Monday, July 31, 2006

Bau(wow) Haus

One person's museumlike neatness is another person's pigsty. I'll get to the point: I'm a slob in a community of slobs. Sorry, Dr. Andrew, I'll rephrase this to be less judgmental of myself and the rest of the tribe here:

We fail to corroborate adequately the dynamic spatial relationships between humans and the inanimate objects surrounding them.

In other words, nothing readily finds itself returned to its original place. Well, of course, we parents set the poor example. But I've made some recent strides. For example, about a month ago I swept the dining room table clear of its assorted mountainous collection of bills, flyers, receipts, catalogs, drawings from kindergarten, belly button lint, and $21,000 in savings bonds. (I couldn't resist that one. Did you hear about that? Some homeless guy finds $21K in bonds and the owner flips him $100. How Judeo-Christianly kind, eh?) Trouble is, I became The Enforcer, sweeping off ANYTHING that rested on that dining room table. It worked. For a month or more. Yes, it made me a bit self-righteous, but it worked.

Is that it, Dr. Andrew, does everyone need An Enforcer? Or is it imaginable that our tribal unit could approach this as a community?

Right.

Here's what got me thinking on these ponderous issues: lately, I have found myself in someone's immaculate, pristine, virginal Martha Stewart-ish beautiful house, and the owner says, "Excuse the mess."

EXCUSE THE MESS?

I have a few questions to throw out to Cyberuberhinterland:

1. Is it a class thing? Is the "excuse the mess" comment from a tidy home meant to show me up, because it's written all over my face what a slob me and mine are/is?

2. Do they honestly think their crib is a mess? In other words, is it more or less a domicile anorexia, whereby the person looking into the domestic mirror literally cannot see the objective evidence before their eyes?

3. Am I projecting my domicilic inferiority unto those more superior?

4. If I participated in "conjugal chores" * more often, would this bother me in the least?

* "Conjugal Chores" will be the title of my forthcoming million-seller marriage memoir. It's a phrase I read some thirty years from a Vatican document. It was the Vatican's delicious term for marital sex. Beautiful. Here's the first line of that memoir, my only original line:

"I was in the seminary in high school, studying to be a priest. I left the seminary, figuring I couldn't lead a celibate life. [pause] Then, I got married, [pause] and found out that I could."

HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HA!

(Is this mike on?)

13 comments:

Michael C said...

"Conjugal chores" will now join my upper echelon of iconic phrases I have stolen throughout my life like "philosphically misaligned with..."

I have always believed that "Excuse my mess is" is a public cry for a compliment and validation."

What if we just answered that question with "It'll be hard too, this is the worst-kept house I've ever seen."

;-)

Andrew said...

1. Yes. You might as well have a neon sign on your forehead.

2. Yes. Didn't you see the stray kleenex on the kitchen counter? HUGE mess!

3. domicilic? Cool word. It made me forget the question.

4.Chores. Right. Well, that about sums up the middle ages.

Thanks for pointing people in the direction of To Love, Honor and Dismay. I promise I'm more mannerly and well behaved over there. Or if that could be construed as a bad thing, then I'll promise something else.

meloncutter said...

I could actually go into a long lecture about this, but since I tripped over the engine block setting in the path through the kitchen, I hurt my knee, and with that pain I can't concentrate.

As to "conjugal chores", my conjugal elbow is acting up and it generally is too sore for me to actually do any cleaning.

Great Post.

Later Yall

A chuisle said...

it's definately more of #2. I have ocds and my home is usually immaculate. and then i walk by a crooked frame on the wall and spaz out. so i have to excuse how crappy my home looks in case my company notices the extreme horror that is one slightly crooked frame on a wall.

god i wish i was joking. :)

The Conjugalist said...

Great posts, folks. I guess I'm just beginning to see the connection: sex is to clean as engine block is to racing. Something along those lines. My SATs weren't that great anyway (worse in math, or "maths" as Brits say), hence my current station in life.

Odat said...

Great blog....!!!

El Laforisti said...

Odat1283,
Thanks for your comment. If one were so inclined, one might cryptically sign this comment Odat0279, or Odat0679, depending on a few variables. I think you understand. Just for today.

Odat said...

Really? Nice!!!! Way to go!

jbwritergirl said...

Conjucal Chores-Is that where you lie there and decide whether or not to paint the ceiling again? Now that's a mess!!!!
Jacqui

the literalist said...

JBWG,
That reminds me of the punchline (I'm a terrible joke teller) of a very old Martha Stewart joke...something like, What does she say after great sex? Beige. I think I'll paint the ceiling beige.

Michael C said...

Do we really have to put the words Martha Stewart and 'great sex' in the same sentence? I think my face is actually starting to turn green. And it ain't from envy.

Army said...

As someone who keeps his house rather clean and usually asks pardon of a little disorder, I can say this person was not likely making any reference to you. We all have our concept of clean, and this person, like some of us out there, is just a bit too OCD.

The line between disorder and order is a razor's edge : )

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