Sunday, 8 February 2009

Spring Cleaning Comes Early

(Some people use post-it notes to be organized, but I get a dog.)

One of the benefits of inviting people to stay with you is that all those projects you keep putting off are suddenly done in one afternoon. Such was the case last weekend, when, after realizing that Chris will be here in FOUR DAYS, I decided I had a lot to do. Namely: hand-mop the floors, rehang the shower curtain, change light bulbs, clear out the summer garden, vacuum the house and car, and wipe everything down. After being on the road for six weeks, a thick layer of dust covered just about everything, and now that I have a dog, hair covers just about everything.

Let's talk about the dog. As I write this, Emileigh is laying beside me in her bed on the floor. She probably thinks she has the most boring dog owner ever, wondering what it is I do all day beside move things around the house and tap at a white object that glows. Bored by me, and because she is still a puppy, she's managed to add some flair to the house. The silk couch I own is now flawed, as is a lamp, and I am with one less bird's nest.

There is a strange correlation between Emileigh and my boyfriend's arrival to my house. Space, that thing we can never really define until something or someone disturbs it, has become an issue. I can not fathom how my parents' shared their space with six children. I am having a hard enough time adjusting to staying with my boyfriend and letting a dog sit on my couch. And perhaps, therein lies the problem.

Growing up, I didn't have any space. Space was the bottom bunk and the pen I used to write underneath the one above me to establish my territory. My twin sister and I used to tape a line down the middle of the room on Saturdays when our room had to be cleaned by the end of the day. That was the only time I was OK with her having a few extra inches. Continuing in the shared space theme, I moved in with my boyfriend after I left my parents' house in the suburbs. He and I lived in a smallish apartment in the the city with a Lab and a German Shepard. The Lab ate a good deal of my books. He, just like Emileigh, was a puppy.

I lived with one other boyfriend after that. He worked from home out of our bedroom, desipte the large den he could have used in the house we shared with a friend. Instead, he became a permanent fixture in the corner of the room with his tower of Coke cans, a sight I found far from endearing. When we moved to London, there was no other choice than to work out of our tiny studio apartment, so we became brilliant (that's what they say to mean "great!" in London) at driving each other nuts. I read and he asked me why I read so much.

Of course with Chris it is different, and with Emileigh too. There is still the adjusting and the wondering if what I am doing is crazy.I like things to be perfect. I look at magazine of homes that are crisp and serene and without a speck of mess. I want that because to me it demonstrates control. But if we let a little bit of control go in our lives, we can let another thing enter: love.

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