After being gone for four days, I swept the kitchen floor this morning to get the dog hairs. As I swept, I thought of this incident three decades ago.
My husband’s work friend from San Diego (we were in Northern CA) came to visit with his wife and two sons. That made for four little kids running around my house plus two dogs. The wife was a decade younger than me, 25 instead of 35. Ten years can make a huge difference in how energetic a mom can be. In other words, if you have an energy surplus, have a kid. They will suck up your extra energy.
Don’t get me wrong., I love all my kids. I’m glad I had them, even though I was an older mom. I’m telling you this as a rationalization for what happened next.
It was the end of the day entertaining our house guests.. I was finally sitting down in a comfortable chair. Wife asks me, “Do you want me to sweep your kitchen floor?”
“No, please relax. It’s been a long day.”
“But I’m happy to do it.”
“You don’t need to sweep my floor.”
“I’d be glad to.”
“It’s not that bad.”
There it was, the challenge, not that bad. The wife got up, got the broom and dustpan, swept the floor, and came over to show me the full dustpan, dog hair, crumbs, etc.
“I told you your floor needed sweeping.”
At that point, I wanted to disappear into the back of my chair. Who says that? Was this a competition? Was she out to prove that I was a a bad housekeeper?
Job well done.
If friends come over for a glass or cup of tea, they come inside, drink the tea, leave out the front door and go scream into their car. They don’t tell me to my face I’m a bad housekeeper. For the sake of the friendship they put up with it and keep quiet.
Later in the visit the same woman filled my clothes washer to the brim with dirty clothing.
“That’s too many clothes for one load, “ I said.
“It’s fine,” she said. “I do it all the time at home.”
The washer looked too full to me. I decided to let it go.
Guess what? The washer didn’t work anymore the day after they left. It wouldn’t spin. I had a pile of laundry and no way to wash it or spin it. We had to buy a new machine.
I thought back to our visit with them in San Diego. She washed the dog bowls with the rest of the dishes. I was grossed out by that but didn’t say anything. We left our precious child with their teenaged sitter while the four of us went out. When we got home, our daughter was in a wet diaper that weighed as much as she did. The teen never changed her in six hours.
That couple got divorced and then decades later, we got divorced.
Sweeping the floor brought it all back to me today. I wonder why.