Monday, June 13, 2005

Lifestyles of the Rich
So, I just returned home from a night with some girlfriends. They aren't close friends, but I know them fairly well. I'm beginning to think they're the wrong crowd for me. Indeed, most of my friends are the wrong crowd for me. The trouble? They have beautiful, super-fantastic homes. I'm serious, they are beautiful. And clean. Clean beautiful homes. It is insufferable.

Tonight's mini-mansion sat on a golf course, which we viewed through large windows from the leather couch, which was next to the oversized accessories (because you NEED big accessories when you have a big house). I saw but one speck of dust (I was looking). The tiles had no spots, the carpet had no spots. Nothing was out of place and the view was spectacular.

I used to blame these sorts of things on my youth. You know, "I'll have a house like this when I'm old, too."

Well, I'm old now, but still no mansion. And anyway, these people are younger than me.

The thing is, I may also be bipolar. After a little outting like tonight's, I come home ready for a spotless home, with gleaming floors and a clear desktop. My children should be tucked neatly into their beds having put all their toys in place and said their prayers. The little rubber ducky ought to be drying on the side of the bath and the dishes all cleaned and put away. I expect the furniture should be, well, at least coordinated. Matchy matchy is not necessary, but coordinated would be good. Not only that, all my laundry should be ironed and hanging in the closet and my pedicure should be fresh.

Tomorrow morning, different story. Why, we wouldn't want to waste the children's childhoods cleaning when we could be having grand adventures and visiting friends. Oh no, we must forget about the clutter and go have some FUN. Who needs a clean floor when friends have asked us to swim. Who cares about the laundry if the nature park is open? All those people in those neat little mansions must be insane to spend any part of a summer day CLEANING. And this furniture? It has character. Its been around. It'll do. Anyway, why buy furniture? Its just a worldly treasure.


Of course, I realize, intellectually, that there is a middle ground. One can have a clean house, old furniture, adventure and a home-pedicure. That works. Its just that I'm not very good at achieving it. I live life in that second paragraph and wonder what it would be like to live in the first. Quiet simply, I'm a mess. (Actually, so is my house).


Blogger MichaelBates said...

Well, Jan, I've seen your house twice now, and I think it's lovely -- not just the architecture, but the kids' artwork on display and the snowflakes and the back porch and the yard. It's a house with history, but it's also distinctly your family's house. Who in their right mind would trade character and class for a McMansion on the fairway?

11:08 PM, June 13, 2005  
Blogger violet said...

This could be out of one of my old journals. I have been there -- out to a mansion, then home to what feels like the servant's quarters... Thankfully there is always next morning when one is sane again.

11:15 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Dwayne "the canoe guy" said...

Jan, Jan, Jan, Jan, Jan.

I understand & I have been there. It gets worse when your kids start meeting the kids that live in the mansions. Then they start asking why they can't live there too? Why don't you buy them a car? Why don't you pay for their college? Why don't you buy them a house they can live in while in college?

I just told them that I was very stupid & didn't go to college. If you want a mansion, you're gonna have to work for it (& so will your wife).

On the other end of the spectrum, maybe a drive through a crack neighborhood will help you feel better.

8:02 AM, June 14, 2005  
Blogger Kyndal said...

Jan, I've seen you house, too, and I love going there. It is one of the most homey, comfortable places I've ever been. My boys often mention that they would like to move in over there. You are are doing something right!! As for those clean houses, I'll bet a lot of those people have house cleaners. Yes, that's the secret, a hired house cleaner!! I have found that a lot of my friends with mini-mansions pay someone to clean their home for them. That is how they manage to do it. As for me, I find myself worrying too much about what my house looks like instead of just picking up and doing fun stuff with my boys. I want to live a little more "spur of the moment" instead of worrying about the house being picked up. It drives me nuts if my house is a mess which is why mine is generally clean. In fact, I was just killing myself running around trying to make all the beds and pick up before we left for VBS this morning, but thankfully got sidetracked by your blog. I think I'll just leave the beds unmade this morning. ;)

8:24 AM, June 14, 2005  
Blogger Judy said...

I haven't kids at home any longer, and my house still looks very lived in. Suddenly, I LOVE the look of piles and piles of children's board books in wicker baskets everywhere...three little rubber dolls with innocent faces smile at me from an old school chair...oh, and games opened up and ready to be one is here but me...

(must borrow my three year old friend again soon...)

9:46 PM, June 14, 2005  
Blogger Jan said...

Okay. Okay.
Point taken. I'll enjoy it while I can.

11:32 PM, June 14, 2005  

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