Growing up, there was a girl in my class whose house was full of garbage. She didn’t have a ton of friends, and my mother, being the bleeding heart that she was, often volunteered me at summer day camp to stay the night at her house.
The first time I slept over, we watched scary movies on the couch in her living room, and when I reached between the cushions to grab the remote, I found a slice of old pizza.
I never peed there because there were fruit flies in the toilet and I was deathly afraid they fly up inside my vagina and lay eggs.
By the time I woke each morning, my bladder was bursting and I was 90% sure there were mouse bites on my leg and something stole my left shoe.
The last time I was ever made to go there, she tried to kiss me on her giant trampoline, so I told her I thought I started my period and called my mom to come get me.
There was just no way I could consider lesbianism under those conditions. Had the show Hoarders been around in 1990, she would have been on it.
I can trace almost all of my germ fears and obsessive compulsive tendencies back to being in her house. The rest stemming from growing up in a house full of animals and a father who saved everything. To date, he still has every bank statement since 1983 and a large box labeled: VHS Repair Kit.
You know, just in case the only thing to survive the apocalypse is a VCR. Which actually makes sense, it’s the cockroach of technology.
Thank God I kept all my Police Academy Videos.
I could never be a Hoarder.
I throw everything away, even important things like bills or uncashed checks.
Once a week I go to the kids rooms with a garbage bag to sort through their toy boxes, purging out the Happy Meal toys and items they’ve lost interest in.
I do it in an attempt to keep a somewhat clean house. Growing up our house was never guest ready, which wasn’t a problem until I started dating and would spend the time I should have used waxing my upper lip and slathering on Electric Youth perfume, vacuuming up after pets and lighting a million candles to counter-act the wet dog smell.
Much like homeland security’s rainbow color death threat chart, I keep a tally in my head of the different levels of clean I try to keep every area of my home, except my closet, which is a disaster depending on if I was able to button my jeans easily that morning or not. If yes, you can probably see the floor. If not, there are clothes and blood everywhere, and it smells like marijuana.
Guest Clean: This means, at any given moment, if you come over to my house unexpected, it will probably be somewhat picked up inside. None of us will have underwear on and we’ll be watching Project Runway, but there won’t be trash anywhere and you can pee on my toilet without getting larvae in your anus. If you are friends with me, and I like and trust you, this is how my house looks when you come over. It’s not that I don’t try as hard because I don’t like you. It’s because I am lazy and comfortable enough with you that you can see me without pants on, watching reality television and eating Cheetos from the bag on the couch.
Mother-in-Law Clean: This is only slightly above than Guest Clean, as to not make her think we are trying too hard. The difference being I have panties on, and we take more care to hide our financial statements, sex toys and voodoo dolls.
Priest Clean: This is a biggie. I have only had to do this twice, but it’s at least a day worth of scrubbing and me physically removing the vibrators from the home and driving them to a rented locker at the train station. It’s not that I think he will snoop through my drawers, but I feel like he’ll walk in and an alarm will go off.
Korean Boss Clean: For the first time ever, I spent Labor Day weekend getting my home Korean Boss Clean. Andy was hosting every important person from his company in our home for a BBQ, and those fuckers can drink. Like, imagine that one time you drank a lot and made out with a homeless guy in front of the YMCA in college because he looked like the cute brother from Hanson, and then triple it. That’s how much they drink. I love them, and they are so fun, but I have to get my house clean enough that when they get us shit faced, I can trust that they can accidentally open any drawer or drunkenly stumble into any area of my home, and it will be spotless and free from bugs or kid pee, while at the same time, making it realistic enough to maintain that Andy doesn’t make enough to hire a cleaning lady, so please don’t ever stop giving Andy raises.
The only level I have yet to reach is Dateline’s Chris Hansen Clean. But, that’s basically just Korean Boss Clean with the added work of wiping my computer hard drive and erasing the naked pictures of me off my cell phone from that one time I tried to sext with Andy, but got distracted and ended up sending him a list of crap I needed him to get from the store on the way home from work.