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Thread: the topic of cleanliness standards

  1. #1
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    the topic of cleanliness standards

    This has been really pushing my buttons recently. I have a friend who has someone staying with her for 6 weeks and it is not going well. The primary topic I hear about is the cleanliness thing. It sounds like the guest has been not a great one with communication and boundaries so I have been listening a lot. Now however it is pushing my buttons. Many of the examples of the poor guest behavior are things I would not care about or notice myself. I am being a good friend and going along, and then wondering when I should say something. I have said a few things here and there. Last night it was about using a toaster under a cabinet (that is wrong). Unless the toast bumped into the counter I would not notice it. I told her that it was not something on my awareness list at all.

    My friend came over yesterday so we could carpool to a meditation. My roommate came out to say hi and apologize for the house being a mess. Then my friend said it was okay her house was a mess. I kept saying that neither house was a mess, they still spent a solid 5 minutes saying their houses were messy and then telling each other it was okay. I had to walk away,

    My deep thoughts from this are many. One is feeling uncomfortable because I do not care that much, I don't notice the dirt other people do, I am perfectly fine eating outside much of the time, dirt and germs are not the same so I will brush dirt off something and eat it, I don't use a top sheet and am not concerned, I even have put away dishes in the cupboard wet. I am pretty sure I feed my cat wrong and use bread past the expiration date.

    When I start feeling bad about myself then I remember that I made a conscious choice to put people first. That means when my kids were little that I would play or read with them after dinner, do baths and then go back and do the dishes. When they were older we did them together. It drove my mom bonkers, she would visit and ask every 5 minutes if we were going to do the dishes now, and I responded I did them later. Other things in my people first attitude are like there is no way to put dishes in my dishwasher wrong, or a correct way for TP. If people do those things in my home then I am just happy they are there, and if it doesn't damage anything we are all good. I did instruct guests on the composting and not flushing, but it was fine. I felt such a conflict and judgement from my mom. I explained the people first but it didn't make a dent. Then I started thinking about her background and before dishwashers and TV;s and standards handed down, etc. That was my people first with her.

    Of course being 'people first' means I understand my friend and some of her background and want to avoid conflict, Maybe people first right now means taking care of me too.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I'm not a housekeeper, and don't aspire to be, so I can relate. I figure the more "germs" I'm exposed to, the better. Fortunately, I'm the only one I have to please.
    And I'm not exactly a "people first" person, either.

  3. #3
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    I think the “sorry the house is messy, oh you should see mine” thing is actually a social convention like “hi how are you, Fine” it is less a conversation and more a ritual.

  4. #4
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I'm not necessarily a people first person, I just hate doing housework and resent the life energy it takes from me. If listening to someone complain for 6 weeks about the person they invited to stay with them keeps me from the dreaded cleaning, I'm good. Otherwise I will listen to complaints once, ask if they want suggestions for alternatives/coping mechanisms the second time and then after that change or end the conversation.

  5. #5
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    The only people I invited for more than a week was my mom or kids. My mom was fussier than me. My oldest son and his wife are neat. My other 2 kids not as much but they realize there are minimum standards if they stay here.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    I think having anyone staying in your home for 6 weeks would be a strain!
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

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