Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hairs in the Sink



I am Norwegian and German and come from a lineage of tidy people. My mother and father have clean drawers and organized tools. My grandmother washed her plastic bowl covers and hung them to dry. They don’t hold on to more than they need and, yet, don’t part with things casually. They take care of the things they own. Things outlast their aesthetic before their usefulness. They always clean up after themselves.

I just went to brush my teeth – to get ready for bed – and noticed that my only bathroom sink has little tiny black hairs all over it. My husband is home. My first thought was, “Why can’t he clean up after himself?” Then, I thought about something Dina, my housekeeper and friend of ten years, has said to me recently. “A home is messy. A house isn’t. When you live in home, and people love and eat and live, it is messy.You shouldn't worry."

I loved when she said that. In remembering it again, I felt my shoulders drop and a breath release and I let go both my criticism and my guilt, crawled into bed, and thanked my lucky stars that he was there.