I came to see you, not your house

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?



7 Comments

  1. boogiemum on August 24, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    those would be great shirts!



  2. Amy on August 24, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Amen, girlfriend! I get the same reaction from people and people who apologize for their home. I don’t care what other people’s homes look like…I don’t have to live in it 😉 My house is rarely spotless and we have pj days around here too, where I do absolutely nothing.

    We do the best we can, when we can. No more apologies from me 😉

    I love ya, Ivy!



  3. kcwc on August 23, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    I’m an English professor, and I get the same thing. As soon as people find out what I do, they apologize for their grammar, or tell me how much they hated their English classes in school. It is tedious.



  4. Margo on August 23, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    Yay, a manifesto!! Bravo! Bravo! I resolved a few years ago NEVER NEVER NEVER to apologize for the condition of my house, even if I was truly embarrassed. I realized it was kinda egotistical on my part, that I thought my house was so important that they noticed it and its dirt. I also really love Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson which is a modern housekeeping manual. She says housecleaning gets a bad rap because people never allow it to be done and just have this big mental weight about it all the time. So I only allow myself to think about certain cleaning tasks on certain days. Yup, I have a laundry day (that sometimes get shifted if the weather is crappy ’cause I love to hang it out on the line!) and a cleaning day and a grocery day, etc. etc. And you are SO RIGHT: you simply have to be happy with yourself and your life, even if you don’t earn the Home Ec 101 Seal of Approval (I would SO BUY that t-shirt!!).



  5. Pam on August 23, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Wow!! Beautifully put. I became a single mom when my daughter was 10…..I no longer had to nag my husband to take out the trash…..and you know what it wasn’t such a bad job and I ALWAYS remembered!! With just 2 of us we kept things pretty well picked up all week (dusted the outside of the toilet) SMILE….and did serious cleaning on Sat. mornings….17 years later I remarried…..I must confess I don’t LOVE TO CLEAN….but I do enjoy my home and I like being organized and having “everything in it’s place” fortunately my husband does too….he puts his cloths IN the hamper AND wipes down his bathroom sink every morning!!! (oh he has other faults)…but being messy isn’t one of them.Pam, South Bend



  6. Rachel on August 23, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    If you could cross-stitch “Home-Ec 101 Seal of Disapproval” and frame it, that would be awesome. 🙂



  7. Gnightgirl on August 23, 2007 at 11:26 am

    This was interesting all ’round. I used to chide husband and kids for the state of the housework. Now that I’m divorced and empty-nesting, my lifestyle is so busy that my house is messier than ever, more often than not. 14-hour days are not conducive to neat-as-a-pin houses. But every 5th day or so I hit the brakes and put things back in order, squawking that this clutter clutters my soul. It works for me.