I know that you, dear readers, can sympathize with my scorn for silly social norms like loading the dishwasher after every meal (best to wait until you have a nice big stack in the sink!) or making the bed every morning (it's just going to get messed up again at night!) But I am mature enough to recognize that there can be some value in these conventional behaviors ... since the state of one's apartment is a delicate balancing act that can have major implications for your social life.
So. How do you know when the tipping point has been reached and it is time to purge your space of old newspapers and dirty dishes? I give you five small examples. Cautionary scenes from the life of a ... friend:
- Your econ study group in grad school refuses to meet in your apartment because they claim that "there will be bags of trash sitting in your kitchen like there were last time we came over." (Despite your vehement protest, "But it was winter! And I took it out as soon as you got there!")
- Upon entering your apartment, your friend begins screaming "Get a maid! Get a maid!"
- You open the refrigerator on February 6th and gaze warmly upon that wonderful casserole you made on New Year's Day and slowly close the door again to ensure that the odor does not escape.
- Your boyfriend tells you that you have a "dirty frat guy sink" - possibly because it has not drained properly in more than three months (although that is only speculation, since he did not elaborate).
- An ex-boyfriend, pointing to the 10-foot radius around the cat box, asks "Who's been having a kitty litter party in there?"