A few weeks ago, one of my besties hosted me for two whole weeks while I worked on my grad degree intensives.  Marla’s boys, (7, 9 & 11) shared a floor and a bathroom with me.

One morning, I was on my side of the bathroom brushing my teeth when Marla’s 7 year old came in to brush before school.

Him: “Your stuff is coming over on my side, Grace”.

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry little buddy, here let me move my junk.”

Him: “Wow.  You really do keep your side pretty messy.”

Me: “Yeah (pause) that (pause) oh, well, I’ve been kind of overwhelmed this week and…

(he cuts me off)

…”I saw your room last night.  It’s very very very messy,” he says matter of fact with a smile on his face.

He goes on, “makes me think you probably keep your own house pretty messy too.”

(I consider lying but instead I fess up)…

…”the truth is, little buddy…”

…”yes, I do struggle a bit”…

…with my own house and it’s just that…”

(He cuts me off again)

He walks out unjudging and completely neutral on the matter…”oh.  I don’t care.  Bye.”

I stand there ashamed.

I asked Marla if she cared that I made her guest room and her kids’ bathroom a raving mess.

“You and all your crap are leaving with you, so I don’t care”.

Isn’t she AMAZING?

Love her!

The hubster & I have talking a lot about how to keep our house cleaner more often.  A messy house can make his struggle with ADD unbearable.  We have realized that -shock of all shocks- this is just another area where we see things completely differently.

I realized that I let my space at Marla’s get OUT OF CONTROL because I find living with some sort of mess a bit cozy.  Fun, even.  I realized Marla’s house became my rebellion against the strict cleanliness rules he’s been trying to press me into.

As if my messing up Marla’s house was saying, “so there, Dave!  Look how messy I can be!  Take that!  How ya like me now, huh?!?!

It’s sooooo mature right?  (Well, it wasn’t exactly on the conscious level, okay???) =)

Anyway, this last week I’ve been attempting to be a little bit cleaner a little bit more everyday and I must say…

ohhhhKAY.  It is actually a very nice feeling.

All that to say…

I’m sorry to S, Z & C for making your bathroom into my woman cave.

What messy room of your place puts your right over the edge?

If you were Marla would you have KILLED me?

(Or at least threatened)?


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  • Marla Rotman

    Oh! I would take your mess any day, Grace-girl. Seriously. You kept life in the Rotman household interesting and who can’t put up with a little crap when the benefit is getting giggly with Grace every evening. You are always welcome to our home … besides, you must have noticed that the seven year old was probably thinking you were competing with him for the messiness award.

  • Erica

    My husband’s side of the bedroom is the messiest part of the house. I used to be a neat freak and would get mad at his mess. Now I am more lenient, maybe because of the kids. I think we balance each other out. I make sure the house doesn’t get out of control. Plus his side is furthest from the door, so if you walk past the bedroom you can’t see all the mess!

  • http://concretejungle.posterous.com/ Jes Kast-Keat

    Hahah I LOVE it! You know what? I found that I got much more organized and cleaner with my house in Manhattan. I am actually enjoying keeping my room quite clean. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m half J and half P on the Myer-briggs personality get-up which means I easily can get disorganized and find it fun and exciting too:)

  • http://haller4307.xanga.com Lisa

    we have a housemate on the first floor so i keep it decent. jeff and i are the only people who go in our bedroom so it’s always an abomination. our bathroom is not so stellar either.

  • http://www.mining4diamonds.blogspot.com Kimberly

    Well, we live with my mom in her two bedroom apartment. This space was NOT meant for 3 grownups and a 7 year old! Enough said! At least you are brave enough to post pictures. You know what I do? I watch shows like “Hoarders”, “How Clean is Your House” and “Clean House”…JUST to make myself feel better! And it works, too! It’s a great motivator before tackling a major housecleaning project! :) Pretty sad, huh! If Oprah or Publisher’s Clearing House ever came and knocked on my door, I think I would die on the spot from embarrassment.

    So, you would fit right in, trust me! :)

  • http://maddeep.blogspot.com Amy Nyland

    I love this post! Marla is THE coolest person I know (I might have tried to strangle you if my OCD had kicked in or I was out of medication…LOL) so I’m not at all surprised at her response. And, as another mom of 3 boys, I can tell you that no matter how tidy and clean you like things, no matter the depth of one’s OCD, living in a house of all men means learning to accept a degree of mess (and occasional filth) that might otherwise have sent me off the deep end. I currently have 3 teen-aged sons, two still at home (the biggest slob comes home on breaks) and I have learned that the simple act of closing the door to a messy room can relieve my stress tremendously!!

  • Trice

    OOH GRACEE! I am a messy person but i had to take a deep breath on this one. I could never be this messy somewhere else (at home for sure) LOL but I would be too scared they would boot me right out. I am super over conscious because of my MOMMA. When we come to her house she is a naggin nelly when things get messy. I am conditioned to keep tidy on overnight stays. All that said I am a slave driver when we finally do get it tidy at home. Any mess that I don’t have time to deal with i have to hide (closed doors). You know we got similar things going on with Kenny..the only difference is that I am an organized person and he tends to un-do what i do. I have had to learn to just take a deep breath and let it go when plastics get mixed with glass or pots and pans. One day at a time

  • http://jessicafick.wordpress.com/ Jess Fick

    now i am scared that we actually will be housed together at meetings next week :) j/k I think it’s funny that Marla’s son was just being matter-of-fact, kids are so funny like that. just making observations, not being judgmental. You were there for two weeks right? That’s different than just an overnight or a weekend where stuff just doesn’t get as out of control.

  • Rebekah

    I admire your transparency once again Grace! I just took some pictures of my kitchen remodel & moved stuff around so that you don’t see what’s REALLY on my counters:) lol!. That being said, I have been working on my house. I used to be able to keep a somewhat nice house, but it was usually a big mess and then a big clean-up. Well….I don’t have time these days for a big clean-up so I’ve been working with http://www.flylady.net on some routines/habits. She is the best and I highly recommend checking out her website. She so kind & sweet & SLOWLY my house is coming around again. A bit at a time.

    • Grace

      Rebekah, you are allowed to have a mess –a big one too– YOU HAVE TRIPLETS!!! I will look into flylady. I tried it back in 2001, but I wasn’t ready yet to fully embrace it. I have grace for you, as I’m sure you have for me =)

  • Tim Rotman

    Grace… you and your crap are always welcome.

    Just keep it upstairs ok?

    … you failed to post the picture of your boots lying next to the 7, 9, and 11 year old’s boots IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HALLWAY WHERE WE ALL HAVE TO WALK EVERY STINKIN DAY!!!!! (said with love and smiles… really ; )


    p.s. Tell your poor husband that I feel his pain.

    Really. I do.


    (said with love and smiles… really. ; )

    And again… you and your crap are welcome ANY time Grace! : )

  • Phil B-D

    Ah–crap, crap, crap.

    I believe in a bit of controlled chaos regarding my stuff. I see you do, too.

  • Meshell

    HAHHAA I love the way you added pictures in between your words. You’re so creative and how in the world do you faithfully blogg and do everything else? I just loved it.

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