Originally Posted by zeldamomma
Recently I was out with some women, and the subject of house-cleanliness came up. The woman with the uber-neat home ended up being put on the spot and essentially defend/explain having a tidy home. It was odd. So it goes both ways.
That's interesting! I guess most of the women I know, are apologetic about mess and admire women who seem to have it all together.
I realize that everyone has a different tolerance-level. Messy as I am, I have a hard time coping with strong odors. We're friends with a couple who love all kinds of animals, and usually keep a zoo in their small apartment. Sometimes someone persuades them to give away some of their pets, but they just end up bringing more home later.
It doesn't bug dh, and he's gone over on various occasions to fix their computer. Sometimes our 7yo has gone along, and she's enjoyed playing with the animals and doesn't seem at all bothered by the smell.
It's the kind of smell that clings to clothes, and when they come home I ask them to shower or at least change clothes before we snuggle up in the bed (I think I've told dd that it would hurt our friends if they knew I had them wash the smell off when they got home ... at least, she's never mentioned it to them). Dd accepts the smell as going hand-in-hand with having a bunch of fun animals -- definitely worth the cost to her!
The issue of me not visiting hasn't really come up: they seem happy to come visiting: they have so little money and spend so much to feed their animals, that they barely have enough to feed themselves, so I think they'd be overwhelmed at the thought of reciprocating hospitality and feeding other people. I was in their home briefly once while pregnant, and I think the lady was aware of me gagging and retching, and that I couldn't help it and I had to leave.
I hope she wasn't hurt: she seemed not to be. The way I see it, it's not that I'm right and they're wrong, but that they're doing what makes them happy: I can't take the smell for very long, but it they're happy in their home, what does it matter if I think it smells bad? They have no kids, so it's their own business if they want to spend so much on their animals. If they ever decide they want more human company, I guess they can find other animal-lovers who don't mind the strong smells, or make any adjustments they decide to make.
I realize that some very neat people might be repulsed in my home, in the same way that I am in the animal-lovers' apartment. Another remark dd's friend made, which I didn't mention in the OP, was, "Why does your kitchen stink? Oh, is it your refrigerator?" (and I am indeed pretty bad about not cleaning out the refrig, 'til we run out of clean containers).
I hadn't noticed an odor, which is weird for me -- but then, with this cold weather, I've been indoors for days at a time and it's possible some odor crept up without me noticing. Dh thought it might have something to do with our kitten not consistently using her litterbox, and sometimes going in our basement.
It was a problem that I was hoping would just resolve itself (I know, not very realistic of me) ... and was kind of shoving to the back of my mind because of our girls' attachment to the kitten. I couldn't stand the thought of having my house smell like cat, but at the same time knew our girls loved her so much that keeping her was our only option.
Then on Monday, we brought home a new 6-week-old puppy, a totally new endeavor for us -- and on top of his messes, our kitten quit using her litterbox entirely for a couple of days. So I realized that if I didn't want to be totally stressed for life, I was going to have to fall in love and bond with our animals.
(I'd initially treated the kitten as our children's pet, making sure she was fed and watered, but letting them and dh do everything else.)
So yesterday, I moved the kitten's litterbox from the basement to our downstairs bathroom, and her food and water, too. And I started loving on her a whole bunch, whenever I got the chance, and taking her to her food (and giving her lots of salmon, too), and then putting her in the box and stroking her. And she's been going in her litterbox!
And I've been promptly cleaning it out. This used to be dh's job, and what with working full-time it was hard for him to do it every day, and impossible for him to do it throughout the day as I've been doing for the past 24 hours. So hopefully this will improve the odor-problem.
But the odor isn't really my motivation for loving on her, now that I've started. I just want her to feel really loved and happy. And now that she feels my love, she seems more interested in doing what pleases me.
Still, now that we have the puppy, this friend'll probably think our house stinks even worse. So far, the pup's not consistently "getting it" about going in the same place each time, and we're cleaning it up and using vinegar as quickly as we find it. But it's a far cry from dd's friend's home, where I think they keep their puppies contained in one part of the house. At least, I haven't noticed any stains on their carpet. Or pet odors (or other odors, for that matter).