I've either had way too many visitors lately, or I'm just used to having way too few. When no one was coming to my house, I didn't have to think about things like dusting and vacuuming. I could let all the flat surfaces, including the dining table, pile up with papers, and those piles could get embarrassingly high, because there was no reason for me to be embarrassed if no one could see.
More recently, though, I've been thinking about those kinds of things. A week and a half ago, with the auditor on his way, I had to clean and straighten until the place looked almost like the house of someone who cared. Or at least someone who had visitors once in a while. And now I have to do it again.
Will this madness ever end? There are only 25 or 26 hours in a day, right? How can I do all the intensive slacking that my lifestyle requires, if I have to find a place to hide all the dirt and clutter every two weeks?
With all these people tramping through here, I'm looking at my humble casa through their eyes. I'm seeing things here and there that need doing. I'm seeing stacks of magazines that don't belong, and cobwebs in corners where I don't usually bother to look. More to the point, I'm seeing work (work!) that needs to be done.
If I had more visitors, I'd be in the habit of keeping the place in good shape. Because I don't have many, each one requires a big production, with decisions to be made. It's a good excuse to throw out some of the excess, I guess, but I never seem to do that. It goes into closets and corners, and comes right out again as soon as the coast is clear.
Ah, but don't worry. I'm neither dedicated enough nor thorough enough to sweep away all the little aberrations that make the house my own. I'll miss some telltale marker that illuminates my personality. It's the same way with my gardening. I can work my way through a half acre of weeds and leave a whole row of the ugliest ones still standing. And I won't even notice until the next time I go outside.
Besides, I'm kidding myself to think that a stranger who comes to my door is looking at the same things I am. The truth is, they're probably not looking around much at all. This is just someone's house, and who cares what it looks like. I know the auditor didn't care about the stacks of old newspapers on the stairs. He did remark on the piles of video tapes all around my TV set, though.
Luckily, the Boss is on the road again this week. He won't be faxing me any new work during the day tomorrow, and I put in enough extra time today that I can spend the morning getting the house in order. Not that I'll actually do that, of course. As I said, there's serious slacking off to be done.
Now. Whatever will I wear?