“Hey! Did you just get home?” My roomie asks, stepping into our tiny San Francisco kitchen. It’s about 9PM, and he’s dressed in typical guy-who-works-in-Finance attire, looking totally beat. But then, I guess we both do.
“Heeeey, yeah, I just got back from yoga,” I reply, smiling and always happy to see him. “Don’t mind me. I’m just … Photographing these 70 pairs of eyelashes someone sent me and showing them to one of my girlfriends — she’s the only person I know who would appreciate this,” I laugh.
“Nice,” he says, smirking. “That’s a lot of lashes. What’re you even going to do with all of those?”
“I have no idea,” I say, still laughing. “Wear them, I guess? This is more than I’ve ever owned in my life.”
He grins, pulling open our fridge to rummage through its poorly stocked shelves. “Aren’t we supposed to be cleaning up for our new roomie that’s moving in or something?”
“Oh,” I pause, my cellphone hovering over the perfectly arranged false lashes displayed across our kitchen table. “Shit. I forgot someone was coming to see our place! When are they gonna’ be here?”
“This weekend, I think,” he says, shutting the fridge, empty-handed.
“Yeah. Do you… Y’know… Think we should clean the kitchen?”
Together, silently, we gaze around our kitchen and survey the mayhem, both realizing it’s kind of a wreck, and both bearing guilt-laden smiles because we’ve each had equal hands in allowing it to reach its current state.
“Er … We could … Clean this table?” I offer uselessly, pointing at the surface I’m currently using as a backdrop for my product shot.
“Eh … How would we even …?” He starts, looking at the intimidating pile of junk that’s been accumulating atop our kitchen table over the last few months: the stains, the muck, the spilled coffee-beans, and the disgusting-ness that neither of us have touched in ages.
“We could just throw it out?” I suggest.
“The stuff on top of it?” He asks.
“No — the table.”
He laughs. “We need a kitchen table, Cheri. But I like how we’re both so lazy that we’d rather throw the table out and everything on it instead of cleaning it.”
“Team Lazy!” I yell with excitement, laughing with him.
The two of us are both extremely busy people. Work takes up a good chunk of our time, and we both like to balance that out with thriving social lives, as well as time to ourselves to just relax. The idea of spending what precious free time we actually do have cleaning sounds like torture.
“Hmm. Well … We could just throw a blanket over it,” he says.
“A BLANKET! YES!” I cry triumphantly. “You’re a genius!”
“BRILLIANT!” He agrees, and together, we burst out laughing in our collective slothfulness.
I’ve lived with the type of roomies who would get super anal about the slightest hint of a mess left anywhere in our common areas. If there was a spot on the kitchen counter, you got chewed out. If a single dish was left in the sink, you could definitely expect a passive aggressive note slipped under your door. And god forbid you leave any week-old leftovers in the fridge!
… I hated those kinds of flat-mates.
My current roomie and I, well … We sort of co-exist peacefully in this blissfully-ignorant universe where phrases like, “I’ll get to the dishes when I feel like it”, and “Those boxes will get thrown out eventually” don’t even need to be said aloud, because in general, both of us don’t really care how dirty the common areas get. To be honest, it’s probably not the sort of precedent we should be setting, because in the event that it actually gets truly disgusting, it will be so far-gone that neither of us will want to touch it, but … In comparison to the rest of San Francisco? Our apartment is so dirt-cheap (like, it’s a steal to live here) that we both occupy this space while thinking, hey, we’re gonna’ move out sooner or later anyway, so why stress out over the small stuff?
Don’t get me wrong. Once upon a time, I was neurotically obsessed with cleaning my room. I couldn’t leave my apartment without vacuuming my floor and leaving those perfectly straight lines across the carpet. I also wasn’t content if I didn’t make my bed every morning. And if I swept a finger across any surface and came away dark-tipped, I would go nuts! But then, this was back in 2013 when I was working from home all day, barely left my room, and had nothing better to do than work out constantly and diet like crazy. Sooo … I can see why I might have driven myself a little insane.
Today, I don’t clean as obsessively as I used to, but I do clean! … Here and there.
Besides. Isn’t there some article somewhere that someone super-authoritative wrote on the subject of how disorganized environments are creatively inspirational? Additionally, making the, “Sorry, I can’t come out; gotta clean my room,” excuse always comes in handy when I’m in the mood to politely decline an activity. Plenty of upsides to being disgusting, folks!
… But seriously, we should probably clean our kitchen.
Tomorrow sounds good.
~ Sherilynn “Cheri” Macale