This is mortification

Did I mention my recent experience with utter humiliation?

A few weeks ago we vacationed at Long Beach, Washington for eight nights. However, my husband and two of his college buddies had to leave the ocean after two nights. One of the buddies needed to return to Bellingham to work and the other needed to fly home (stand-by) on Alaskan Airlines. The Bellingham guy dropped off my husband at our home, then continued on with the Alaskan airlines guy to the airport.

Alas, the Alaskan airlines guy couldn’t get on a flight that night, so Bellingham guy called my husband who met him halfway and transferred Alaskan airlines guy to my husband’s custody before traveling north up I-5 to his home.

That was a little confusing, but important to the plot of this story.

Remember, I’m at the ocean with my four children while my husband is back at our house. (He caught a ride with Bellingham buddy because he needed to participate in a charity golf tournament on Tuesday and an important work meeting on Wednesday. He and Bellingham guy were going to return to the ocean–and their respective family vacations–Wednesday night.)

So, I’m at the ocean and now . . . Alaskan airlines guy is at my house with my husband.

When I leave for a vacation, I always try to leave my house in respectable condition. However, right before this vacation, I worked 21 hours in two days, laundered all the laundry, packed provisions for meals and endured a crisis that I cannot bear to speak about. (Hint: teenagers, lost item, injustice in the world, tantrum, enough said.) So, having worked on Thursday from 8 a.m. until midnight with two short breaks between shifts, I did not get my house as clean as I’d hoped.

For instance, my bathroom sink was coated with the scummy remains of shaving cream. The master bathroom toilet was unscrubbed. Piles of unironed clothes and discarded outfits sat on top of the exercise bike. Underneath the exercise bike were overflow books without permanent homes on the bookshelves. . . plus more. (An empty purse, 10-pound weights, an old newspaper, an empty shoebox, for instance.)

The room was cluttered and certainly not fit for company. The kitchen floor was unmopped, every wooden surface was dusty. As a matter of fact, it sort of looked like we’d packed in a hurry, then been Raptured without expecting ever to return. Thus, the yellowed newspapers on the front porch. (Who has time to read the newspaper? And do you know how difficult it is to cancel a newspaper? They pretty much say, “No,” when you try.)

And when our friend couldn’t get a flight, he stayed at our house for two nights.

That is mortification. Also, motivation to deal with the under-exercise-bike piles and closet. I even vacuumed my ceiling.

I did learn something from this experience. Mortification will not kill you. Who knew.

(Does anyone else store a collection of cassette tapes underneath their bed? What is wrong with me?)

What’s under your bed?  Come on:  Group participation!  You know you want to leave a comment!

26 thoughts on “This is mortification

  1. Haha! My husband swears that he doesn’t see dust. His eyes just don’t see it he says.. Let’s hope all men are like that..!

    Under our bed…DUST. And always some very important papers that I never find when I need them..and sometimes socks and other pieces of clothing…and candy wrappers, of course.

    Funny how it’s never empty under there, when I absolutely hate the idea of using it as a place to store stuff. 🙂


  2. It won’t make you feel better but under my bed there are two duvets in covers (I store the ones there that we don’t use because they are too thin or thick for the season.), there’s quite a bit of dust, and that’s it.

    My husband has a thing with beds. He hates to store something under them because everything gets so dusty…

    Now, if you had asked about the basement, the garage, or the attic…


  3. One under-the-bed storage container with sheets and pillowcases for our bed. Another one for extra baby blankets, I think. It’s on the far side underneath and I haven’t opened it in like forever. Oh. And tons of dust bunnies that will probably not get cleaned out until the kids go on vacation in September, which means I have vacation too. Which means I’ll have time to do the cleaning I never get done, what with taking care of the grandbabies 10 1/2 to 12 hours per day. Oh well.


  4. Nothing can gather under my bed.. Because it’s on the floor. Our beast of a dog believes he needs to sleep under our bed and the support beams get in his way. This is the second time in a year we have lowered our bed to the floor until we can fix the support beams. The scary part is “finding out” that he has misplaced the beams (imagine husband falling in between bedframe and mattress). We are thinking screws and extra lumber for the bed and an electric fence in the house for the dog. 🙂

    I’ll go lurk more now that I’ve fully embarassed myself and my dog.


  5. You know, I bet he didn’t even notice. I know my husband doesn’t realize his bathroom sink is covered with spittle and bits of shaving cream, and I’m sure he doesn’t realize it’s clean either once a week on a Saturday. Men just don’t notice that stuff, and it’s the rare man that does.


  6. Under my bed: three storage boxes. One contains my huge stash of cross-stitch supplies, one contains wrapping paper and is supposed to mean that I am prepared whenever I need to wrap a package (HA!), and the third contains my daughter’s clothes because she is skinny and beautiful and has more clothes than can fit in her room.

    Oh…and all around those boxes? Great fluffy puffs of dust and cat hair combined…plus whatever else the cats might have done under there. Once when I pulled out the bed to clean I found dried cat yak AND cat poop. How I could not smell them, I do not know…that was a sad, sad day in my life. And I still don’t know which cat to blame because they are both usually very good about using the litter box.

    And Monica is right, men really don’t notice that stuff. My husband was raised by the world’s pickiest house cleaner and he doesn’t notice dirt. He’s having men’s prayer meeting at our house this week and he’s already told me to quit spazzing about the cleaning and just make sure there’s plenty of food. Priorities. 🙂


  7. I am embarrassed to say that under my bed are my kids’ school papers from the last 4 years (It’s hard to get rid of such fine work), empty boxes to various electronics purchased over the last few years (we really might need them someday), and anything else that has been kicked under there. Honestly, it’s the only part of my house that is so full of clutter. Unless you count my closet and my garage.


  8. Our waterbed frame is nothing but drawers, so under the bed is all our socks, undies, bras, pantyhose, etc.
    I really need to get motivated to clean too, I’m anticipating unexpected guests this week, does that make any sense at all? LOL!


  9. Let’s see, empty boxes, unopened underwear, a souvenier box from Ecuador, a pair of shoes, some pajama pants and possibly buried treasure. Maybe I should get down there and look for the buried treasure.


  10. Under my bed: a collection of exercise videos on VHS and we don’t even have a VHS player. Sad : (

    I feel your pain, truly I do. We had a last-minute get together a while back and I “cleaned” the house by throwing EVERYTHING not nailed down into my bedroom and shutting the door. Throwing things in the room, literally. Nearly died when I found out my husband had escorted a friend and her new baby into that room so she could nurse in private. There was not even a place for her to sit.


  11. Hey, I won’t tell, but I have a funny story. Just to make you feel better. We have all been there! One of my friends has four kids. And recently had an alarm installed. While they were out something triggered the alarm and the police responded. When she got home, the police were standing outside and wanted in. They said they must search the house, before she went in. Just in case there is an intruder inside. Short story is, they came out embarassed. And said lady we hate to say this, but we aren’t sure if the house has been ransacked by burglars, or if you are just um yeah they didn’t say it . . a messy housekeeper. She went in to look around with the policemen and in mortification had to admit. Yes, this is how I left it this morning!


  12. The only thing under my bed is one of those rope ladders to escape in case of a fire. Which is totally pointless, because there’s no way I could navigate the thing and I’ve told my husband I’ll just throw a sheet down and they can all hold it while I jump into it.

    I have a weird thing about not storing things under beds. Which is why it drives me absolutely crazy to find stuff under my kids beds. Now. . . the REST of the house. That’s a different story. Clutter galore.


  13. My house, my entire house, is a pit. Any unexpected guests would definitely be treated to an eyeful for sure.

    We left the day after school ended in June to escort hubby to NC at the start of his deployment. My mom was staying at the house while we were gone. Thank goodness the dog-sitter was related because this place was at it messiest in a long, long time. End of school year chaos plus deployment preps and the usual story of not enough hours in the day. Poor Mom!


  14. Photo album from our early years of youth ministry. My wedding dress (in a box), a million rubber bands that I lose when I sleep.

    Phew, confession feels good!


  15. Under my bed…two plastic storage boxes full of sweaters because we have very little closet/drawer space, and a king size blanket that we bought when we got out king sized bed, only used for about a month until I found a comforter that I liked. Then we didn’t need the blanket. And of course, like everyone else, dust!


  16. Our bed is a platform bed. Mattress basically touches the floor. Were it any other way, I don’t even want to think about all the stuff I’d shove underneath there.

    Viva la mess.


  17. That is too funny! Not your mortification part, but the “what’s under your bed” part. A few hours ago, I had spent quite a bit of time cleaning out the “under my bed” and evicting dust bunnies! What *was* under my bed: two little girl slippers (non matching), a wipes box (empty), and under bed storage box full of wrapping supplies, an empty tissue box, a barbie, half a lego guy, one sneaker, and a dust bunny farm. *sigh* But, it’s all gone now (except the under bed wrapping storage).


  18. When we moved here last year, my husband made a big deal about not storing ANYTHING under beds ever again. At the old house I had YEARS worth of magazines in those underbed cardboard storage traps.

    It lasted almost six months, but then I started shoving books ‘that do not fit into neat categories on a book shelf’ under there.

    And, a box of old jeans I intend to make something out of.

    Oh, and two plastic bags FULL of those informational booklets from Vistor Center rest areas.

    Lest I forget, my jewelry box.

    I’ve no excuse. No kids live here anymore. The house is big enough and has TONS of storage.

    I am, I confess, a slob.

    (but i am nice. when is that ever going to count for something????)


  19. you can stay at my house any day, but never look under my bed, or in my pantries, or under the sink in the bathroom, or in the kids’ closets…

    so sorry. i can relate to the piles of stuff everywhere. =)


  20. “I did learn something from this experience. Mortification will not kill you. Who knew.” You crack me up, Mel!

    I’m motified any day that someone comes to my door and takes a look into my living. It’s always a disaster. Today the pastor’s wife “dropped by” to pick something up and of course the house was a total wreck of course. Someday, I tell myself. Someday it won’t be this way. Yea, right.


  21. Mel must I answer? I do think there is a shoe under there and a couple days ago I found the babys pacifier under there but other then that its dust. My housekeepers did not vacuum under the bed once in the two years I hired them. Odd because they were good otherwise. I of course vacuumed under there several times in those months but not as often as I do when Im in charge of my own cleaning. Well I had to let them go since im not bringing in an income now so it will be back to my weekly cleaning schedule which involves vacumming under the bed twice a month.

    I think my most embarressing moment in my house is when my husbands uppity sister came to visit and for some reason she used the master bathroom. After she went out I discoverd that I had left a pad on the counter by the toilet. Oh yes, it was nicely rolled up in tissue but nevertheless it was mortifying!


  22. I’ve actually started counseling about my messiness, which when I watch programs about hoarders I become convinced I will end up like, with my four kids and hub buried under our stuff. Anyhow I have been making some progress. Mortifying, painful, awful progress.


  23. Ha! A collection of pictures in frames with busted glass waiting to be taken for repairs. About 60% of my hanging pictures currently have busted glass….we have rambunctious kids….seven of them…


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