I Came to See You Not Your House

Heather and Ivy are headed to Myrtle Beach and the first annual CREATE South conference. This post was originally published 8/22/07

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

I’ve been wanting to touch on this for awhile, but have been unsure of how to bring it up. It’s a multi-faceted discussion, so this post might get long. Or, it might not, since I’m the queen of conciseness. Sort of.

Anyway, one of the things people say to me when they first meet me and find out I’m half of the Home Ec 101 team is to apologize for their house being dirty (even if we’re not at their house!) or to tell me about some household failing they have. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they’re a terrible cook. Y’all, I’m a terrible cook, too. I’m a halfway decent baker, but my cooking is largely unimpressive. This is why Heather handles most of the cooking questions.

Also, my house is very rarely spotlessly clean. There’s always something keeping it from that pinnacle of perfection I would like it to be. This is probably because I have children, but I suspect even if I had no children or animals or even a husband (is there a man alive that actually understands you’re supposed to put clothes IN a hamper and not BESIDE the hamper?) I would probably still not have a perfectly spotless house.

What I’m trying to tell you guys is that I don’t care what your house looks like. I may jokingly give you the “Home-Ec 101 Seal of Approval” (or the “Home Ec 101 Seal of Disapproval”, hee hee) if I come to your house, but seriously. Like my dad says when he comes to my house unexpectedly and I fall all over myself to apologize for the mess, “I came to see you, not your house.”

But if it really worries you that you don’t keep a shiny clean house, go on and get up and clean it! Heck, you can use me as your inspiration if you want. You don’t want the infamous “Home Ec 101 Seal of Disapproval”, do you?*

One of the things I hear a lot is that people want clean houses, but lack the motivation to do so. People, nobody other than my mom and a few other certifiable people like her loves to clean. It’s just one of those things where you have to just get up and do it. This morning I found I had a bit of time to play around before I started work for the day. I could have spent that time playing spades online, or I could have started working early, but I got up and did some extra kitchen cleaning. It wasn’t fun cleaning out the trash can area, I would have had a lot more fun playing spades, but this is just one less thing I have to do now.

And I don’t want y’all to think I’m trying to tell you to be like me or you are a terrible, horrible, no-good person. Noooo. If you had extra time and chose to play spades, that’s cool too. It’s all about living your life to suit yourself, being the person you want to be. If you want to be the person who has a shiny clean trash can area, be that person. If you want to be the best dang internet spades player, play spades.

But whatever you do, don’t be the person you don’t want to be and then complain about how much your life sucks. I am a very tolerant person. I like just about everyone, and I am very non-judgemental. But hating your life, or your house, or anything else and constantly complaining about it, yet taking no steps to change it, irks the absolute crud outta me.

And really, that’s what Home Ec 101 is all about. You being the person you want to be, and taking steps to become that person. None of us will reach our idea of perfection in this lifetime, but we can certainly try, and be comfortable in our own skins. Here at Home Ec 101, we’re giving you the tools to become that person. Unless, of course, the person you want to become is a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon. Can’t help ya there, folks, but we can at least help you become the person you want to become domestically.

Very Truly Yours, Hollis Greene BadBadIvy

*Heather- Home-Ec 101 Seal of Approval and Home Ec 101 Seal of Disapproval- thos are SO our next run of T-shirts, eh?


  1. conciseness on May 1, 2008 at 7:09 am

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  2. Vampy Lady on April 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    New to your blog, just found it last week.
    I’m one of those weirdos that likes to clean. This does not mean that my house is always spotless; sometimes dust sits for a few days, junk mail piles up on the table, the garbage gets a little too high, life happens. (not to mention that I have a husband who has a totally different idea of neat & clean)
    It is so true that you said be who YOU want to be. I’ve been to homes cleaner than mine, messy homes where my host runs around apologizing & straightening up, homes where others sat blissfully happy in their dirt & chaos. Did I care? Nope. I only cared that I was there with my friends 🙂

  3. Jane on April 19, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Dear Ivy: Just a word or two on messy houses: there are some things a person just can’t do. And doesn’t want to do. Like cleaning. And bookkeeping. I tend to work 7 days a week and many more hours than are healthy. So I hire those things that I hate out to other people who can do them much better than I. Of course, if I didn’t work all the time, I wouldn’t have an excuse. Coming home to a clean house is a major stress reducer.

  4. Org Junkie on April 19, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Oh my gosh is this ever a great post. You are right on here. I get this all the time myself and it drives me mad. I have people in my life that still refuse to have me over. I think I’m going to have to give them a copy of this post. Thank you!!!!

  5. Amphritrite on April 18, 2008 at 11:09 am

    This is something that those of us with a strong “Martha Sense” often forget upon inviting company over, or receiving unexpected company.

    If people were coming to inspect my house, I don’t think I’d want them as friends anyway. But if friends are coming to see me, do they really care that I left a sock on the floor of my bedroom? Or that ONE SCRAP OF PAPER has been torn from the kitty scratcher? Or even (GASP) the coffee mug I used this morning is sitting by the sink?

    Of course, the reverse is true, also. If your friends know you well, they say things immediately like, “Oh, look at that lamp! Isn’t it gorgeous?” or “I wish I got this amount of sunlight at my apartment”. Even if they only say it to put your Martha Sense to sleep. Mine are pretty good about it, and then we’re able to enjoy the visit.

  6. Ann at mommysecrets on April 18, 2008 at 8:26 am