But there was no getting around it today. Amanda is coming home on Wednesday. And she's bringing "the boyfriend". Now normally I try to keep the house reasonably picked up and tidy for my own sake - but company - and more specifically company I have never met - calls for a much higher effort. So today it was all hands on deck for a real "gut clean".
This was not just the floors and laundry, the dusting and folding and straightening, the bathroom sinks and tubs - this was the vacuuming of pillows and furniture and cobwebs and base boards. This was the purging and organizing and taking everything out of its place and cleaning the shelves and putting it back better. This was the nooks and crannies of the refrigerator. This was the dusting of all photo and picture frames. This was the narrow attachment of the vacuum cleaner around the periphery of the carpet in every room and hallway. This was the toothbrush to the grout. This was the walls. And when it was all done, it still didn't sparkle like new because, because my house is old and needs a lot of work. And now I see clean but I see painting that needs to be done and stuff I no longer like that needs to be tossed - and lord in heaven - carpets. I need new carpets. Because they look like I have donkeys instead of dogs running around the house.
Also, somewhere in the effort I did something to my foot and now my ankle is screaming every time I step on my foot without thinking purposely about it. And I took this as a sign. A sign to quit while I'm ahead.
So I texted Amanda and I said: "How nicely does Dan's mom keep her home - and don't you DARE tell him I asked." Amanda replied almost immediately: "Pretty near spotless." And so my heart sank. Looking around at all that needed to get done to look spotless represented another full day of toothbrushes and polishing and then, at that precise moment, Bob walked through the back door after having been working on the garden - still a work in progress. But he stepped directly in with no pause so I barked loudly: "For god's sake, Bob! I just vacuumed! Did you even wipe your feet?" Having had it with my orders for the day, he replied with a chirp: "No!" And then he turned his back to me. And then he mooned me.
I took this as a sign that my first sign was confirmed.
So Dan will have to take us just as we are, given the full moon and all.