LAURA SNYDER: Friends' Advice Not Always Easy to Take
Sometimes I drive my husband nuts (well, okay, not just sometimes), especially when we know someone is coming to visit. There are certain people for whom I have to clean my house very meticulously because I know too much about them.
From spending time with some friends and family, I know what they expect to see in my house and if they don't see it, they will think less of me. Other friends and family will see something not quite right and feel the need to fix it.
I have a friend who would just be appalled if she saw that I have no laundry basket in my bedroom. She has laundry baskets in every bathroom and bedroom, and she does one load of laundry a day. I'm sure she loves to torture me with that information.
She would be horrified to learn that my husband and I don't have a basket -- we have a corner of the room, and that is where our laundry gets thrown.
Because of the huge amount of laundry I have to do each day, it just doesn't make sense to add one more chore (hauling the baskets back and forth) to the list. I just pick the clothes up and walk them to the washing machine.
But when my friend is coming to visit, I have to scurry downstairs and find a basket to put those clothes in, otherwise the topic of laundry is all we'll talk about while she's here.
My sister apparently cannot stand the thought of weeds in a person's garden. So if the weeding is not done before she gets here, she'll spend part of her visit weeding my garden.
I wouldn't mind that at all, but the weeds are the only thing providing any color in my garden. Well, they'll grow back, she assures me, because I'm using the wrong kind of dirt.
I have another friend who is very religious. If I don't have my praying hands stepping stone in full view of the front walk, she thinks I've become a heathen and will take it upon herself to repair the condition of my soul.
So when she visits, I have that stepping stone placed prominently. All my Bibles are taken out, dusted off, and placed discreetly on end tables, and I light a few candles just so she'll feel at home.
I used to have a next-door neighbor at my last house who would come over and have tea with me now and then. She was a dishwasher fanatic. When she would visit, she would immediately head for the kitchen sink.
If there was a single cup in my sink, she would look at me as if I'd lost my mind, pick it up between two fingers and pointedly place it in my dishwasher.
If I was stupid enough to tell her that the dishes in there were clean, I'd get a 15-minute lecture on how to use a dishwasher correctly, including a segment on where to place my bowls properly for maximum space and cleanliness.
That is probably why my husband and I have been together for so long. My husband is not obsessive about anything except watching TV and the fact that he can't eat a sausage of any kind without a roll.
He doesn't care where the laundry is placed, mostly because he wouldn't put his laundry where it belonged anyway.
I find little piles of clothes that just drop off him wherever he is standing when he undresses. It looks like the Wicked Witch of the West melted while wearing his clothes.
He doesn't care that I grow weeds in my garden as long as I don't ask him to weed it. He doesn't read anything except the comics and computer programming manuals, so he probably doesn't even know what our Bibles look like.
As for the dishwasher, as long as there is one clean coffee mug somewhere in our kitchen, he is a happy camper. If there isn't well he's been known to actually wash one.
Laura Snyder, a Whispering Pines writer, may be reached at email@example.com or visit www.lauraonlife.com.
More like this story