My husband, Chris, rolled over in bed this morning, all sweaty and worked up. Unfortunately, it wasn't because of anything I did. Instead, it was my mom that got him all hot and bothered.
"Your parents were here, Bekah," he said, the panic evident as he recounted his nightmare. "They walked in and didn't even take off their coats. They said, 'We're giving you two our home. Enjoy it. Here's the deed.' And then your mom and dad just walked out of the apartment!"
Seeing that I wasn't overtly disturbed by a dream that involved me getting a free house, Chris elaborated.
"They just walked out of the apartment, Bekah, without even noticing how clean it was," he said.
"Yeah, now you get it," he said. He lowered his voice to better convey the seriousness of the situation. "Your mom never even looked in the microwave, Bekah. That can't happen. She has to look in the microwave, Bekah. She has to."
This is my life now.
Or, rather, this is the life my mother created for me.
It all started about six years ago, right after Chris and I had moved into our first place together. It was an adequate 2-bedroom/1-bathroom duplex in Midwest suburbia. Our stuff fit, and we could afford the rent, so, you know, we were fairly content, despite the horrid floral wallpaper in the kitchen.
Anyway, we'd been living in it for about two weeks when my mom decided to visit for the first time, and I wanted the place to be on fleek, * y'all. Like, shit needed to be tight. Like, white-fucking-glove-stays-fucking-white tight.
(* I'm not sure if I used "on fleek" correctly. But I'm trying to pump my rep. So bear with me, bae. )
Anyway, my mom's place isn't a shrine to Mr. Clean. I mean, it's tidy and all, but it's not like the damn Scrubbing Bubbles made her house their headquarters. But for whatever reason, my mom is all sorts of Kanga-Judgey-Roo about clean homes and seems to gauge her success as a mother based on whether her children dust their fan blades (I do, fyi.).
It's not so much that my mom is a bitch as she is a woman without a filter. She'll assure me that she doesn't care how clean I keep my house, but in the same breath, she'll dish on how my brother and his wife clearly haven't swept their kitchen floor since the last time she visited. You might remember that this is the same woman who truly found nothing odd in offering to send me to adult fat camp for my 30th birthday present.
Anyway, on that fateful day, Chris and I had about an hour left before my mother's arrival. We had been cleaning for days. The cupboards had been wiped down. The fridge had been polished to a shine. The blinds had been dusted. We had vacuumed under the couch.
Everything was perfect.
Except for the damn microwave.
Mind you, there wasn't an entire lasagna stuck to the top, and moldy shit wasn't growing in the corners. It just needed a good wipe down with a hot cloth, and I told Chris that.
And for the first time in our two weeks of marriage, he said, "No."
And he said it clearly.
And then he said it again.
"I have literally used a q-tip to clean the area around the base of the toilet. I'm drawing the line at the microwave," he said.
And then he glared at me, daring me to push the issue.
Well, I pushed it. He pushed back. And then we had a fight that ended with me yelling, "Fine, but if she looks in the microwave and says something, it's all your fault!"
So, to wrap this up, let's just get to the point of the story, which I'm sure will come to no surprise to anyone.
My mom waltzed through the front door (with my grandmother), and as she surveyed my sparkling home, she grinned and gushed, "Bekah just keeps such a clean house!"
As she spoke, she walked determinedly to the kitchen, her carryout coffee mug in hand, and popped open the microwave to reheat her drink.
"Oh," she said, pausing mid-sentence to stare at the splatter. "Well, I guess not that clean of a house."
I'm not even shitting you. She was in that place for all of 10 seconds before she a) opened the microwave Chris swore she'd have no reason to use and b) commented on how dirty it was.
Because I'm kind, I won't bore you with the details of the "discussion" Chris and I had after my mother departed. But let's put it this way: My parents are home from France for the holidays, and they are due to arrive in a few hours, and that microwave has been scrubbed like Chris's life depends on it...
...because it does.
True story: Life would be super swell if we all embraced our OMG side instead of living a Facebook-friendly existence. So, let it out. On what random shit do your parents base your worth? Or are you a parent? And can you let me know why the fuck you do this to your beautiful children? It's all an elaborate ruse, right? Or do you REALLY care about their goddamn microwaves? If you're not yet a parent, what weird litmus test will you use to gauge whether your child is a success? Feel free to disclose details. You're safe here.