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And now back to your regularly scheduled sink full of dirty dishes…


Well my vacation is over and now I’m back to the regular world. The real world. The world I must fight my way through with dish soap, a dustpan and garbage bags. The dishes I didn’t have a chance to finish washing before we left our house at the crack of dawn waited patiently in the sink for my return. After a few days of housekeeping I was half expecting to come home and find my house freshly cleaned, vacuumed and gleaming. Was there a “Service Please” sign I needed to hang on our front door knob? With the high taxes I pay I think daily housekeeping service is the least my village can do for my neighborhood. If that is too much to ask, then they can at least just do it for my house. With the constant state of chaos around here, I think providing me with a housekeeping service could only benefit the community. I’ll start making a few phone calls and see what I can come up with.

The day after vacation is two-fold. In one way, it is a great relief to finally be finished navigating unfamiliar roads, feeling like a stranger, preparing for the unexpected and spending endless amounts of money. On the other hand, it is a let down in the way that waking up from a really great dream to find that you are only napping on the couch with piles of unfolded laundry around you is. Not that I ever have time for a nap (or folding laundry) but I imagine this stark transition from bliss to chores could be startling at best.

Returning home reminds me of the bills I need to pay, endless housework that needs to be done, preparing for the fast-approaching school year, and the many responsibilities I have. While I was gone my work called and left me a message asking if I can work an extra shift in the next few days. I need to look after my mother, deal with stresses in the lives of my kids and so on. I’m already longing for the peaceful beach full of crashing waves, where the only concerns are adequate sun screen coverage and cold beverages.

Everything went so well on our vacation…barring the near-tornado we drove through to get there. My kids had the time of their lives. I feel successful in that I’ve given them some great memories from this summer, as well as something they can cherish in their adult years as well.

My vacation also taught me a few things about prioritizing things in life. I can’t worry that the housework is never caught up on. There is more to the world and enjoyment of life than a gleaming set of dishes. I can’t keep comparing my life to other people’s lives, because it is only my perception of their lives. I need to work on my priorities, and my kids will always be my number one. As long as I do everything I can to make their lives safe, happy, and healthy so they can live up to their potential as good human beings then my work here is done. But second on my list is getting the village to take a small amount of my tax dollars to provide a housekeeping service to stop by here every day. Seriously.

Finally, I’d like to clear the air. The picture at the top of this post is not me. It isn’t even an artist’s rendition of what I might look like. This lady is so happy she’s cleaned her pans, it’s almost like she’s finally realized her life’s purpose. She is showing a joy that I wouldn’t even know how to locate in my soul if I accomplished the very same task on a set of gold pans. And look at her husband….he’s cleaning a fancy new car! They are both so happy, that I want the recipe for what they’ve been sipping on.

I must say though that I’ve always loved diamond cut window panes. In fact, I would love to live in this house because I think there is nothing cooler than 1950’s – 1960’s retro architecture. Enjoying a spotless Formica lifestyle with organically shaped furniture while my handsome husband happily washes the car that is the envy of the neighborhood while I beam in the kitchen with my eighteen inch waist and rocking a smart Eva Gabor wig would be one of my dreams come true. Thank you, and that is all.


About Fortyteen Candles

oh, let's see...distinguished Gen-X'er, frustrated writer, suffocating in the confines of a small town that thinks it's a big deal. A few years ago we were home to the second largest Walmart in our state, don-cha-know. Oh, and I was voted "Most New Wave" in my senior high school year book. Actually, that last sentence alone is really everything you need to know about me.

17 responses »

  1. I love retro illustrations like that, and your commentary just makes it even better! PS: I’ve nominated you for the beautiful blogger award

  2. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    What’s not to like about that 50’s lifestyle? It’s considered by many to be America’s heyday.
    I think it’s great that you wanted to give your kids a memorable summer. Too bad your dishes were still waiting when you got home though.
    I would love to live in your village even if they don’t provide housekeeping services.

  3. Fortyteen, Great post, and welcome back to reality. I learned a long time ago that my house will never be clean enough for company. So I decided I could either invite folks anyway or never see my friends. I opted to invite anyway and have been much happier. Of course there are doors that will never be opened while I breathe.

    • Thanks, Elyse. I know, you’re right. It is just hard to not always be comparing my home to Martha Stewart’s. Or the Joneses. Or the Brady Bunch. They had a housekeeper, too! Wait, didn’t most of those sitcom families from the 60’s and 70’s have a housekeeper? That might be the root of my problem….hmm.Glad to hear you opted to invite friends over anyway 🙂

  4. Sounds like vacationing is the thing for you. All those people on TV, those models we’re told to emulate are richer than we are. They’re the Romneys. We are not them.

  5. Great job Fortyteen Candles!! Love your blog, thanks for visiting mine! :You are a mom/hardworker/wife after my own heart. I particularly relate to this blog…a mom’s work is never done and trying to juggle it all, kids, job, money worries, and add to it now….WRITING (sometimes it seems like a hobby that is too LUXURIOUS for us to take the time for)! Still, write on, we must!! We are getting closer to who we really are, what gives us joy, and thankfully it doesn’t cost us. KEEP WRITING!

  6. The beauty of housework is that there is no deadline. Dirty clothes will stay dirty no matter how long you hold off doing laundry. In fact, they won’t even get any dirtier. Life’s too short to spend it focusing on housework and worrying about other people. As long as your house doesn’t become a health hazard, go out and enjoy your life. The dishes will wait.

    • Yes, the dirty dishes will always wait. I’ve learned this first hand. And no, I never let things get too far behind in cleaning. But it is a never-ending battle that leaves me exhausted. Maybe this is a side-effect of being Fortyteen?

  7. What if the family became a part of the house work? These would then mean more quality time with the family to do fun stuff, like playing in the park, shopping for fun clothes, going to the movies, or more vacation.

    Sue Bock


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