Editor's Note: Other entries from Story Slam will be published daily through until Oct. 23
My housekeeping has never won any prizes. I wouldn't say my home is dirty, but I do have a lot of stuff, so getting it to be company ready means shifting the stuff out of the main living areas into the less seen areas. This process of moving stuff into its rightful area would admittedly be simpler if we were to put things where they belong in the first place. But, I complicate things by moving them multiple times. Clean laundry moves from the machine, to a basket, to drying racks, to the couch to partially folded, back to a basket, and maybe into a closet. Or not, it might just work its way back into the dirty laundry basket at any point in the cycle. And then when kids and creative projects are added, there's more stuff to move around - yarn, and glue and papier-mache volcanoes get moved from the kitchen to a bedroom, where they're forgotten, then rediscovered, and brought back out until they're outgrown.
This moving of stuff problem may even be hereditary. My mom has passed items over from her house to mine. "I found your trophies and medals while cleaning the basement. Take them with you." I tried to get her to keep them, saying she earned that as much or more than I did, what with all the driving around she did for my activities. Still, she insisted they leave her place. So the box traveled a province over and sat for a few days until my young son got into it. He was at that cute age where mom is the coolest, and thought my trophies were pretty cool too. So into his room they went, to decorate his shelves.
But the time had come, when a little straightening of the main rooms would no longer do. A realtor was coming, and that meant a thorough look through of every floor.
My sweetie and I spent the weekend moving things to their rightful places - much of which was a front door pile destined for the thrift shop and the landfill. My children joined in the effort, ridding their rooms of forgotten toys and too-small clothes and setting them outside their doors, where I sorted them into their final spots. There was a lot of reminiscing, and occasional retrievals from the "to go" piles as we'd debate an item's usefulness or more often its sentimental value, and find it a spot in the house.
Among the "to go" piles was a box of trophies. My sweetie pulled them out of the pile, "You can't get rid of these!" My son, older now, more mature, and well past the stage when anything his mother did was cool, laughed, "Have you seen what they're for?" Apparently, he had read them while taking them off his shelves earlier that afternoon. "Third place regionals public speaking? Honorable mention for a collage? Did they just give out awards for everything back in the day?" I suppose they kind of did.
After a full weekend, and noticing everyone was losing steam I asked for a final push to get the last piles out the door, and to do a final dust, sweep and mop. My sweetie urged me to sit down and relax. "I've got tomorrow off. You and the boys rest tonight and I'll finish the last bits while you're at work. "The realtor is coming at 4:30, right when I get home. So it has to be done. Done! No dirty clothes left around." He assured me, "Let's just relax and enjoy the evening. I've got this."
I arrived home just after the realtor and we chatted about the basics of the house as he checked the exterior. I unlocked the door, and see that my sweetie has fulfilled his promise. The to-go piles are gone and the floors are sparkling, but... something else is sparkling too. My sweetie has taken some time to do some extra staging. The kitchen table now has a tablecloth, and a cakestand centerpiece, perched on top of that is my curling trophy. The realtor is right behind me when I notice it so I don't have a chance to move it. Maybe he didn't notice?
We continue on, and the realtor comments on the new fixtures in the bathroom and ignores the soccer medallion gleaming in the afternoon sun. He compliments the hardwood floors rather than the gardening trophies which are artfully arranged on the coffee table. We view the master bedroom. He points out the recently installed windows. I nod and mumble because I'm wishing we'd installed a laundry chute instead so I could slide away, but there is no hiding, and there is no possible way that the realtor hasn't seen the garish display that is now on my antique dressing table. Everything that was left, the 4-H sewing award, the gymnastics plaque, and even the participation ribbons form every field day from kindergarten to grade 6 are laid out.
"These aren't usually here." I offered weakly. He smiled and carried on letting me know he'd follow up with me shortly.
Now, like I said, my housekeeping has never won any awards, in fact, I haven't received any medals in well over 20 years. But, I think I deserve some. I might just go down and get some made up for - most patient, most pranks endured... I think I could be a real trophy wife.
The full article on Story Slam 2019 is seen here.
See Ryan Matin's 'Beaucoup de Stress' here
See Ross Green's 'A Loonie for Your Thoughts" here