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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spring Cleaning.

If the road to hell is really paved with good intentions (which is something my grandmother was fond of saying) I assume it's paved with men. Their intentions, I'm sure, are good but, in the end, they're all pretty much pigs.

About two and a half years ago, we were forced to downsize. This, for some reason, doesn't seem to bother the hubster, who looks at me as if I'm some sort of mutant because yes, it's over two years later and yes, it altered my life to such a degree that I will never be the same. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that, we're made up, to a large degree, of water and we all know what happens to water when it doesn't move.

I had to get rid of a LOT when we made this move and there were things that hurt something awful to leave behind. Now some of the stuff, while I didn't want to lose it I discovered I didn't really need and have done quite well without. God GOD, the crap I had in the kitchen! But, I sold my set of white dishes with the gold rims, thinking that I never used them except on special occasions and, while that's absolutely true, I have, on several occasions (Thanksgiving, Easter, birthdays...) regretted letting them go. Especially for 20 bucks although, to be honest, I only paid 40 for them to begin with. I did keep the gold flatware.

There's still a little empty spot where my piano used to be. It was music, and it was MY music. That piano was something that was mine and mine alone and it had been mine since the Christmas I was 10. I never had to compromise, never had to share, it never had to leave to make room for something that someone else brought to the party. It was probably the only thing I still had that wasn't influenced by someone else's opinion. It didn't even have to be played, it held the promise of sound, there's a place inside of me that knows I can make music and that makes everything bearable. No, it's not genius music, it's good but not great. It was uniquely mine and now it's gone. I feel it every single day and sometimes I even tear up over it. But it's spilled milk.

Moving after so long and into a completely different neighborhood, gave me a certain amount of enthusiasm. How nice is was going to be able to have a place that was COMPLETELY mine with no influences from previous family members (koffkoffmymotherkoffkoff) who could not keep their mouths shut when it came to anything I ever had or owned. You know, as in "you know what would be REALLY nice in here?" thus, in an oh so helpful way, managing to tell you that they think your taste sucks and getting their own way in how you decorate your home.

Now the very first thing I wanted was a new bed. Ours was broken down, and, I hesitate to say, it wasn't ours to begin with. It was fairly new, but it WAS my mother's. It's HUGE. For some reason, my mother, living alone, needed a California King size bed. She was 5'3" so, of course, needed a California King for the added length. The California, or Western King is longer than it is wide, in case you didn't know. You probably did.

We were moving into a bedroom considerable smaller than the one we were leaving. Less closet space, less square footage, less everything. The hubster argued and argued and argues and, as always and I do mean always, I ended up giving in. For the last two and a half years I've lived with wall to wall freaking bed. The frame is broken, we can't get a new one of those either, why should we when we can prop the damn thing up on these plastic "risers" which will not only fix the problem of the broken legs and missing casters but will raise the bed to such a level that we can shove half of our clothing UNDER the bed now? Not to mention the always entertaining show of watching me climb up on the damn thing. I'm not short, I'm 5'8" but I still have to hoist my left knee up on the bed and then haul the rest of me into it.

The hubster claims that this habit is why the almost 15 year old mattress is breaking down.

Now, as we have wall to wall bed, there's not much room for anything else. Like clothing. This doesn't stop the hubster though. See, his mother not only didn't mind, she pretty much encouraged her kids to just pile their clothes and possessions on every available flat space they could find, therefore negating the average persons visceral need for closet space. He continued this habit when he moved in with me. Over thirty years ago.

Over 30 years of screaming and folding and putting away, only to find that the instant some space was cleared he went out and bought more crap to stack on it. He saves everything, and I do mean everything. There are cabinets over the closet in the bedroom. These cabinets are full of magazines. Unread magazines. Magazines that are over three years old. Know how I know they're unread? Because they're still in their plastic wrap covers. We moved stacks and stacks of them. We've added two and a half years of them. About a year ago I finally decided to hell with it and started unwrapping and reading the monthly issue of "Vanity Fair." He'd been subscribing for years and there they were, all sealed in plastic, stacked on an end table. He describes this as being "acquisitive." I call him a borderline hoarder and, mark my words, three months after I'm dead and can no longer spend my week-ends trying to shovel out this kind of mess he'll be on TLC, crying, while the "got junk?" truck hauls his collection of 47 year old unread newspapers away.

You think I'm joking?

He's "going" to get around to them. Now he's decided to work from home and he's set up shop in the dining room, thus rendering the room unusable for anything else. Like, oh, eating. we can barely get through it anymore. Between the empty boxes, the empty mailing envelopes, the piles of DVDs he's "gonna" watch and the empty bottles, it's impassable. See, we can't put the recycling in a recycling container because if we take them to the recycling center they will pay us for them. I'm basically okay with that. takes two busses to get to the closest recycling center. The car, which STILL can't be driven because it's STILL not registered, is FULL of these bags. They're being stored in it. The rest of them are now being stored in the dining room.

Am I out of line here?

I mean, when we moved I thought, I REALLY thought that I was, by going backwards, enabling myself to move forward. Get rid of the baggage. Have a nice little place, done the way I liked, some place I could actually open the door and be hospitable. Sort of a one step back, three steps forward type of thing. Have you ANY idea what it's like the four times a year someone comes over? I spend a WEEK trying to clean the place up. By myself. Because no one else will get up off their butts until they know our guests have actually LEFT their house and are on the way to OURS.

The latest addition is the cat carrier. It now sits in the middle of the living room. Because the cat will have to go back to the vet eventually and the hubster has decided that, if we leave the carrier in the middle of the living room where he (the cat, not the hubster) can get used to being around it he'll get right in when the time comes.

Really? He's a CAT. You do the math.

It's been here for two weeks now. I finally tucked it into an empty space next to a chair and use it for a footstool. I'm hoping maybe I can call this a cutting edge design style and end up in Better Homes and Gardens.

At any rate, I have guests coming for Easter, which is six weeks away. I really need to start cleaning.

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