Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Crone Is In

"That's why old ladies' houses are so messy. We can't see it, and we don't give a shit." That's what my friend Gayle says.

I never did have good eyesight, but I'd say the number of shits given tracks closely and inversely with age. And the number of shits given has a lot to do with how much we care what other people think of us. The older we get, the less we care. Personally, I think either people have a decent enough opinion of me, or they're wrong, or they may be right but I don't give a shit.

There's another aspect to it. If I've gotten to be this age without keeling over, I assume I've been doing things okay. The dust mites in my pillow aren't going to take me down. The spiders who are enjoying my hospitality and my disinclination to use the vacuum are not interested in biting me.

So consider this a warning if you want to drop by. You will find a friendly cat at the front door and lots of beer in the fridge. Dave will have seen to it that the toilet is clean. But you're not going to find the toilet seat lid down. If it is, I'm either indulging your delicate sense of vulnerability, or I had to stand on the toilet to reach something. But it won't be because I really believe the toilet sprays fecal matter all over the bathroom every time I flush. Because I don't believe that. Even if I'm wrong, it hasn't made me sick yet.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm part of my own ecosystem, and I don't want to mess anything up as long as everything's going okay. I don't believe that ecosystems work because Nature designs them that way. Nature doesn't plan any more than I do. Whatever you see in a given ecosystem is a snapshot of What Works Now. If circumstances change, the components will change with them.

So what you see in my house is what works for me now. It's going to be somewhat tidy, but not excessively tidy, because I will have struck a balance between my wish to not be visually burdened with clutter and my wish to not actually do a lot of work. If my writing room is tidy, I have writer's block. And I never have writer's block, so there will be crap all over in there. And no part of the house is going to be actually clean.

If you judge me for that, no hard feelings: I don't give a shit.

I haven't decided what, if anything, to do with the roof rats that have moved in above our kitchen. I never even know they're there until about eleven o'clock at night, when they start rough-housing and plotting and scraping their teeth on stuff. I do find this disturbing. So maybe I'll start going to bed earlier.

If I did have a plan, the plan would be to live to 99 and then go down fast and hard from late-onset hantavirus, dust mite allergy, spider bite, and fecal contamination.

39 comments:

  1. I've read that kids have so many allergies these days because we keep everything so fucking sanitary these days -- as if we were running a hospital as a side hustle. Come to think of it, some homes are probably kept more sterile than most hospitals, considering the infection rate in hospitals. And parents don't allow kids to have unscheduled play time anymore, so they don't get exposed to dirt outside. They are, essentially, hot-house kids.

    I don't disinfect anything. I figure that if it's strong enough to kill "germs", it's not doing me much good either. If something is labeled "anti-bacterial", I won't buy it. That being said, my home is tidy, as I am a minimalist, and it's clean -- but not antiseptic. And we clean around the spiders, as we figure they eat the actual pesty bugs that find their way in.

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    1. I do believe I've provided visual proof I do the same thing...and we all know how fond I am of my bacteria.

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  2. I usually have time to vacuum about once a week just to keep the fur from getting more than ankle deep. 10 minutes later you wouldn't know I just vacuumed. I only do it out of habit.

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    1. Do you have the kind of dogs that leave rolling tumbleweeds of fur, galloping across the floor? I'm far from tidy, but I think that would bug me. Them dust dinosaurs must stay under the furniture where they belong.

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  3. Regarding rodents in the attic.....got any wiring up there? Back when travel on Hawthorne was via horse and buggy I had a house on 23rd, and was having the roof replaced when the contractor noticed that mice, rats or something had chewed all the insulation off the wiring and I was on the verge of a bonfire.

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    1. Yeah. I'm on it. Phase two of the roof rat saga and so far I'm only $4000 in the hole.

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  4. I'm with you on everything except for the rats/mice. I figure (a) they're not invited guests; (b) the don't pay rent or otherwise contribute to the household; (c) their potential inconvenience ranges from 'lost sleep' to 'house on fire'. And I while I generally don't care what other people think, when we wander into the area of mice/rats/raccoons, things *do* start to feel a bit too much like Grey Gardens territory....just sayin'!

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  5. "Whatever you see in a given ecosystem is a snapshot of What Works Now. If circumstances change, the components will change with them."

    Trudat. Well said, oh wise one.

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    1. Or, as I wrote just ever so recently, it's a Truce.

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  6. Is it wrong of me that the paint job in the first photo bothers me more than the spider?

    I've had to up my cleaning game because, believe it or not, one of our cats has environmental allergies. Yes. Really.

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    1. Lawd, that sounds judgy about the painting! I only meant the spider didn't bother me.

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    2. Oh, not at all. It horrified me too. And that is because I'm not a super clean person but I am a very careful painter. I had no idea it looked like that. I had to zoom in with my camera. That corner is a good sixteen feet in the air at the top of a stairwell and I don't even remember how the hell we set up to paint it in the first place. It was probably something real rickety and we did the best we could and got the hell out of Dodge. Fortunately, it's impossible to see without zooming.

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    3. I keep picturing a chair, and on the chair, a Dave, and on the Dave, a Murr, with a paintbrush . . .

      Corners one can't see without zooming are the best kind.

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    4. Sumpin' like that. I don't know which of us did the actual painting but we're both meticulous, USUALLY.

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  7. You da best. Since my mother doesn't drive far enough to come visit us on her own anymore, I have less angst about dusty surfaces (and yes, I'm old enough to be over trying to please my mother all the time--I know it's an issue). But I do try to keep the cat hair and other fluff out of refrigerator grates and computer ports and such...like the wiring, it could result in an unpleasant surprise one day.

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    1. You should've trained your mom to lower her expectations. By the time we had our own house and my mom came to visit, all she cared about was that our iguana (who had the run of the house) not be in the guest bedroom.

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    2. I trained my mum. She mentioned the dust on the floor and I told her where the broom was. She never mentioned dust again.

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  8. Four thousand? Golly, what are you doing to get rid of those rats, bribing them? I have a friend who just found bats in her attic. I hear that’ll be a chunk of dough to deal with, but I can’t bring myself to tell her. It’s an old house, like mine, and she has enough to deal with to live with the ghost of her husband’s first wife.

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    1. Some people say I have bats in my attic, too.

      The money mostly went to re-side a portion of a dormer that had gone undone for a long time. The rat hole was at the top under the roofline and it was really hard to get to. Details to come!

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  9. This is our home, not a test lab. Pretty untidy, sometimes grotty.
    But we figure the reason we don't catch every germ that comes by is that we have a good balance of our own bugs.

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    1. Yeah--bugs that come here just spend time with their cousins at the reunion and leave us alone!

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  10. Snap. I am working on the decluttering front because I am getting tired of the excess. However this isn't a showhome, never will be a show home and I don't give a (roof) rat's fundament that it isn't.

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  11. Women of a certain age, not giving a roof rat's fundament...sigh...I love English.

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  12. Not giving a rats ass much about dead bodies left in the attic I did however find the scrambling and gnawing sounds somewhat worrisome. DCon proved to be the solution...:)

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    1. I'm trying to avoid that in case one gets out and gets nabbed by a hawk. But I'm sympathetic.

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  13. I've always believed that a good immune system, that is frequently challanged is the key to health. So I look for laughs, and don’t worry about kissing a dog or getting dirty, or even washing all my fresh food. The last time I was sick, beyond a few minor day long episodes, was back when Nixon was president. I prefer keeping a house neat but don’t worry about dust and dirty floors. Glad to see another sensible person.

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  14. You have a writing room? A whole room just to write in?
    My home is 95% tidyish, the other 5% is the dust-and-cat-fluff covered floor and my writing/dining/sewing/whatever table usually covered with whatever I have going on plus what I left there yesterday and last week. it suits me fine.

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    1. That dining room table situation you describe is exactly what got me my own studio addition. And, as I've mentioned elsewhere, it's not that fancy to have your own writing room. All you need is a guest bedroom and no friends.

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  15. I never saw "She kept a clean house" on anyone's tombstone.

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    1. "He sure cleaned up this town," maybe.

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  16. Child raising 101:Everyone should be fed a diet of dirt and paint and lime for the first year of life.

    XO
    WWW

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