Friday, August 08, 2008

Emma Larson

Have I mentioned my desire to be a full-time Mom to you?

Note, I didn't say I wanted to be a "housewife." To me, there's a much different connotation to the term "full-time Mom." "Housewife" implies housework to me. Bor-ring!!! But a "full-time Mom" is a Mom with a capital M, the kind who bakes cupcakes every week, who plays Uno with her kids and goes off on Dragon Chases in her back yard with her boys. In other words, the kind who doesn't give a rat's ass if there are Cheerios stuck to her kitchen floor.

When I was a girl, I babysat for this hilarious family, we'll call them the Larsons, because that was their name. Emma was the mom, and she was particularly colorful. I remember looking up the word "douche" in the dictionary after finding her Massengil in their tub when I stuck her two little ones in the bath. I had no idea such a thing existed. My mom, if she'd been a user of such products (she wasn't), would have hidden such a personal item far from the teenage babysitter's prying eyes. I don't think Emma could have cared less! She had LIVING to do! She couldn't be bothered with hiding things or housework, that's for sure.

My mom kept a clean house. Not tidy, all the time, but clean. My sister and I were whipped mercilessly (just kidding, we were nagged) if we didn't do our chores after school. I, on the other hand, well you could say I've never been a neat or tidy person. My cubicle at work is usually overflowing with files and drawings for the projects I'm working on. I've always wanted to be motivated enough to pick up after myself more, but I get distracted. Whatever!

The thing is, I get embarrased by it at times. I WISH I had a clean house. Don't get me wrong; we don't wallow in filth, we're just messy. I scrub the bathroom at least once a week, and we don't let the dishes pile up too long. But if you catch me towards the end of the work week, don't be surprised if I run from the doorbell if you ring. Or if I meet you out on the front step, and don't let you into my house. My mom did a good job of instilling the guilt about a messy house, she just didn't figure out how to get me to clean up instead of feeling guilty.

I wonder what I get from that guilt. Is it better for me somehow to feel guilty, than it is for me to just get off my arse at night and scrub? I have no idea.

In the end, I'm more of an Emma Larson. She was a legend in our house, mostly for those stuck-on-the-floor Cheerios. If I ever run into her again, I'll have to ask her if she ever felt guilty for not being more of a Housewife. And if she didn't, I'll have to figure out her secret.

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