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The question asked by everyone who sees your place just before a major clean up.

You’ll never hear anyone ask, “How do people live like this?”

They say it in the car on the way home, or on the phone with their friends.

You get caught by surprise just before laundry day, yard day, or the trifecta of laundry, yard, and grocery day.

How do you survive such embarrassment?

After a sixty hour work week, dental or medial appointments, and throw in a court date, you’re more embarrassed for the judgement than the mess.

Messes happen.

Maybe they don’t sneak up on you as much a accumulate, but who’s to judge?

You could explain how you’re about four hours away from order and cleanliness, but save your breath.

Even if you don’t hear the comments, you know they’re there because you’ve said the same thing and heard others say it in the car with you.

“Oh my Gawd, how do people live like this?”

Now it’s you.

Remember going to a friend’s house when you were a kid and saw piles of laundry and ironing? With a cat laying on top?

That was my house, but it wasn’t a mess. My mom was luring her kids into laundry work, paying for folding and ironing.

Building that work ethic is what she called it.

Baby boomers have had the advantage of visiting hippie havens, and living in hippie havens. Not always on a tidy schedule, but fun.

Urban squalor in the country, or farm squalor in the city, is always a surprise.

No one complain when you add cultural flavor.

How Do People Live Like This?

  1. It’s my day off. Don’t make it a big deal.
  2. My cleaning lady just quit.
  3. What smell?
  4. Just cleaned my car. This is next.
  5. I start cleaning high first. Check my cabinets.
  6. Yeah, like your place looks any better. I’ve been there.
  7. Come back tomorrow. What did you expect when you dropped in?


“This isn’t the same place.”

“Looks different cleaned up, doesn’t it?”

“Not the same place.”

“Just a different angle. Step this way for a better view.”

About David Gillaspie
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