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The Art of Not Making a Home

Sunday evening we gathered around a spread of figs and cheese, chips and salsa, orange slices and strawberries, chocolate chip cookies and candied coconut spirals. It was the perfect ending to yet another one of those weekends that just seem to get lost in the everything and nothing all at the same time. I’d planned to sit on my end of the couch for the next three hours glued to the new programming on PBS. The invitation to sit and watch a movie at a friend’s house wasn’t too tempting but I fought against my natural proclivity to hole up at home and decided to be excited about having something to do.

Ess has the most striking apartment. It looks like she paid someone to decorate it. It looks like she pays someone to clean it. Regularly, though I’d never ask because I know she does it all herself. From the moment you walk into the building, it feels like class. Whereas the first step through our apartment building feels like, “Am I on candid camera?”

As always her place is spotless. Not a single speck of dust to be found. And I don’t mean that as a figure of speech. We went over to a bureau to look at framed photographs from her childhood and I probably picked up half a dozen objects and didn’t have to blow any dust from my fingertips. In fact, I went to wipe my hands on my skirt, the accustomed practice after holding objects that would be dusty in our apartment and noticed that there was no dust. No dust.

Like I said, class. I have the impression that if I ever dropped by unexpectedly she’d have a fruit and veggie tray standing by on deck, a roasted chicken in the oven, freshly cut flowers spread on the table just waiting to be arranged, and a dozen sprigs of mint leaves for her legendary tea.

If you drop by our place unexpectedly there’s likely to be a load of clean or dirty laundry sitting in the corner of our living room. This week, there’s also two bags of clothes, books, shoes, and purses waiting to be dropped off at the Goodwill. They were there last week, the week before last, and the week before that one, too. Laundry, I kid you, will likely be the death of me. It is the most never-ending chore ever invented by the gods and I can’t fathom why Adam and Eve ate that stupid apple; otherwise we could all walk around naked shamelessly and never need to separate whites from coloreds.

The laundry and bags of clothes is all me, but that’s not the only reason why you shouldn’t get too comfortable at our place either. The last time I swept our hardwood floor was about 10 days ago, right after I stepped on a piece of glass from a shot glass my roommate broke four days earlier. The monstrous uproar that followed was pretty frightening for our pets, neither of whom take kindly to strangers or screaming familiars. The cat immediately started hissing as he blocked the only exit and my dog somehow managed to tangle his leash around my bloody foot in his feeble attempts to comfort me. It wasn’t until after I swore at him for trying to kill me that I calmed down long enough to understand he only wanted to help which is more than I can say for my roommate’s cat.

And as delighted as I would be for an impromptu visit, my delight won’t fill your appetite. Neither will what’s in the frig. There’s a bunch of yogurt cups, expiration date Oct 2011, but since it’s soy yogurt you can still eat it. I just had one the other day for breakfast, though I couldn’t stomach the foul taste in my mouth after four bites but I didn’t feel sick at all. I just have really sensitive taste buds. Something about chocolate soy yogurt makes me feel like it just can’t go bad.

Oh, but never mind. You can’t eat yogurt without a spoon and there aren’t any clean spoons in the house. We don’t have a dishwasher and I refuse to wash dishes daily. Truthfully, i refuse to wash dishes weekly which is why we’re in this conundrum. It probably makes sense to wash dishes every other day or so but that always seems like such a waste of dish detergent. And that line of thinking is what leads me right here with no clean spoons. I suppose I could offer you a straw with that six month old yogurt but we should probably go out for dinner.

As a general rule, you should call three to five days before you think you’ll be in our neighborhood on the off-chance you want to stop by. Even then, I’m not making any promises.


About Bella

I’m an (almost) 30-something free-lance writer, blogger, genealogist, and friend. Yep. If you pay me, I’ll be your friend. Initial fees are subject to negotiation. You can also contact me about product reviews and ad space. Everything is for sale around here. I make my home in Boston with my roommate, Jane Doe; my 12 year old dog, Chewy; and Jane’s feral cat, Felix. I’m addicted to reading Mormon mommy blogs, Huffington Post, Jezebel, and Facebook status updates.


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