I'm hosting my book club tomorrow night and frankly the anxiety is killing me. I'm the epitome of an extravert--I need to be around people on a fairly regular basis or I will lose my shit--but having people over is beyond stressful. I always feel like people will judge me (and find me wanting) for the state of my apartment.
Now I'm going to be very upfront here--I am not a "Domestic Goddess." I hate housework. Some people find vacuuming, mopping, dusting, ironing, etc., to be relaxing or even (gasp!) enjoyable. These people are crazy. Reading a book is relaxing. Having a beer on a sunny patio in July is enjoyable. Housework resembles neither of these things--housework is a necesary evil.
I have made an effort over the last couple of days to make my apartment "acceptable". This has involved removing copious quantities of cat hair from furniture, putting clean towels in the bathroom, washing dishes, dismantling my "monument to procrastination" (also know as my pile-o-recycling) and finding new homes for all the crap I've allowed to collect in various piles throughout my abode. But despite all this, I know in my heart it's in vain because no amount of last minute cleaning is going to disguise the fact that I just don't give a shit. Really. And I feel bad about that.
I feel bad because I know that many people (perhaps even most people) do give a shit. They keep a clean house that's organized and smells fresh and is all the things mine isn't. And they will walk into my house and be appalled. They'll try hard not to show it--they'll sit stiffly on my funiture, trying not to come into too much contact with the fabric, and they'll pretend they don't see the cat hair in their drinking glass when I serve them their Pina Coladas, and when they go to the bathroom they'll hover over the toilet seat while trying not to look at the less-than-white grout between my tiles. I know this as surely as I know my own shortcomings as a homemaker. And yet, I want to say to these people (and myself)--get over it. Life is too short for getting down on your hands and knees to scrub grout with a toothbrush. Go out and seize the day. Spend time with your family. Read that book you've been too busy to pick up. Go treat yourself to a nice meal at the new restaurant downtown. Leave that plate on the counter to wash another day--it'll still be there.
But maybe you won't be.