Every Easter, between Masters golf and the Easter Bunny, the Carpenter and I begin our spring-cleaning. It is a cleansing ritual, if you will, and a rude awakening to collect.
That inspired me to consider a career change. I should be a life coach for those who want to get married and have children. I would accomplish two important things in that role; first, I would lower the divorce rate by creating fear of marriage, and, secondly, I would ensure that those foolish enough to ignore my advice would at least be prepared and thus, would go into the spirit of matrimony with their eyes wide open (and I do mean wide).
I would start with the issue of home décor. You see, young women today grow up with visions of style magazines and home improvement fantasies in their organized, colour-coded heads. Most of those women have been independent in their lives, too, earning their own money and coming into the marriage with their own treasure chest of furniture and décor. It may be Ikea, but it has style.
Yet they forget they have fallen in love with men who think nailing art to a wall can be done with a staple gun – or worse – tacks. Laundry bins become bedside tables, because while they never actually stow dirty laundry, they make great storage for sports gear. The arguments start when the dream man asks why it’s okay for the wife to put out a vase full of dried flowers but he cannot put out his shot glass collection next to his 2002 spring break memorabilia, a bottle of tequila with the worm still in it. It’s a collectible, don’t you know?
While a young couple settles on building its nest, the compromises may go fairly smoothly and that fools them into adding children to the mix. Right, because children will fit your life (giggle), you won’t fit theirs (snort), and you’ll finally have the time to organize your life while the baby naps (huge loud guffaw).
New parents don’t know children will infiltrate every aspect of their lives, which is pretty fabulous, to be honest. That’s not the hard part. No, the hard part is what happens when they infiltrate your home. Every nook and cranny is filled with stuff, from toys to clothes to seasonal toys and clothes, to future toys and clothes and the giveaway toys and clothes. Do you see a pattern?
It’s okay, though, because all new couples plan to renovate and make their home bigger, more spacious and workable. Sometime between two full time jobs and four sports, doctor’s appointments and birthday parties, you can get that reno done in a jiffy, because your bank will be vying to send you into overdraft. Right.
That one slays me. I would insist all newly married couples be banned from watching home improvement shows, pornography for the wanna-be self-improvement generation. You know, where they completely gut a house in a day and, with a budget for new appliances and a team of professionals and designers, transform your home into your castle within a week? Such a tease. It’s cruel, really.
See? Spring-cleaning stirs up more than dust bunnies.
You can crack under the pressure or you can sort it out. Life is messy. Go ahead and get dirty.