When Unexpected Company Comes…

by Tammy Taylor~

 

I’ve mentioned before that RancherMan & I keep a ‘tidy’ house. The bed is made every morning, the supper dishes always cleaned, surfaces relatively cleared of clutter, etc.  So it’s baffling to me why I go into a break-neck panic when RancherMan casually announces the impending arrival of an unexpected visitor. I look with panic at the accumulations of projects I have going on in the kitchen – making bread at the same time I’m dehydrating tomato leather, dealing with produce from the garden, and fermenting a batch of Haymaker’s Punch.

I also notice every little piece of grass on the wood floors that our mini-Schnauzer Bailey has drug in. I’m suddenly painfully aware of the thick dust that comes from living off a dirt road. And of course the stay-at-home outfit I slipped on to just deal with cows/chickens/chores is certainly not acceptable for company!

Do you feel panic when unexpected company shows? I polled our followers to see if they felt the same. Their responses were hilarious! #TaylorMadeHomestead

RancherMan assists my panicked tidy with visible curiosity on his face. Since he’s is not even a little bit similarly stressed about such things I wonder if it’s just me or if it’s a woman thing. Hummmm… 

I wonder if because my family tends to be such neatniks that although I’m a “tidy” housekeeper I’ve never felt I was quite up to their level of clean. So no matter who is stopping by – family or friend – I guess I don’t feel I measure up.  But even while I’m stammering to my mom about the messiness of my projects or whatnot she’s always comfortingly reminding me she didn’t come to look at my house (and I do the same thing when visiting our kids) but still… I guess there’s just something about your mama’s eye!

Thankfully between RancherMan & myself we are always able to tidy up to my standards prior to receiving guests.  But I got to wondering if I was alone in my unexpectected-company panic.  So I posed this same thought to our TMR Facebook followers.  Their responses were both hilarious and comforting.  Apparently it’s certainly not just me…  HA!

Shirley said: I think it’s a woman thing.
My hubby could care less what the house looks like and inevitably he’ll take our company ,for one reason or another, INTO the room where I’ll stash everything to get it out of the way!!!
Men!

Tamela said: Omg!!! I about fell out of my chair when I read this. Lol I do exactly the same thing. My hubby always looks at me like I’m crazy. And says the house is fine. They know we LIVE here. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But I think especially if a woman is coming I feel she will be judging the cleanliness of my house. Glad to know its not just me!

Brandy commented: I’m the same way, especially when mom is coming for a visit

Lee said: Think it is a woman thing. Even if I have just cleaned, need to pick-up, straighten, and clean the bathroom. And people always just pop by when you are in your “work” clothes, don’t they?

And Julia said: If it is an unexpected visit just tell them you are glad they came but excuse the house, kitchen whatever and tell them I was just so and so. They don’t expect perfection and if they do, don’t worry about it. Just go unexpectedly to their home when you know they are in the middle of doing something and see how their house is. Bet it is not “just right”.

And Linda had me rolling with: Lol. I don’t think I have ever had company come by when I was nicely dressed and the house was perfectly clean. Just once it would have been nice for someone to know that my house does get clean

Robert gave a guy’s perspective with: BE PROUD OF YOUR HOME AND JUST SAY IT HAS THE LIVED IN LOOK.

I really enjoyed looking through all of those comments!  Of course no one’s house is company ready at all times. Do you feel panicky and maybe just a little silently judged when your home is untidy no matter who the visitor is?


~TMH~

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18 thoughts on “When Unexpected Company Comes…

  1. Gentle Joy Homemaker

    A fun post that I think most women can painfully identify with… though my husband doesn’t have as big of an awareness of it… in fact, the kids and I tease about the time we had company coming and had been doing lots of projects and I told him that the basement was OFF LIMITS… do NOT take anyone down there. Guess where he took the husband guest? sigh. He didn’t even think about it as he was talking and wanted to show the guy something…. I do want to be “real” and not look perfect… I think my husband was helping me with that. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      LOL – Ain’t that the way it always goes??!! The one place you mention is off limits is the one place they take company. Too funny! I’ve never been overly concerned with ‘keeping it real’ on my blog and feeling the need to show my dirt, mistakes or messiness, although I know that’s a huge concern among some bloggers. But I still want to put my best foot forward when accepting guests into our home. ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Judith C

    My mom used to tell us kids “clean like the preacher is coming!” I always dreamed of living where I had a driveway long enough that I had time to clean up before they got to the house. Then years ago a good friend painted and hand lettered a little picture for me that says “A real friend is one who over looks your broken gate to admire the flowers in your garden” ever since I’m able to tell who my real friends are. I also keep that picture where all can see it. 😉

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      None of my friends or family have ever made me feel my home is not acceptable, Judith. I’m sure this is something I need to work on within myself, but it’s comforting knowing I’m not the only one that feels this way. ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Marjie

    Grab the vacuum cleaner and plug it in- leaving it in the center of the front room. They’ll be sure that they just caught you in the middle of cleaning. (Hint from Phyllis Diller – if you remember her!)

    Reply
  4. Janet Vinyard

    I agree it’s more of a woman thing. My husband always says friends and family are coming to see YOU not the house! So I’ve eased off a little but then the downstairs where visitors would be is usually in fairly decent shape. A “lived-in” house can’t look like a spread in a magazine. Blessings, Janet

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      LOL Janet! I’ve never really tried to strive for the whole spread in a magazine look, but I tend to be a multi-tasker. Big time! So my daily simultaneous tasks are often scattered in various states of completion. They’re all usually completed in a timely manner, but it does make for an extra-messy look to our home. Especially embarrassing when unexpected company arrives. ~TMH~

      Reply
  5. Elizabeth

    Yes! My husband does NOT understand the amount anxiety a messy house can give me, especially when people are coming over!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I personally think men & women have different perspectives regarding the state of our projects and unexpected company. Doesn’t bother RancherMan even a little, yet sends me straight into a panic! ~TMH~

      Reply
  6. Miss B

    I do this too! Maybe it’s just pride of wanting people to think I keep a perfect house. The funny thing is that I don’t mind visiting a friend when she’s got a basket of laundry of the couch to fold or a messy kitchen from canning that morning. I actually feel a little more relaxed when I see that other people don’t always live in pristine conditions.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I like to have a tidy house Miss B, but DANG I don’t know why I stress so much when it’s not pristine! It’s like the sweet visitor hasn’t ever canned or dealt with garden produce themselves. I think this is a place where I need to work on *me*. ~TMH~

      Reply
  7. Cynthia D

    I know this feeling. We had Thanksgiving at our house and we have both been ill this year and I was not up to a big clean so just cleaned the bathrooms and ran the vacuum around and dusted. I usually do a hyper deep clean, but could not do that this year. No one said anything and I think all enjoyed the day. When I was growing up and my mother’s sister would come and visit from out of state we had to clean everywhere because she would point out any dust or dirt she found. The sister that lived in the same city as us came all the time and we didn’t dod this for her. I think this has carried over to me.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      How RUDE to point out tiny imperfections in someone’s home! Thankfully I’ve never, ever had anyone point out Bailey’s grass-draggings on the wood floor or dust on the tables. I’m really not sure how I would handle the situation if a guest was rude enough to point out every spec of dust, but I daresay it might be pretty blunt & to the point! My insecurities are all within me, never from being made to feel by our guests that our house isn’t clean enough. Wow. Just wow. ~TMH~

      Reply
      1. Kathleen

        I love a clean house, but with 3 sons, a husband, and a dog, the only way for it to be that way is to clean it, then line everyone up and NOT MOVE, EAT, or PLAY! Never going to happen. We live in our house. That means there is always dirty laundry waiting and dirty dishes, even after we’ve done the laundry and cleaned up from a meal. We live in a semi-rural setting. There is always grass or leaves on the floor. If someone were so unbelievable to point out the dust or dirt in our home, I’d show them where the dust rags, the broom, and the vacuum are. Obviously, they are uncomfortable in my home, and as a good hostess, I must do something to make them more “at home.”

        Reply
        1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

          Exactly Kathleen. No one has ever said anything to me about being uncomfortable in our home with its dust and grass pieces on the wood floor. I know it’s something I need to work on within myself. But I’ll admit, it *did* make me feel better knowing I wasn’t alone in feeling that way! ~TMH~

          Reply
  8. Margy

    It’s funny. We get more unexpected guests at our float cabin 25 minutes by boat up the lake than our condo in town. Maybe it’s the casual atmosphere that encourages neighbours and friends to stop by. One funny tradition is that many people remain in their boats next to the dock to chat awhile before continuing on their way. A beverage is usually offered, and sometimes accepted. If they do come on board, we most often sit outside unless the weather is really bad. That cuts down on having to make sure the inside is in order. But just the same, it’s cabin life so no one expects an immaculate home. – Margy

    Reply

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