20 Comments

  1. Debbie Cupp

    Love that we share the same views on underwear and housework. I so enjoy the memories of your dear mother. Miss you Mrs O’Connor!

    • Debbie,

      It’s so funny that nearly everything I write finds a way to work its way back to her. Keeps her alive for those who loved her, I guess.

      Glad to hear I have a comrade in the housework department. I expected nothing less! Thanks!

  2. Annie

    YES to this! THANK YOU. I am a recovered neat freak, and finally have freed myself from feeling bad about a little clutter and dust here & there. My mom was like yours. I do tend to prefer things neater and clean, and as a child/young adult I couldn’t wait to have my own home and keep it tidier than the one I grew up in. Then came family life, too many relocations, divorce, and there are only so many hours in a day. I have a long commute and work hard. The last thing the kids need is a mom who goes from one job straight to another — cleaning and tidying instead of being with them. or reading. or exercising. or sketching. or cooking/baking or ANYTHING more life-enhancing. I did struggle and felt frustrated with the lowered standards of neatness – but now that the kids are older and moving on to college I am glad that I got my priorities straight. Life is too short and there are too many good books, friends, creative goals, sunsets, etc.. (And yes, inviting people over once in a while has a magic way of motivating me to clean up! ) Thanks again for the validation, especially during this tyrannical trend of super-tidiness!

    • Annie,

      Thank YOU for taking the time to read and respond. Sounds like we are kindred spirits, with similar moms who also knew what really mattered in life! I hope you’ll look through some of my earlier blog posts. Many of them have other remembrances of my mom. In fact, I launched the blog on October 21, 2014, which would have been her 85th birthday. In many ways it is dedicated to her.

      Keep enjoying your important things, and I will do the same!

      Laurie

      • Annie

        Hey Laurie,
        You share the same first name as my very first childhood friend, so yes, there seems to be more than one indicator that we are indeed kindred spirits. I will be sure to read more of your blog. Congratulations you on your work. As a usually blocked writer I am always keen to find inspiration; glad I came across you!

  3. “They need lessons on organizing and purging like I need lessons on wasting time on my phone and maintaining my Rubenesque physique.”

    Loved this essay and this line is one of my favorites!

  4. You have to be my twin!!! But you said it so much better than I ever could. Hilariously true. I’ve never seen anything she’s ever done. My house is clean but comfortably lived in I like to say. I am married to an OCD personality so it gets cleaned anyway and I don’t have to do it. He would love her if he knew she existed. My husband just goes behind me and cleans up…keeps us both happy! Loved this.

    • Laurie O'Connor Stephans

      Well, we non-Marie Kondo types have to stick together. You have exactly described my house, too. And kind of my husband, although he’s a little light on the going behind me and cleaning up part! Thanks for taking time to comment!

  5. Made a note to read this when I saw the title! I had just finished watching all eight episodes of that silly tidy Marie Kondo’s Show so I needed some funny pushback. Thanks for that.
    Company is great for getting the piles of whatever off the dining room table. Your mom had it right.

    • Laurie O'Connor Stephans

      Thanks for coming back and for taking time to comment!

      Funny you should reply today, as it would have been my mom’s 90th birthday. We’re having a Halloween party Saturday, so I’ll be cleaning on Friday, just as I was properly taught!

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