I am not a neat freak by any means. As a matter of fact, I think you might call me a bit of a slob. While I don’t leave food laying around I am not one to put things up after I am done using them. I tend to leave clothes where I take them off and when I know I have company coming over I scramble to clean up a little.
After work today I was invited over to a friend’s place to watch a couple of movies, have a few beers and just generally hang out. The first thing out of his wife’s mouth when I walked into their home was “Don’t mind the mess.” As I looked around I noticed that the place was spotless. Everything seemed to have its place, the floor was clean, no Coke cans or beer bottles laying around — it smelled nice and everything. I asked her “what mess?” She giggled and me and my friend visited.
It got me thinking about other times when I visited a friend with a clean home. Each time it seems they said at the beginning of the visit “Don’t mind the mess” or something similar. It’s almost as if that phrase has become a general greeting for anyone entering your home, even if the place is perfectly clean and tidy. Maybe people say it in case they missed something in a back room that you might come across by chance; I don’t know.
It just strikes me as a bit unnecessary to apologize for something that doesn’t exist. Perhaps people subconsciously want the hard work they put into keeping the place clean noticed and do so by bringing attention to a mess that does not exist. Whatever the reason, I was wondering how many of you neat freaks out there do this when you have visitors. Do you immediately apologize for having a messy home when it is perfectly acceptable? Do you even realize that your home is clean? I’ve been in homes that were absolutely filthy and not one word of apologies came from those people. It’s only when I go to someone’s home that keeps it clean enough to be featured in a home owner’s magazine.