I have been on my own since I was 21 years old.
Before that, growing up, I shared a room with my sister in a two bedroom apartment on the north side of Chicago. After that, we got a three bedroom house in the ‘burbs and I lived with my family until I graduated college. For 10 years I lived on my own, and I loved it.
I come from a family of clean freaks. And I mean, it’s borderline OCD. Part of it is an Assyrian thing, we just prefer to get down on our hands and knees, with our bucket full of bleach, and wash the floors with our bare hands. NEVER with gloves. Every adult woman I grew up around had that aroma of bleachy hands, it was magic. My apartments over the years were spotless. You could’ve eaten off the floor in my condo in the Milwaukee area. I loved being clean. It was a stress reliever.
Then I had to go and get married! 🙂
We didn’t live together at first.
We were both dealing with work technicalities, and my sister needed some help with my niece and nephew so I moved in with her, that was after a 6 month stint living with my parents again. Living with my sister, niece and nephew, was probably one of the best times of my adult life. Not only did I get to watch them grow up, (and in my nephews case, watch him come into the world!) but I got to live with someone who is just as obsessively clean as me.
Enter my husband.
My wonderful, supportive, funny, strong, husband.
Who just so happens to be a fireman. A fireman that throws his clothes in the corner, cooks and spills EVERYTHING, lets the long to-do list grow and grow, never seems to realize the floor is sticky, or bathroom mirror is dirty.
We moved in together after our 1st anniversary. Now, over a year later, I’ve been with someone who has the exact opposite clean-ethic that I do.
When our new floors got scratched, I cried. When the walls got scuffed, I screamed.
When he cooks, which he does a lot, and spills, I would be right behind him with a mop.
Crumbs on the rugs? Don’t get me started.
Living with a boy has been rough! And you know what? It hasn’t been that much fun.
So he had a long talk with me, as he often does, and set me straight.
Things aren’t always going to be spotless, he said. The floors and walls will get scratched. Stuff will break, spill, and be messy…just like life.
Getting messy and figuring out how to clean it up and start again, better than ever.
I’m still every much OCD about cleaning, but I’m learning to calm down and clean things up later.
Like when he leaves the room.