Housework makes you ugly
Housework makes you ugly By Mandy McLean I sit here, this morning, sipping my instant coffee with the dregs from the milk jug, reading the on-line Scottish newspapers and siliconmom. I'm scared to turn my head because of the chaos and disarray which surround me. It's mostly clutter, things like a Buzz Lightyear, a roll of packing tape and a pair of jammie bottoms all which have a place but no one to put them in it. There are cheerleading shoes and pom poms in the middle of the kitchen floor - been there since last Saturday, a brownie vest waiting for new patches to be sewn on, last Sunday's newspaper still in its wrapper on a bar stool and the breakfast dishes waiting to be cleared away. Now, I know that there are some mom's out there who are always immaculately put together with the hair, the make-up and the designer duds who hold down a job, volunteer at school, chauffeur the children from one place to another, shop, cook gourmet meals, bake cookies for the neighbors, have an immaculate house, witty conversation and a sparkling sex life but I know their secret - they're all fictional characters on TV!! By the time I've seen my husband (who is unfortunately a neat freak!!) off to work, scooted the kids (who are unfortunately not) out of the house in time for the 7:55 am school bus, fed the dog and cleared up after making everyone a packed lunch, I'm ready for my coffee. At that time I catch up with the current events at home - don't do it for the US because if I read anything about violence in the news here I wouldn't let the kids on that 7:55 am school bus in the morning - I find the ostrich approach works perfectly well for me! Anyway, after the "papers" are read and the email responded to it's time for a shower. By the time I've done my hair, figured out what I can wear (because most of it is in the laundry room waiting to be blessed with the iron) put in yet another load of laundry and check my email again it's time to leave for whatever I've volunteered for, whatever I need to shop for or wherever I need to drop things off at. It seems that before I can turn around twice the dog is standing at the front door wiggling his rear end as he watches the children run towards the house from the 3:45 pm school bus. Where the heck did the day go? I've been trying to figure out how to bring Einstein's Theory of Relativity into practice. You know, the part where you're in constant motion and time passes differently so you end up younger than you started out!! Think of the potential! Getting up at 6:30 am and tearing around all day being the perfect mom/housewife/volunteer/cook and actually ending the day looking better than you started!! Wow baby, I need to get me some of that!! The downside, however, and of course there has to be one, is that an astronaut has to spend 6 months in space to come back only .007 seconds younger. I think my plan needs a little more work, either that or I need the "speed of light" package on my Town & Country!! I have a theory!! If I don't iron the clothes, "do" my hair, or have that morning shower I'd have more time, the house would be gleaming, the food would be delicious and the children's toy closets ........ well ....... that's a whole other article, let's not even touch that one!! I would look like a rather wrinkled and badly aged Cinderella and we'd have no social life because of the body odour problem but hey, the house would look great!! So whaddya do? I love to go into my friends houses and see the junk stacked on the kitchen counters, that their desks are piled high with precious art work to hang on the wall, letters to mail and the occasional coffee mug. I love to see shoes lying in the middle of other people's floors and to have to move something before I sit down on the sofa. It makes me feel just a little bit better knowing that I'm not the only anti-Stepford Wife out there. Instead of having the perfect house, I have a home. When you walk in you can see that a family lives here, not always harmoniously and never tidily but happily nonetheless. Since we moved down here to Atlanta last year we’ve been searching for new “tourist attractions” for the friends and family who are brave enough to visit - although for some strange reasons we’re not quite so popular as when we lived in the Golden State (funny thing that!!). One of our more popular “discoveries” has been the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, it sits there in Chattanooga (of course) in all it’s former glory, sadly transformed into a Holiday Inn surrounded by tacky gift shops. It was here one day that I found “The Plaque”, it’s just a little thing 1.5 “ x 5” but the motto screamed out to me, as a rule to live by “Housework Makes you UGLY”, it’s yet another excuse, and a very bad one at that, but hey! it sounds good to me. So if you’re in the area stop by and say hello, have a cuppa tea, see the plaque for yourself, but if you’re the picky sort try and make it a Friday afternoon after the cleaning lady’s been!! Mandy McLean, displaced Scot, lives in Atlanta with husband - Andy, daughter - Rebecca (7), son - Sam (5) and Bernese Mountain Dog - Clyde (11 months). Lived in San Jose for 7 years before making the move to Atlanta last year. Vaguely remembers having a life before children but can't quite figure out what was more important than not being late for Cheerleading Practice or being tested for a yellow belt in Karate.