This is Skye. I know the rules. On to the blog. Beware of swears.
Today was the yearly inspection here at the house. All things considered, it went okay...mostly.
Landlady and Sunny came through the house as usual. They looked to be sure everything worked. I actually remembered to point out the lack of living room lightbulbs. (We have super-high ceilings, too high for any of us to safely change a bulb.)
And then they got to our room. Everything was good...until Landlady looked under the bed and about had a heart attack. You see, my under-bed space is home to a thriving colony of dust bunnies. I haven't swept there since the bed landed in that corner two years ago. Frankly, I never saw the point. The dust bunnies don't bother me, so why should I disturb them?
Most of the Insiders were in a state of panic from the moment Landlady walked through the front door. Copper managed to hold on 'till she started inspecting our bedroom. By the time Landlady finished looking over our space, I was pretty much the only one who both had the verbal ability to handle Landlady (and Sunny) AND not show the panic we all were feeling.
Now, in Landlady's defense, she did make an effort to be nice. She made some positive small talk with us and complimented my favorite lamp. The only negatives she said about the whole house (barring my dust bunny colony and any issues in the Roomies' room) were the kind of things us residents couldn't affect. The lineolium is peeling here and there; the Roomies' tub needs some caulk, the living room light bulbs...that kind of thing. All told, we got a very good review.
My problem is that I did not expect Landlady to go poking under my goddamn bed! If I had known she would do that, I would have gone to the (wasted) effort of cleaning there. I'm good at cleaning, it's one of my coping things. The more stressed Skye gets, the cleaner this room gets.
The only advice given to anyone in this housing program on how to handle Inspection is "Clean, clean, clean." That is NOT bloody useful!
I dunno, maybe for people who had decent human beings for parents or parent-figures that would be enough. But to me clean, clean, clean means visible spaces, surfaces. Get the clothes put away and the art supplies in some way contained. Sweep. Mop up anything that needs mopping.
I never in a thousand years would have thought to sweep under the freakin' bed. Out of sight, out of mind.
Granted, I can see how it will be a good thing to have that space clean. This body tends to land on the floor when it's upset. That happened today, in fact. A little 'un surfaced and sat on the floor, rocking in panic because she was certain that Landlady was gonna come back and beat her because her room was not clean enough. THAT was the most likely result of a bedroom that did not pass Dad's inspection when we were little.
So I can see how a cleaner floorspace would be good. Between Littles who wanna play on the floor the way our knees tend to give after an especially bad FB, and the Jerks...yeah. Cleaning out under the bed is wise.
But still. I don't know how to express to the staff in Housing that "clean, clean, clean" is not sufficient. Last year, Landlady didn't go near my bed, other to (I think) get a better look at Terrence the stuffed turtle. How can I adequately prepare for something when I don't know the rules? Or when they (apparently) change from year to year? I have tried to talk to Sunny about this, but she is worse than useless. She always makes us feel like it's all our fault.
How is that? How could we be expected to learn good housekeeping skills when most of the cleaning done in our childhood homes was fueled by Dad's being in a pissy mood? If he was cleaning, we hid 'cause things were likely to get ugly otherwise. How the hell can a person be expected to keep a tidy house when that's the primary model they knew? Yes, I am physically able to do all the tasks involved in cleaning a house. I have the needed skills to sweep and mop and put away stuff. I can wash dishes with the best of 'em.
But you know what? I never saw either parent sweep under a bed. Landlady would have a heart attack to look in Mom's closet and she'd probably break out in hives to see Dad's office. I grew up with pile people; how the hell can she expect me to know what a file person considers clean?????
I'm proud that we can see almost the entire floor in here, and that the art stuff is mostly contained. I'm proud that the tub is freshly scrubbed and the trash cans mostly empty. If Copper or somebody wants their chalks, or their watercolors, or fabric to start a collage, we can lay our hands on it within a minute.
That's damn good for us!
So Landlady, feel free to kiss our ass.
Yes, I will sweep under the goddamn bed. I said I would, and I am a woman of my word. You still can kiss our ass. We've made progress; it's not our problem if you can't bloody well see it! Next year, be a little clearer with your guidelines 'cause not everybody understands "clean, clean, clean."