My grandmother has one of those houses that is so clean, it makes you uncomfortable. You don't want to touch anything and you surely don't wear shoes indoors, but you panic because you're not sure if she really wants your dirty bare feet touching her spotless hardwood so you stand in the foyer awkwardly taking your shoes off waiting for her to tell you what to do next. Nana needs one of those little pantyhose bootie dispensers like they have at shoe stores at her front door so guests can slip them on and eliminate that awkward should-I-take-my-shoes-off-or-not moment.
Regardless of the fear of messing something up when you are in her house, nothing compares to the uncomfortableness of having Nana come to visit your house. Panic sets in like no other. Thoughts like "I'll never be as clean as Nana" run through your mind as you pace in circles, not knowing what to tackle first. "I shall make my bed. Nana would never stand for an unmade bed." Then you realize that an unmade bed may be frowned upon, but a toothpaste-y sink is even worse so you head for the bathrooms. Then you realize that if you can write your name in the furniture, you should probably dust. And on and on. Nothing really gets done very well because you are having a near conniption at the thought of grossing your grandmother out at the squalor you allow her only great-grandchild to live in. I have no idea why I'm writing this post in third person but it's happened and now I feel committed to it.
Nana is coming over tonight to babysit while JD and I go to the Christmas concert at church. And while our place is very tidy, it will never be as clean as my grandmother's house. I have come to accept that, but I still have that anxiety when Nana is coming for a visit. No house is as clean as a Nana-clean house. So I am frantically cleaning toothpaste out of sinks and making beds. Just because our place will never be as clean as Nana's doesn't mean that I shouldn't at least try.
Just so you know, Nana has never judged the cleanliness of anyone else's house. The feelings of inadequacy are mine alone, but that tends to happen to anyone who has visited her house.