Hi! Musette here (Tom is wearing Perfume That Will Keep Him from Killing Folks and I can relate! ) – with a difficult post. It’s got some ‘smells’ in it but is mostly….oh, heck….I don’t even know how to explain it so I guess I might as well try to just write the damn thing, right? Right.
Okay – here goes (but a caveat: this may offend yet ANOTHER segment of folks who clean the hell out of their houses. Hope not. This post is NOT meant to judge ANYBODY – it’s just my experiences and impressions, okay?)
So. Awhile ago I wrote a post in which I talked about visiting a friend’s home. In that post I talked about spending time at that home and …well, in the way the Universe can get sometimes, I managed to offer the persack opposite of the compliment I was intending The story was actually about me and how , as I have grown older, I have also grown up a bit, especially as regards houses and homes, though so many of my friends and acquaintances still regard me as House Judgemental (“omg. I had to clean up/repaint/reupholster because you were coming over”. As if I were John Saladino (and to be honest, if he was that judgmental then he needed to stay his butt home, right?) . But in my haste (deadline!) I neglected to really flesh that out.
This notion of House Judgemental recently came up in conversation with another friend whom I was visiting. This friend used to have a huge, gorgeous house – but circumstances had infused it with misery and despair, turning it into a huge, gorgeous tomb. You could smell the unhappiness – unhappiness & despair have a smell, did you know that? Kind of like overcooked cabbages and old grease. Not that her house smelled like that but …….you know what I mean? That weird ‘mental smell’ that lingers in your soft palate….
Fast forward…several years later…things have leveled out for my friend. She had to give up her big, beautiful house…and now she lives in an adorable little cottage..that is home. Light-filled, with such warmth and love. There are so many things ‘wrong’ with that little house ( a closet the size of shoebox, a wonky stove, windows from 1958) …but not a thing wrong with that home. It smells like fresh coffee and cedar and sunlight and contentment. And a couple of Little Dogs of Fabulousness)
And that was the point I was so clumsily trying to make (and omg how I manked that up) – I’d just come from a visiting a House. It was so perfectly ‘done’ and so emotionally empty that it felt like a model house. It smelled…cold. Like cornstarch you just took out of the freezer. I was beaten to death by the aggressive, soulless perfection. And then…. The next day I went to my wonderful friend’s glorious home that was so full of life and love and Little Dogs of Fabulousness…and I realized that it isn’t what’s in one’s house – or even the house itself – that makes a home. It’s the ‘why’ – and the ‘who’. (a side note: my friend’s home? It’s also a pretty freaking fabulous house! lol! I would happily bite everybody in this town for a chance to have that house!)…and her home, too, smelled like fresh coffee and sunlight and love..and such kindness..
I continue to hold that close to me as my own friends come to my crappy little Shotgun Shack in this podunk town. In my youth I was such a house-proud psycho, owning Giant Houses (in fab cities) filled with gleaming crystal and pristine floors – and I realized that a lot of my attempts at House Perfection were a mild form of aggression: like a 1950s new bride faced with a visit from her mother-in-law; you are gonna admire the hell out of my house, dammit! But a home? A home is Life. Perfect one day, messy as hell the next. Dishes in the sink or a kitchen you could perform surgery in (which is never gonna be my kitchen, alas). But whatever the case, and with any luck, it is filled with contentment & love (and for the record, you do not have to have a house full of people for that. Or even a dog!). People now come to my house, which has a laundry list of things wrong with it – and find me in my home, which hasn’t a thing wrong with it. And the crystal is still here but maybe it isn’t always gleaming. And sometimes it is because I just had a blast cleaning it (Yes I Am That Freak). But either way, my friends don’t care. Why would they? My HOME smells great, like chocolate and eucalyptus and sunlight and contentment (and Bob’s Flower Shoppe diffuser oil – see I toldja I would get some smells in here). And mess or no mess, they are always welcome. And I try to fill my home with kindness.
And I have the equivalent of 30 Little Dogs of Fabulousness! In one dog.