• May 25, 2018, 12:40:40 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: A spotless home.  (Read 21557 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Member
  • Posts: 22438
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2013, 01:57:51 PM »
OP isn't just describing neat or tidy, though. She is talking about perfection.


  • Member
  • Posts: 514
  • If you have the power to make someone happy, do it
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2013, 02:13:49 PM »
I think a simple "thank you" would be plenty and comments like "oh, don't mind the mess" are just self-effacing remarks.  But then, I am kind of a clean freak and I take pride in how my home looks so a "your house is so clean" would be a compliment to me the same as it's a compliment to my friend when I tell her that she always looks so nice and put-together.

The remarks I love (not) are the people who come to my house and say things like:

"Your house is so clean, you obviously do not have kids" and then they go on and on about how one can have a clean house or kids, but not both and how they never have time to even wash dishes or vacuum.  I'd think if I had kids, I'd want to make sure the house was ESPECIALLY clean because kids (little ones, especially) spend so much time on the floor and putting things in their mouths.  I get that there will be toys on the floor and such, but having kids is no reason to let dirty dishes pile in the sink and dirt to accumulate.  Of course, part of this is my annoyance at how it seems to be assumed that because I don't have kids I have more than 24 hours in a day, which is another thread entirely.

The best one, though, was my ex's stepmother.  The woman NEVER cleaned her house, and anytime she'd come to visit, she'd remark how I must have some type of obsessive-compulsive disorder because the house was so clean.  When we'd go to visit her, she'd have to move piles of laundry from the furniture to make room for us to sit (and it wasn't a guarantee that said laundry was actually CLEAN laundry waiting to be folded.)  There was clutter and garbage everywhere, the kitchen table was always piled high with dirty dishes, leftover food, and all kinds of carp, and the house smelled BAD.  Her excuse?  She and ex's father were both out of work and they just didn't have the money to clean.

HUH???  It costs money to fold laundry or put it in a hamper???  It costs money to pick up garbage and clutter???? It costs money to run a dustrag around the house and straighten the sofa cushions???  Who knew???  ??? ??? ???

Dirt from the floor is what builds good immune systems!  ;)

Maybe self-confessed clean freaks can keep their houses spotless with kids, but I am definitely not one of those and I struggle. It's not just about not having time, it's about being exhausted when you do get spare time and struggling to find motivation to spend that time cleaning.

Honestly, if I spent the amount of time cleaning before I had kids that I do now, I'd have had some kind of show-home. Kids create mess at twice the speed that I can clean it, anyway.

As a self-confessed messy person, I can't stand that w/hole routine. Sorry about the mess. I usually go with, 'Yes, it's an absolute pig sty - I don't know how you live in it'.

I'm with CakeEater. In the time that I've gotten the breakfast dishes up, there have been two more messes made. I could kill myself trying to keep things neat, but then I'd be never have any play time with my kids, you know? I know this time in my life is just a season, and in a few years I'll be in another season where my house is guest ready all the time, but that's just not how it is right now. I don't mind and all my friends are understanding, thankfully.

As far as the original question, I think everyone has different standards, and possibly, to the OP, her friend's house is perfect, but her friend knows that she's got some seasonal decor waiting to be put up, that some pictures are outdated, or that those two bills sitting on the counter should have been taken care of. Or maybe its just a thing she says. I wouldn't look too much into it. :-)


  • Member
  • Posts: 6506
    • Cooking
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2013, 02:57:10 PM »
It's just part of her script. Your answers are fine. I wouldn't overthink this at all.

This is my take as well.  She probably says it as her standard greeting: "Hi, how are you?  Please excuse my mess."

Plus there actually might be something "out" of sorts that she sees but you don't.  I once jokingly said , "Where?!"  to a friend who said it to me and she pointed out her magazine and cup of coffee she was drinking from on the kitchen table.   ;D


  • Member
  • Posts: 8861
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2013, 03:30:41 PM »
OP isn't just describing neat or tidy, though. She is talking about perfection.

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Cleaning is something very personalized -- what one person sees as barely adequate another thinks is OCD neat freak. I've had people say my house is completely clean and there's nothing that could be done just because there aren't dishes in the sink and the bed is made, even if there's pet hair all over the sofa, the floors need to be swept, and there's a big pile of laundry to be done. It may be that OP's friend really doesn't think it's as clean as OP does, or maybe she's thinking "man, I hope OP doesn't open the door to the spare room when she goes to the bathroom, that's where I stuffed everything!", etc. It's better to just smile and say "no problem" or "it looks great" instead of dissecting her motives and accusing her of fishing for compliments, like some in this thread have been doing. :(


  • Member
  • Posts: 4088
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2013, 04:02:33 PM »
It is actually a little amazing to me how people can see such different levels of clean while looking at the same house but it's true.  It does happen.  Everyone has their particular triggers.  I can't STAND clutter and my personal "ick" thing is crumbs on the counter.  I am obsessive about wiping my kitchen counters.  You would think I'd let the crumbs sit for a minute and go vacuum my bedroom every now and then but I don't.  I am terrible at thinking to take out a vacuum.  Everyone "sees" mess differently. 


  • Member
  • Posts: 1142
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2013, 12:18:42 AM »
I agree with miranova.  I have a thing about clean kitchens and bathrooms.  I wouldn't notice a pile of laundry on your bed, magazines on the coffee table, or shoes in the corner.  But if your kitchen garbage is overflowing or your sink is dirty (or filled with dirty dishes) I would notice. 


  • Member
  • Posts: 857
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2013, 01:05:12 AM »
I agree with miranova.  I have a thing about clean kitchens and bathrooms.  I wouldn't notice a pile of laundry on your bed, magazines on the coffee table, or shoes in the corner.  But if your kitchen garbage is overflowing or your sink is dirty (or filled with dirty dishes) I would notice.

Until I read this I never realised I feel exactly the same way. It's weird. Your bedroom can be full of unwashed clothes, magazines, and whatever else. That's fine and it doesn't bother me. But a kitchen sink overflowing with moldy dishes? Ew. I won't say anything, but I'll be a little less likely to visit in the future.

As for the, "Sorry my house is so messy", I'd interpret it as a standard greeting and just reply with, "Thanks," or another standard greeting, such as "And how have you been?" Or, if you really think it's a fishing-for-compliments thing, I'd say, "That's okay, I don't mind."

Mrs. Tilney

  • Member
  • Posts: 90
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2013, 01:03:11 PM »
I tend to keep my home tidy, but am horrible about dusting and vacuuming, so while everything may be in place, I just notice the dust bunnies rampaging around the living room and am likely to make a comment about my house being gross. I wouldn't assume that that kind of comment is fishing for comments; it's best to react with something like, "Don't worry about it" and move on.


  • Member
  • Posts: 9123
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2013, 04:42:23 PM »
Ugh, I hate this. I get it. I have the same impulse when people come over, and I haven't had time to scrub every corner. But come on. It's clean enough. No one will notice that baseboard in the corner. No one will realize that you vacuumed two days ago and not today. I know someone who used to do this, back when I was kind of a slob, and it made me feel almost guilty. Like, if this is what you consider a mess, what would you think of my house? I will never invite you over, not even after a good cleaning.

I hate this as well and it seems really fake to me.  Clearly they have the time to clean if it is looking that nice.  I had a neighbor once whose house was always neat as a pin despite having a toddler and an infant.  Meanwhile my house was a disaster cause I could never seem to keep up with it.  I seriously don't know how she managed and still had oodles of energy. I'd clean up one room then have to sit down and nurse my infant (now middlepirate) and while I did that, oldest pirate would undo what I'd just done, like pull folded laundry out of a basket before I had a chance to put it away or empty all his toys all over the living room. 

She'd say "Pardon the mess" when her floors were vacuumed, toys put away, no laundry in sight, kitchen and dining table neat as a pin and tile/laminate floors mopped.  It honestly made me want to cry and just turn around and go home and shut the curtains so she couldn't see just how messy my house was.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Layla Miller

  • Member
  • Posts: 2580
  • I know stuff.
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2013, 02:48:33 PM »
Did anyone else see today's xkcd and think of this thread?  :)

I searched for nothing on the Internet and got 175,000,000 hits.


  • Member
  • Posts: 4633
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2013, 03:16:54 PM »
I remember growing up a good friend would rarely come over to my house. She always wanted me to come to hers, which I always found a bit uncomfortable because it was such a mess all the time. Her mother did no cleaning whatsoever--literally laying in bed all day on her days off, and calling for friend to fetch her iced tea or whatever she happened to want. Friend was responsible for keeping up with the laundry and what little cleaning ever got done.

OTOH, my parents always have (and still do) keep a very neat, clean home. It's not perfect, of course, but it's free of clutter, the floors are always vacuumed and laundry was kept up with. It's just the way it was. I asked friend one time why she never wanted to come play at my house and she said that she was always uncomfortable there and that it had the vibe of being like a museum, because it was always too clean.

Perspectives. That's what it all comes down to. In her mind her dirty, cluttered house was normal.

She's an extreme example though. Now at age fifty she lives in utter filth and I refuse to go to her house because there are bugs crawling everywhere and it smells horrific. She her husband and kids have no notion of throwing away garbage; there are old fast food wrappers all over the floors throughout the house and nothing ever gets cleaned. I guarantee I would starve before eating anything that comes out of her kitchen.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!


  • Member
  • Posts: 3486
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2013, 07:23:18 PM »
I was thinking the same thing...she is fishing for compliments.

I don't know. I have a good friend whose house looks neat to me but she sometimes feels that it's out of whack.

I think it's just a matter of perspective on what clean is. My idea of clean and my grandmother's idea of tidy are close but I'm willing to let things be a bit more untidy.

OP, are these planned visits or are you just stopping by for a minute?

Both planned and unplanned.  Same for her to my house.  She actually was away on vacation for a week so I saw her today and asked about her trip she said she had fun, but has so much cleaning to do because the house is filthy.

Its ok. I really should ask her to plant some plants in my yard.


  • Member
  • Posts: 2567
Re: A spotless home.
« Reply #42 on: September 21, 2013, 09:13:35 PM »
I think I'd just note it as something that's important to her and maybe make a compliment about a particular feature of her house or something if I was over.