Growing up, I was the slob of the house. My bedroom always looked like it threw up on itself. A few times. My parents had this rule that, in order for me to go out with my friends, my room had to be ‘clean’. And by ‘clean’, they meant…they wanted to be able to see the floor. The translation for that is…the clothes that were on the floor had to be picked up and put away.
My solution to this problem was typically…shove everything into my closet, call it clean and leave.
Sometimes, this form of cleaning was deemed acceptable by the parent-folk. Other times..it didn’t go over so well. Especially when they would thoroughly white-glove inspect my room, including opening the closet door which would inevitably create a tidal wave of clothing tumbling from their precariously balanced positions.
So, I would enlist the aid of my anally retentive sister. And, by ‘enlist the aid’, I mean…bribe her with money to clean my room. So, for $25 or so, she would happily clean my room and neatly put my clothes into my closet. Not only did she love clean spaces, she loved making money. And I hated cleaning and didn’t mind spending money. We were the Yin and Yang. It was a win-win.
I would make a effort…for a few days…to keep my room in pristinely neat condition. It never lasted long. Eventually my room would throw up on itself again.
That’s when my parents started wishing one of me on me even harder than ever before.
And boy, did I ever get my payback.
They got their wish.
In the form of a second marriage with custody of two additional children. A girl and a boy. Both adorable. And both…VERY much slobs. Only, the girl version is way, way worse. WAY worse.
Fast forward to present day.
The one most like me…is my step daughter. Well, she’s an extreme, I have to say. Because, when we ask her to clean her room, it just never happens. Like…ever. Even when it does, it doesn’t. And pretty much, it always looks like an area that should be roped off with yellow tape and signs warning that a hard hat should be worn.
Unlike my sister and myself, the slob and the anal retentive have to share a room. Much to my daughters dismay. You see, my biological daughter is more like my sister. Everything has its place and, after it’s used, it generally goes back into its place. Her side of the room gets a little messy, at times. But she cleans it up and makes her side, which is getting smaller by the second, very neat. It’s getting difficult for her, especially when the slob side seems to be procreating and the babies are spilling out onto the neat side threatening to swallow her and her belongings up into the black hole.
Exhibit B which was taken on one of the messier neat days.
The messy girl is going off to college in the fall and my neat daughter couldn’t be more thrilled. Because her room will finally be her own and for a few months out of the year, she’ll be able to find her way to her bed without having to go swimming in clothing that doesn’t belong to her.
Anyway, the other day, my husband decided to do what I had done many years ago. He bribed my daughter to clean my stepsons room. Which, by the way, was almost as bad as the messy roommates side. With inflation and cost of living expenses higher than they were back in the 80’s, when I used to bribe my sister, my daughter made quite a bit of money. She folded, hung, dusted and vacuumed until the bedroom looked like…
So, while we are still waiting for my stepdaughter to clean her side of the room…because my daughter refused to accept a bribe for that intense of a mess…
I’ve decided that, since she is so much like my sister, and I am so much like…well…me…
I’m bribing her to clean my side of the bedroom.
I did mention that I, too, am a slob. And since I’m not living in my parents house anymore, and my sister is above bribery, these days (I think. I haven’t exactly asked). I have resorted to the next best thing…
After all, isn’t one of the perks of having children is live-in maids?
I don’t know, I’m finding the whole thing hysterical. History really does repeat itself. And parents cursing or wishing that their child has a child just like them…it comes to fruition.
Luckily, when my parents wished the same thing upon my sister, I’m the one who ended up with her.
My Yin and my sisters Yang, living in my house, in one room.
I’m not sure which one I should feel sorrier for.