I am my mother’s daughter


By kunkelstein on flickr.

When I was little, there was nothing that I hated more than cleaning the house. Before any event in which we invited people over to the house, it always seemed to be a mad dash to get everything spic and span. My mom always said that it wouldn’t be so terrible if we kept up with the cleaning, but usually we left everything but the basics (dishes, laundry, etc) to the last minute. Our house was usually pretty tidy, it just wasn’t always spotlessly clean.

For awhile we had a cleaning lady that came a couple of times a month. But it was the same deal, the night before she came it was a mad dash to tidy up. I always complained: “Why do we have to clean BEFORE the cleaning lady comes?” That is when my mom would point out the difference between tidying and cleaning.

I always swore that when I grew up, I wouldn’t care so much about how clean my house was. I always argued that guests didn’t notice dust and dirt; they came over for the company, not the clean house. I swore that I would be different.

Mopping the floor the morning of my sister's graduation party last year.

But alas, I find myself tidying and cleaning every time before I have guests over. Even if R., one of my closest friends here, calls and says that she happens to be in Providencia and is stopping by, I’ll take the five minutes I have until she arrives to quickly clear of the table, pull up my covers and shake some of the cat hair off the couch. And when I “formally” invite people over (although anyone who has ever been over knows that I’m anything but formal) I will clean: sweep, dust, mop, dishes, etc. If not, I spend the whole time that I’m supposed to be enjoying the company of my guests thinking about the dust bunnies under the couch.

Which is exactly what Mom told me when I was little.

After work today, I spent three hours cleaning the kitchen and mopping the living/dining room of my apartment. I took all the dished out of the cupboards and washed out the shelves. I cleaned out my fridge. I reorganized my silverware. I didn’t just mop: I wiped down the baseboard. I took the books off the shelves and dusted. I vacuumed the couch.

Why such the fuss? I mean, spring is on the way, so I could use spring cleaning as an excuse.

But no, the woman herself is coming to Chile: my mom.

Last time she was here, I was still living in the casita, and had Ita to clean for me. Although my mom will be the first to tell me as soon as she reads this, “Abby! You don’t have to clean for me!” I want her to have a nice place to stay while she’s here.

After all, she’s a pretty important guest. 🙂

Last time Mom was in Chile in 2009.


6 thoughts on “I am my mother’s daughter

  1. Abby, I had no idea! of all the times I’ve been to your house, it’s always been both tidy and clean! I assumed you were one of those people (who we all hate) who just keeps everything perfect!

    I think I like you even more now. Safe travels to the mother unit.

    • Yes! This means I have accomplished my goal of “seeming” that I”m clean and tidy…hehe. Actually the other day when you were over I kept staring at the kitty litter that Charlie had so rudely spilled in my absence and wanting to clean it up…haha.

  2. Awwww, how lovely. 🙂 So exciting for your mum to visit.

    I think we all unintentionally become a part of our parents – and it’s always that part that we swore we’d never do. Hehe.

    I’m a bit of a clean freak too. I’m tidy-ish .. but lately am kind of obsessed with making sure everything’s clean. Such a far cry from my student years! I have no idea how I managed to not be bothered that my guests were turning up to mess and dirtiness. Ewww!

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