The Real World.

by Alexa on March 23, 2009

Jaywalker has a series of posts that never fails to speak to me. Once a month-ish, she confesses her (secular) sins, and invites her readers to do the same. Nearly all of her transgressions are ones I have been guilty of myself, and I find it comforting to know that there is another person as peculiarly incapable of opening bills/canceling unused services/dealing with parking tickets before they become Warrants For Arrest as I am. We are like one disgraceful soul in two soiled, poorly cared for bodies, she and I.

Anyhow, a few weeks ago, I took some pictures of my slovenly apartment, with the intent of posting them as a confession of my own. These pictures then languished on my camera, for Simone began “cruising” (not the sort that requires chaps and a large supply of recreational drugs, you understand) and I was busy flinging foam mats behind my tottering daughter.

But Friday, Her Bad Mother posted pictures of HER not-camera-ready house, inspiring me to unearth mine, and so I am sharing them with you today as a public service, in the hope that one day we will all be free from the tyranny of Dwell photo spreads featuring artfully arranged modern furniture and prune stain-less children playing with a single wooden toy in the foreground. Let’s begin!
Ordinary People
The above shot was taken from the hallway, looking into the large main room of the apartment, which we have split into living room/playroom areas. By “split,” of course, I mean we have arbitrarily designated the space in front of the couch as “living room” and the space in back of the couch as “playroom.” The piece of foam mat propped up near the red cabinet is meant to cordon off a particularly deadly powerstrip.

At the end of the hallway is the bathroom:
Not very illustrative, I know. I tried to get a good picture of the laundry pile that spills from the meager and laughably insufficient laundry basket to fill the space behind the door, but the fact that my bathroom is the size of a Post-it Note made this impossible. I could not back up without running into the toilet or falling into the tub, as you can see from the next picture:
Bathroom, redux
The bathroom is easily the cleanest room in the house, probably due to its aforementioned paltry size. Though I am realizing, looking at these pictures, that I neglected to photograph any of the most damning areas–the grimy window, the toothpaste-spattered mirror, the beard hairs clinging stubbornly to the faucet. I would go back and photograph them now, but if I had that kind of time I wouldn’t be living in these conditions in the first place.

{Ed. Note: I would so.}

Next up, the place where we retreat each evening to refresh and recharge, to gird our loins for the next day:
Scott would like me to amend the record to reflect that the television on top of the armoire IS functional, in that we could move it to the living room where we have cable and it would perform admirably. “I don’t want people to think we have a bunch of broken appliances lying around,” he said, frowning. Noted. (I suppose this means I am not to mention the two ancient, broken computers housed until recently in our bedroom closet).
Please also be advised that I have since changed Simone’s crib sheet (when we moved the mattress down because she was able to stand up and contemplate escape) though I feel obligated to tell you that the new one has a spit-up stain as well.

Next up, my favorite room of all:
Simone's room
Doesn’t it scream WHIMSY? What could be more whimsical, after all, than a basket of laundry that may be clean, or may be dirty, but is more likely a combination of the two? Just out of sight on the left is a playful stack of empty diaper boxes.

Speaking of playful rubbish:
It isn’t evident, but no matter how many times I spray them with the Water Bottle of Discipline, the cats will not stop using the mats to sharpen their claws, and as a result said mats are in appalling condition. On the other hand, 55% of the toys in our house belong to Simone’s Early Intervention therapists, who bring them so that she may work on certain skills, or possibly to conduct an experiment re: how many times I will let that *#@!$^! motion-activated caterpillar wake the sleeping baby as I carry her past before I smash it forcibly to pieces. Either way, some of the clutter is THEIR fault.

Most of my time is spent in the living room:
"Living" room
It looks bigger than it feels, somehow. Possibly because you can’t see into the hallway from this angle (additional suitcase, abandoned stroller missing vital nut, box of framed and unhung pictures, toolbox). Neither can you see the cat hair tumbleweeds in the corners, or the plate, socks, and assortment of toys under the couch. The arms of the couch, naturally, are festooned with milk rings from the bottoms of the bottles we set there. And I neglected to photograph the lone living room closet, which houses our litter box.
The small blue laptop table in front of the couch is where I do much of my writing. This is where the magic happens! Or doesn’t.

Finally, the kitchen:
Not pictured: pile of unopened mail, pile of opened mail, cat-food-strewn area by the stove, closeup of food-coat on high chair.

This is the most variable of the rooms in our apartment, going through cycles of messy-filthy-spotless and back three or four times a week. And when the kitchen is filthy…well, the part of the floor around the high chair alone would be enough to kill Martha Stewart dead, and she’s a tough old girl.
Since this photograph was taken, our kitchen has been both much worse, and much better, and I suppose that holds true for the rest of our home as well.

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour. Now I must go, because about five minutes after this posts I’m expecting a phone call from my mother.

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