Company’s Coming (or when to clean house during the pandemic)

Cindy Argiento

Company’s Coming (or when to clean house during the pandemic)
September 30
15:37 2021

By Cindy Argiento

“I’m going blind.” 

“Why do you think you’re going blind?” my husband inquired. 

“Well, I can’t see the people on the television set anymore.” 

My husband got up, walked over to the set, ran a finger across the screen and stuck it under my nose. “Here, this is proof you’re not going blind.”

 “What is that on your finger?” 

“It’s dust, about one inch thick, on the TV screen.” 

“Oh, so, I’m not going blind?” 

“No, the TV and the house just need to be dusted.”

 (Heavy sigh) “You know what we need to do, don’t you?” 

In perfect unison, we mumbled the words, “Have company.”

My family is gripped with fear at the words “company’s coming.” Fear because our house is not company presentable and fear because we will have to put forth physical effort to make the house presentable. We start preparing for company a week in advance. Yes, we need more than one hour or one day. For us it’s become synonymous with the term “spring cleaning.”

My husband always tackles his room first: the garage. Considering our guests will not park in it, walk through it, or look at it, I fail to see the need to clean it. However, if he wants to organize his nuts and bolts and hang his wrenches according to size, and name and polish each screwdriver, who am I to stand in his way? 

It’s the closet cleaning we do which baffles me the most. First, we gather the things we no longer need or want. Then we cram them, along with the junk lying around the house we don’t want our guests to see, into any space with a door. Closets become off limits and are only allowed to be opened after our guests leave for fear of an avalanche. (I’m always amazed when I go to someone’s house and they show me their closets. I’m thinking – where do they hide all the junk?)

As always, the last-minute cleaning – the bathrooms – are saved for last. First, my daughter scrubs one tub clean. Next, my husband uses elbow grease to scrub and clean the same tub. Then, my son diligently cleans the same tub for the third time in one day. Bathing in the sparkling clean tub later that day, I realize that my family definitely has a communication problem, but if they want to clean one tub three times in one day, who am I to stand in their way?

Company came, company left. That night, upon disrobing, I vowed to myself to retrieve the robe I let drop beside the bed. But exhausted from a week of cleaning, I didn’t have the energy to bend over and pick it up. However, if my hubby is compelled to pick it up before I do, I definitely won’t stand in his way! 

Cindy Argiento is a freelance columnist, public speaker and playwright. To contact, book her as a speaker, or read about her play “Stanley and Alice,” visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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