This is the difference between living in a regular living space where things are dusted and wiped down regularly and camping in a small cave hollowed out of the side of a landfill.
Now, my special lady does not spend all her days on her knees, scrubbing at every flake of filth that dares invade her domain. No. She is not that kind of obsessed person. If anything, her cleanliness habits are slightly inferior to mine. She has discovered the secret of having a permanently clean house, however, and that is to have a maid. The difference between her home and a theoretical home where I would live alone, I often tell her, is Maggie.
I don't live alone, however. Not only does my son live with me, but his best friend does as well. This semi-adopted waif is my boy's sidekick in his struggle against the forces of neatness and order. Whenever cleanliness threatens to break out, they are there to put it down like it was the Muslim Brotherhood. "Make sure this house is clean when I come back!" I yell at them every time I leave. They agree cheerfully, all the while knowing it is actually more likely that they will spend the weekend building a particle accelerator than engaging in any type of housekeeping.
LIVE UPDATE: My Significant Other has just dragged herself out of bed at 10:45. When I shared today's blog topic with her, it inspired her immediately to nag me not to leave coffee cups or beer cans in her study, as it unnecessarily burdens Maggie. I pointed out that when she is frantically searching for something, she often dumps entire drawer contents out onto the floor and leaves them for Maggie to clean up, which I'm betting is considerably more of an annoyance to that hard-working woman than an empty coffee cup. The icy silence that now permeates my weekend dwelling place insures that I will be finishing this post undisturbed.
My boys regard trash as a necessary decorative feature in our home. That is the only conclusion I can reach after observing the way they treat it. First, they think that any level surface is the ideal place to display trash. The kitchen counter is reserved for empty cups and discarded microwaveable pizza boxes; the end tables support a fascinating variety of gum and candy bar wrappers and the dining room table sports a high-rise colony of empty fast-food bags. When told to throw away their trash, the boys follow this strict procedure: 1. Locate trash can, which they ordinarily treat as if it was situated in an alternate universe. 2. Immediately toss bulky, hollow items, like empty 44 ounce sodas and Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets away first, so maybe only six pieces of trash fill it up completely. 3. Bounce the remainder of the trash items off the now bulging surface like errant three point shots, so they pop blithely off onto the floor and remain there. 4. Treat my criticism of their efforts like it was an insanely hurtful personal attack, the origin of which is probably psychosis or premature dementia on my part. 5. Leave.
While they are gone, they will not pick up any necessary household items that I am not aware we are out of because I have been gone for four days. Like toilet paper. Or paper towels, which I only discover we lack when I go looking for a toilet paper substitute. Luckily for me, those fast food bags are still on the table. Don't cringe. I will not have to use the bags, in case you are wincing in anticipation of my describing that possibly painful ordeal. Napkins are much more suited for my purpose and I know the bags will have napkins inside, because the kids used all the paper towels for napkins instead.
And they do contain napkins. Sanitary discomfort is avoided. And as I plunge away at the toilet because the miserable thing gagged on a few taco shop serviettas, I reflect on the fact that my place is a swirl of unsupervised chaos and early adulthood run amuck. There's no denying it. It's a bro-hole of the first order. It's not like I don't have my rules, though. Actually, I only have one. Because my bedroom is located near the kitchen, I have laid down this law, and it is carved in stone:
NO BLENDER DRINKS AFTER MIDNIGHT!
And they scrupulously obey it. They're good kids, after all.
 My son is a very talented mathematician and may someday, in fact, build an atom smasher. However, when that happens, I suspect that someone else will have to get a dustpan and clean those smashed atoms off the floor.