Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm writing

I wish I hadn't squandered all month last month. Burn out does that to you, though. However, I'm now facing the challenge of finishing this book, deep spring cleaning my house, prepping my younger daughter for a three day camp experience with her classmates, and packing for my trip to the east coast. All of that is supposed to be finished by Sunday. I think I'm in over my head.

The spring cleaning is urgent because my ex mother in law is coming to town to watch my kids and generally be a grandma. She lives several states away, so this is kind of a big deal. Plus she hasn't ever seen where the girls live, since the divorce. She needs this. The girls need this. I, however, don't.

She's a neat-freak. And when I mean neat-freak, she's kind of OCD. As in, she once bought a floor model fridge and then complained that there was a tiny, non-dented scratch on the BACK of the fridge even though that's against the wall. She also came over to my spotless home, not only cleaned by me, but then cleaned by Merry Maids before my daughters' birthday parties and proceeded to wash my french door, on her knees, in front of the entire family. Yeah, I was embarrassed. And who I caught crawling around my kitchen floor on hands and knees with a toothbrush and a bucket of sudsy water.

To drive her crazy (I was getting back at her for deliberately undermining me with my children several days in a row, so it was warranted, folks), I gave her gas fireplace a thoughtful look and calmly told her that the tiling above the vent was slightly uneven. That was years ago. She still frowns when she looks at it... or so the girls tell me. It was genius and also mean.

Now she's coming to my place. My place which the previous owners decided to panel the living room. My place that where it isn't paneled is burnt orange and used to have a wallpaper boarder around the chair rail but which I tore down and never pulled off the tiny pieces of paper that stayed behind (because I'm a working single mother, damn it). My place that daily has a fight against ants and where most of my furniture--while, antique--are hand me downs. Hey, I left the guy and my furniture in order to get out. I'm not picky about my "new to me" stuff. My place where I rarely intrude on my daughters' bedrooms to disapprove of their sense of order.

I think this is going to get ugly. I know I'm not messy. I'm just casual. She's not. She literally bends over every day to poke her carpet where it meets hardwood so that the pile looks right. I have peeling linoleum at the base of one of my kitchen cupboards. I also cook and she doesn't. My kitchen is used and while clean, doesn't have the never been used granite or seamless stove tops.

Can you tell where my biggest concern is? Obviously not the away camp, the long flight to the east coast, or the fact that my book deadline is breathing down my throat. Nope. It's the ex-mom.

I think I'll clean like I would usually for this time of year. If she feels compelled to keep going, at least I won't be home to witness it. Too bad they don't sell valium over the counter.


Unknown said...

Well ain't that a bitch! Let her do the cleaning and you enjoy your trip to the east coast. :)
Seriously, the only thing that matters is you love your girls, they're safe and taken care of. Screw the rest of them.

Harlie Williams said...

Maybe she and my mom could get together. My mom USED to be that way with me when I was single. Now, she's just wants to visit and hang out. She not so hung up on if I mopped today or not.

People like that really, really need to get a life. She needs to stop and thank god that her grandchildren are happy and healthy. Life's too short for that kind of crap.

You have fun on your trip.

Mia Watts said...

@Amber Hear, hear!! They're healthy, happy, and I'm nuts about them. The ex-mom is welcome to crawl around my floor with her toothbrush if she really wants to. Would it be too much if I left a list behind? Hm?


Mia Watts said...

@Harlie, thanks I'm looking forward to the trip. It'll be the first time I've been able to visit with my brother and his family without the rest of the extended family along for the ride.

My own mother is also highly critical. It's additionally annoying that she has a maid, so the idea of deep cleaning isn't something she's accustomed to anyway... but she definitely has opinions about it. LOL.

Again, I'm super glad I won't be around to witness the ex-mom at work. It always embarrasses me.

anny cook said...

Why are you flipping out about someone else's neurosis? If that's her thing, it's only your problem if you make it your problem. Did you read that??? It's HER problem. Let HER deal with it. She's like a female Monk. HER problem.

Why do women get crazy about the house? Can you walk through it without falling over anything? Then don't worry about it. Go enjoy your trip.

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