I really should have company around more often. Of course, there are the obvious social benefits, but really I'm referring to the fact that it makes me aware of, and more horrified by, my own filth. It isn't until the final two hour countdown that I really begin to wallow in disgust and start making frantic adjustments in order to present an unrealistic picture to my guest. I wouldn't want anybody to be startled by the mayhem that ensues as soon as I'm left alone to flourish in my natural habitat.
I tend not to be too bothered by my detritus when it's just me, but mostly because my offal reflects fabulous taste. That's not a month-old water bottle you see, it's a month-old Perrier bottle. My foul mugs just reflect that I'm the kind of crackling intellectual who drinks tons of tea and coffee, which supposedly means something if you're a complete asshole who judges people on things like that. My sour laundry is at least comprised of stylish black clothing.
At least my filth isn't in poor taste. Still, I'm deeply ashamed of it when I have someone in my home, picking over piles of clothes and attempting to make a spot for themselves on the couch. Really, though, how well do my closest friends know me if I won't let them see the withered, half-empty teacups, the smattering of useless papers with unfinished naked people drawn on them, the unmade bed with the untraceable stains on the sheets? I'd like to think that those who come around often know me fairly well, as in they are keenly aware of my likes and dislikes, are familiar with my life story, and can read me without effort. Still, now and again I wonder if I wouldn't be more comfortable if I dropped the charade and just once flung open the door, allowing my unfortunate guest to see my offal and debris in its entirety.
“Come in, come in! Move that pile of laundry aside, you'll find a food-encrusted chair underneath it. Oh, come now. You signed up for this. You decided to be my friend, remember? Now pick your way through the paper trail and come into the kitchen. Let's get something to eat, shall we? And let's not bother to put the dishes in the sink, while we're at it. Hey, I'm just being honest with you.”
Still, I hate people who use honesty as a blanket philosophy to excuse cruelty, so I suppose citing truthfulness to excuse filth is just as bad. It would be a lot less stressful, though.
It's probably silly to think that the “real” me lurks in closets and is frantically stuffed into trashcans before an inspection by a friend. Maybe my garbage and rubble is no more unique to me or indicative of my personality than any hidden body function or suppressed catty remark.
They say that through friendships, one becomes a better person. Maybe for me, that just means that the more friends I have, the higher the chances are that I'll get my ass off the couch and take the garbage out once in a while.