It concerns me when I realise how much of my life I waste being concerned about what other people may or may not think about me. I stress over people pleasing and do we not frankly all have quite enough stress going on already?
Rental Estate inspections send me into a mild people pleasing frenzied panic. But its not limited to inspections…I feel this way every time we have visitors at the house. However rental inspections put me fully in the mindset that I am being judged, scored or marked. There is a pass or fail sensation.
There are of course worse things in life than rental inspections, I realise this.
My friend’s daughter woke up the other morning with a frog on her face. (That’s country living for you!) This is obviously awful by anyone’s standards but it got worse because as it turns out, that when you scare a frog by say….screaming the house down because you just woke up with a frog on your face… the frog in turn gets scared and wee’s itself.
New horror…frog AND frog wee on face.
But I digress…back to the inspection. The plan is always that we will have everything looking perfect when the rental inspection lady arrives. It is far from perfect the rest of the time. What she sees is not how we live. We have one of these inspections once every three months which seems a little excessive to me but despite their frequency I still stress. Peter always answers the door to her and then chooses to look cool and relaxed on the coach. In fairness I don’t know if that’s what he really chooses to do but that’s where he sits…his coolness level is open to debate.
I then walk in casually out of the bedroom to greet her pretending that I haven’t just wiped the last drops of sweat off my brow and changed my underwear because we have been running around like headless chickens cleaning cobwebs, windows, floors and toilets, hosing down the balcony floor and probably next doors cat. This is all done in the vain hope of making our apartment look like something out of Home magazine or at least so clean that it’s ludicrous to believe that we actually live there. Why do I create this pseudo perfect world for a complete stranger. She is only there to check that we aren’t throwing spaghetti or letting the shower screen collapse under the weight of the soap scum build up. Yet each time there is an image I feel I must project to get her approval.
On this occasion I decided it would be nice also to oh so casually make it smell nice. You know, distract her from the inspection by the smell of home baked cookies or bread. Then I thought no…because:
a) she is an estate agent she has probably told a million home owners to do that for a quick sale and the smell of cookies probably sickens her
b) there is no such thing as the five minute cookie and that’s how long I had before she was due to arrive.
I had the bright idea of opening one of those scent things I had received at Christmas ……you know the ones with the smelly oil and the sticks?
Now I have had a few of these that have smelt delicious over the years but since we started eating less packaged food I swear to god my sense of smell has become wolf like in its sensitivity. I can’t even cope when I pass, DUSK, too many candles, too many smells…headache central!. It’s like when you are trying to escape a department store through the perfume department but you pass out because the smell hits you like a sledgehammer.
In truth you may also pass out in fear, as the sales woman wearing a three inch layer of make- up and toting a perfume spritzer that’s locked and loaded and pointing directly at you as she stalks you through the cosmetics as you try in vain to hide behind the “gift with purchase” sign.
So I was pretty horrified when the stick oil thing smelt like an intense dose of Old Spice.
As the intense stench assaulted my nostrils, I reeled back in horror, the bottle slipped out of my hand and crashed into the sink. This immediately increased the mad odour by about 800% and proceeded to get all over me as I fumbled to right the bottle and stop it escaping.
Potent smelling oil was everywhere!!
It stank. I stank. The apartment stank. And then the doorbell rang.
Hubnut did his cool thing.
I walked out of the bedroom stinking like the man from Gillette!
It briefly flashed through my mind to just stay quiet but who am I kidding….i was way too worried about what she was thinking.
So I started to babble on to her about the smell and sticks and oil and hosing down next doors cat until she was looking at me with that wide eyed look people get when faced with a babbling woman who is exhibiting signs of mania and smells like a man.
I tried to convey that it was a mistake and that it wasn’t aftershave.
Actually I think just blurted out….. “It’s not Peter.”
At which point he made a slight coughing, choking, suppressed laughing noise.
This could have been because :
a) He never ever wears aftershave. Ever.
b) He was literally choking to death on the fumes of my Old Spice. Which is bad for two reasons: One being that I am pretty sure a corpse on the couch is an instant rental inspection fail and the second being that despite his strange and quirky obsession with arriving everywhere 10 minutes early ….I have grown to quite like having him around.
c) There was something good on the telly and he was paying us no attention whatsoever…definitely possible and in fact highly probable due to the fact that he spends a good percentage of his time blocking out my babble (albeit fascinating in my opinion) by losing himself in the world of Big Bash Cricket. His loss I say.
The point is this…. Yes I do still have a point. After three hours of me stressing cleaning and forcing Peter to hose floors, windows and next doors cat. After accidently dosing myself in 8 pints of Old Spice which remained on my hands for literally days and demonstrated to me exactly how often I actually pick or touch my nose. (note to self: pick and touch nose less)
After all my carefully laid plans and stressing about what she thought.
She was there for less than five minutes and although I might think that she sees me as a babbling, cat hosing, aftershave wearer who lives in a fake HOME magazine house. In reality she probably doesn’t give me much thought at all. All she cares about is that we are not trashing the house so she can tick her little boxes and be gone in five minutes…presumably to get on with her salad sandwich or whatever else the day might hold for her. Even if she did think I was insane it changed my world not one jot.
Stressing every three month over what she thinks is …..so not worth it.
We spend half our lives worrying about what other people think when they are all equally tied up stressing in their own minds thinking about what you think of them. It’s insane. I mean do you make judgments on the homes that you visit. I think most people are relieved if they go to other houses and there is a reassuring bit of clutter…makes us feel normal.
I am assuming of course the houses are not a candidate for a “This is the House of a Hoarder”reality show, in which case you may be forgiven for noticing the clutter.
I won’t be stressing for the next appointment. This woman is a complete stranger to me. I do not need to people please her.
Take time this week to see who you might be trying to please unnecessarily. If you have friends that care more about what your house looks like than enjoying your coffee play date it might be time to think about new friends!
Heres to just being ourselves.
Wishing you Health and Happiness!