around the corner, this is what I saw…
I laughed, told her to freeze and ran to get the camera. If only I had owned a digital camera back then I would have probably taken a hundred pictures! I just couldn’t stop laughing. You can tell by her expression that she thinks I have lost my mind because I am laughing so hard and apparently don’t care that there are a thousand noodles spilled on the floor.