Dear Mom, you were right.
I’m not a fan of Mom being right.
I think I could make a whole series on this topic. I really dislike that I could. Because, you see, you never want to have to admit that your parent was right. For me, I think it’s mostly about pride. I don’t go against my mom’s advice to actively spite her. But, I find that until I learn a lesson from experience, it doesn’t sink in. My mom can tell me to close the shower curtain after I shower, but until I’m living on my own, having to pay for a new one because mine, you guessed it, has mold, I won’t learn the lesson.
The most recent lesson I’ve learned that my mom has definitely already tried to teach me is cockroaches suck. I know. Ew, I’m gross. I have cockroaches. In my defense, I grew up on the east coast where between cold winters and central A/C, I never had issues or even had to worry about them. On top of that, I was looked after. If I left a plate out, my mom would begrudgingly clean it up and say something about pests. But, whatever, I had never had an issue with them in my past. And, I’m a spoiled brat who had people there to clean up after her growing up. Let’s call a spade a spade and move on.
How did this roach infestation happen?
I have been living on my own for a year. Long story long about the roaches, I fell into a depression where I was not keeping up with house work. Dishes piled up. Counters weren’t being wiped for crumbs. The pantry had not been cleaned out in quite some time. (side note, when I did eventually clean out the pantry I found a candy cane from Christmas an old roommate had left…open. Summer came. Weather got hotter. The candy cane melted. Sugar was dripping down every fucking shelf.) Anyway, by the time I had gotten my shit together and my house back in fighting shape, it was too late. The roaches had moved in.
But, I’m dealing with it.
My last two months have been me trying to get rid of them, dealing with my roommate passive aggressively putting soul blame for the situation on me, making DIY roach-killing sprays, putting out traps, bringing in exterminator after exterminator. And today (knock on wood) is finally going to be the last treatment for them. I don’t find it debilitating having them. I tend to just shrug about it and let it be a learning lesson. Because it has taught me several things.
For instance, I have gotten so good at keeping the kitchen clean, and enjoying keeping the kitchen clean. Every night I spray and wipe all the counters. I vacuum the floor regularly. I do the dishes immediately. I even got my own cute little drying rack so I can hand wash a dish quickly instead of leaving it in the sink all dirty. Part of me finds it annoying having to clean all the time. Life would be much easier if the kitchen could just magically always be clean like when I was a kid, but it can’t. And, having a roach-free, clean kitchen is worth taking twenty minutes at the end of my day to clean it up.
And what did I learn?
To take a shitty situation and turn it into pure, stinkin’-solid gold, I found that having a clean kitchen has spilled into the rest of the house. I realized, in comparison to the kitchen, my living room always looked disorderly. So, now I clean that too. And then, once those are tidy and I sit down to watch some TV or do whatever I do, I can notice all the other things the disarray was hiding, like the dust in the corners, or dirty baseboards, and I go and clean those.
And that’s how I work. Having a clean home just to say I have a clean home wasn’t enough to motivate me to keep it orderly. But now I have a reason. I don’t want roaches. And that single little thought creates the domino effect for me to keep up with my house work. It’s bizarre and gross how it happened, but I went from being a disgusting pig (not even being hard on myself that’s honestly how I was) to having a home that is in contention for looking like a 50’s housewife’s home.
So, Mom, you were right. If I don’t clean up the crumbs, if I don’t do my dishes, and if I don’t clean as I go, I will get pests. And, I will spend more energy trying to fix the problem than I would have had I just cleaned up in the first place. So, Mom, I solute you and all of my shit you’ve had to put up with for the last 22 years. And lastly, Mom, you were right.
Your humbled daughter.