I'm sitting in the stairwell to the upstairs talking to my sister on the phone. She's talking about her current struggle with men and I'm looking at the wall wondering how long it's been this disgusting. I grab a dry erase pad and while we discuss life and the merits of having low expectations, I wipe away a year's worth of grubby finger marks.
There are so many of these walls, only they're not always walls. Sometimes it's a cobweb in the far corner, it's a window blind that's askew and one slat hanging slightly farther out, probably because someone kicked it.
You'd think it would be easy enough to get to these things ... it only takes a few minutes to fix after all. Then two weeks later and there's still a bandage stuck to a leaded glass cabinet. It was over a broken bit of glass. I can't help but feel someone was trying to help there.
And then sometimes it's the wall again.
We live in an old historic house where they put a type of thick wallpaper on the walls to cover the cracks of the drywall, then painted on it and then we repainted. Well, there was one little bit pulled off, but someone got a hold of an edge and decided to rip an even bigger chunk off. When the guilty party was questioned why, she replied that it was just too tempting. We'll have to worry about that one. This was at the end of a long week of messes and I actually couldn't take it anymore. It got mudded, sanded and painted, but I'm not always that on it and it could have very easily taken me months to get around to it.
There's also the refrigerator water dispenser that someone who shall remain nameless broke with their finger because they didn't believe me when I said the water line had frozen and they decided to push as hard as they could until they snapped the plastic mechanism behind the button.
Then there was the metallic slime that was spilled on the carpet that I tried to get up with an iron and a paper towel (like candle wax on a table cloth). Spoiler, it did not work and there's still a huge spot on the carpet. The culprit is responsible for the banning of all slime in carpeted areas and one-fourth responsible for the fact that we can't have nice things.
These are all the most recent incidents, by the way.
As I walk downstairs to get some more cleaning supplies I will probably pass by yet another mess on the wall.
My personal hypothesis on why these messes remain is this: The human brain can only handle so much. These little things that can be gotten to later fall so far down the list of what needs to happen today that we no longer see them. They just become part of the scenery until we realize, real people not accustomed to our environment might come into this space. Either that or you're sitting in a spot staring at the problem unable to fix the problems of the universe so you start scrubbing the wall instead.
If only these walls could talk ...
Jen Reekie was born and raised in Quincy and received a communications degree at the University of Kansas, which has come in quite handy as she communicates every day with four children who don't hear a word she says. This stay-at-home mom enjoys the challenge, though, and shares her experiences in this blog, "Mum's the Word." She welcomes your feedback, questions and stories about staying sane while raising kids.