I’ve always had a lot of rules for my family.
Rules make sense.
They tell little children how to live.
They also tell big children how to live.
Rules benefit husbands, too, but we can’t talk about that now.
I have rules for conduct. I have rules for cleaning. I even have rules for where stuff goes in my fridge.
But, I guess everyone in my family likes that ol’ motto, “rules are made to be broken.”
It’s Romans 7 in action. Nobody wants to really do anything until they are told NOT to do it. The Bible tells us because our “sinful passions were aroused by the law.”
In other words, the more you tell people not to touch wet paint, the more they want to touch wet paint.
I must be the source of the problem, because there was no way I wanted to sit on that bench in DC until I read the sign that said WET PAINT. It was a subtle, double-dog dare.
So, the more rules I make, the more my kids desire to break the rules, so the more rules I need to make, to protect the people who VISIT my home, from the people who LIVE in my home and don’t obey all MY RULES.
1. DO NOT take your shoes off at the door. Your socks will become filthy. Only take off shoes if you are willing to spray a little Endust on the bottom of the socks and skate your way through my dining room and kitchen. Don’t forget the corners.
2. DO NOT leave your shoes by the door if you opt to polish my floors with your socks. They will be slipped on by the next random member of my family who has to mail a letter, retrieve something from the van or take out the garbage. Leave them only if they are size 7 and really, really cute.
3. DO NOT put your elbows on the table. Not only does Emily Post consider this rude, they will stick. Seriously, day old honey or jelly is about the best adhesive known to everybody except Elmer. Ya’ know, the guy who makes glue?
5. DO NOT leave your towel on the bathroom floor. The next person will use it for a bathmat or a floor mop.
6. DO NOT drop by unannounced without a shovel. You will need it to make a path through the living room, that is also the sewing room, the craft room, the school room, the dining room and the fireplace room.
7. DO NOT call ahead for a visit. I am not that formal. Besides, then guilt will MAKE me clean. I love drop by company, just refer to Rule #5.
8. DO NOT stick your hand between my couch cushions if you drop something, like your cell phone or your wallet. I value you too much for you to risk your welfare. You could be poked, scratched, cut with any number of objects, or the crumbs of a thousand sandwiches could wedge under your fingernails.
9. DO NOT use my bathroom without first checking for toilet paper. We use a lot each day. Only 1 out of 8 family members is skilled enough to replace the tp. If I didn’t get to it and you didn’t check, you’re on your own.
10. DO NOT drink the milk without sniffing it. If you forget to smell it and there are chunks, I am NOT making cottage cheese. You have permission to throw it out. Just rinse and recycle the container.
Above all, make yourself at home.
We want you to feel comfortable.
We want you to feel a part of this crazy, rule-breaking family.
Just don’t put your elbow on my table, ok?