Poll: You Have 10 Mins...You or Your House?

June 25, 2008

Usually, my home and myself (but mostly my home) are presentable at all times. Today an early appliance service call caught me AND my home unprepared. I had 10 minutes. When deciding which would be more important, a (semi) presentable self or home and deciding "home", I wondered if I was alone in my decision. So, if you had 10-15 to make yourself or your home look good, which would you choose? :)

ps...I was able to brush my hair and put on lipstick :)


Comments (44)

  • mlraff53

    Well as long as I can brush my hair, put on lipstick and make sure I have clothes on, the rest of the 10 min would go to the house.
    Hair, bra, lipstick, house.

  • robynpa

    Me for sure. I am not too concerned what delivery people think of toys or dirty dishes sitting around but I sure would not want to scare them when I answered the door. As long as my teeth are brushed and my face is washed (and I have a bra on) I feel pretty presentable.

  • karezz

    ME!! I am usually walking around in pajamas (no bra) - so I would need to get dressed, brush my hair and a bit of makeup. My house is never in complete turmoil anyway!

  • pamghatten

    OK ... I'm laughing at the "bra on" ... because I can totally relate! Do we all take it off the first thing when we get home, or put it on the last thing when we get up?

    To answer the original question ... hair, bra, house ...

  • metromom

    I would probably spend 10 minutes surfing the internet and then answer the door in my pajamas with the house a mess!

  • western_pa_luann

    I guess I am wondering why you need to clean the house for a service guy... and why you needed to put on makeup.

    As long as you were dressed, that should be fine!

    I'm with metromom in that I would not be all that concerned. I dress first thing in the morning, and my house is picked up the night before. That's good enough as I am not out to impress anyone...

  • mpwdmom

    Monica, that same thing happened to me yesterday...I think we get so used to service calls being late that when someone comes early, we are shocked! I did what I could:

    Bra - #1 on the list, trust me on that. :)

    Then get dressed, brush teeth/wash face, and finally, the house. But mostly there's not much to do there...I got in the habit as a young wife (30+ yrs ago!) to pick the night before anyone was expected, than if I have time in the morning, I spend it dusting or cleaning mirrors etc.


  • mrpandy

    I'm really not so sure about the bra or the lipstick... but at least that would give the service guy something to talk about when he got back to the shop!

  • redbazel

    If someone caught me RIGHT NOW, I would have to go for the 'fix me' thing for sure. I'm housecleaning before I go into work for a closing shift and I houseclean in my pjs on Wednesday.

    I have had this happen a couple of times. I may not take time for makeup, but I can be dressed with teeth brushed and hair ok in 5 minutes flat. Even if I had to shower and do the whole enchilada, I am ready in less than 30. I would get me in something like presentable shape, straighten the cushions on the couch and hit whatever room my problem was in.....for eg: If DW, clean it out and clear the sink, if Washer, put all clothes in basket and move them outta there.


  • donnar57

    Last summer, this was the story of my life. When the workmen were coming to work on the family room addition or (later) the kitchen, I *never* worried about what my house looked like. But I sure made sure that I was up and dressed (with bra!) at the time when the GC said he or his men would be arriving. Most of the time I had coffee on, or at least some water for them. If it was especially hot, I'd offer up a popsicle - boy, those went over on the 100 degree days! Oh, but I digressed. Yes, ME first. To heck with how the house looked, it was being made dirtier with all the construction dirt ANYWAY!


  • kats

    I really don't care about someone that comes here to do a job. So long as my teeth are brushed....after all I don't want to pay hourly wages for someone I've caused to faint!

    True morning DH brought an important customer home to pick something up DH forgot to take to work. Both the house and myself looked like something that crawled out of a dark lagoon. In my mind I even remember moss hanging from the rafters. Well, ever since, the common rooms get presentable the night before and after DH fully recovered he's never brought a customer home again without calling first.

  • IdaClaire

    I would like to say that I don't care what repair/service employees thinks when they come to my house, but I have seven cats and if the litterboxes haven't been scooped that day -- well, it can stink. And that does embarrass me. I don't ever want to be known (not even by strangers) as "the stinky cat lady", so I guess I'd devote time first to making sure the house didn't reek, and then I'd brush my teeth, splash water on my face, throw my hair back in a pony or up in a claw-clip, and then try to quickly find something to wear that wasn't just completely disgusting.

  • brutuses

    I never worry about the house. I've been telling people for the last 5 years we're remodeling. LOL Long as I have on a bra, I'm good to go!!

  • flyingflower

    Bra goes on first and then I grab whatever clothes are hanging on the bathroom door. I would straighten up the house first before bothering with makeup or my hair. I also need time to corral my curious dogs into the back bedroom so they won't get underfoot. And then I race across the room picking up noticeable furballs on the floor (dog sheds 24/7). I'm more embarrassed by furry tumbleweeds on my floor than how my own hair looks!

  • paint_chips

    It depends. Is the workman cute? Then screw the bra, give me some lipstick!

    Just kidding.

    As long as I can shove everything under the couch as I run to the front door while shoving barking pups out the back door. Bird may or may not let out a long woof-whistle at workmen. Yep, sounds like a party at my house everytime someone knocks on the door.

    I will tell you what I am sensitive about... laundry. Clean or dirty, it doesn't matter, I just get creeped out by the idea of someone looking down my hamper. So when anyone is over, I tuck a towel in the basket.

  • texashottie

    LOL! This is hilarious! So glad that this happens to others too!

    Just this week my builder showed up unannounced (again!)! I heard my dog going berserk at the door before he rang the bell---all I had time to do was put on a baseball cap and a zip-up sweatshirt (ay! no time for a bra!). It's been close to the 100-degree mark around here too! But I've learned to take the builder when I can get him.

    The week before he sent a subcontractor to come look at a leaky LR window for me. Again, he forgot to tell me. I saw the window guy pull up outside and I made a mad dash for the LR---this is awful--but my cat had puked a hairball the night before right next to that window! Maybe TMI, but LOL, if I let it dry it cleans up soooo much easier off my wool carpet! I would have *died* if that guy would have seen that hairball!!!!!! (faint!)

  • IdaClaire

    This reminds me of that stupid joke where the woman is naked in her house, and hears the doorbell ring. She calls through the door, "Who's there?" and the response is, "Blind guy." She opens the door, thinking that since he's blind he can't see her ... and he's actually quite able to see, standing there with his catalogs and samples of window blinds.

    (OK, it's dumb - but this thread still made me think of it! ;-D)

  • sarschlos_remodeler

    LOL, auntjen. True story: I had a friend in college whose rental house was a frequent target of Mormon and Jehovah's witness missionaries. Well, he solved that problem by answering the door naked one Sunday. Strangely, no one ever tried to sell him a religion after that. :)

    My vote: bra, teeth and clean up any dirty dishes in the kitchen. Stuff laying out doesn't bother me (or messy hair, for that matter) but bad breath and dirty kitchens are just plain ole gross.

  • mnbasketgirl

    Loved your line...."But I've learned to take the builder when I can get him." (Does your husband know about this?) I had to laugh at that one! :>)

  • luckygal

    LOL I could shower, wash my hair, get dressed, and be out the door to town in 10 minutes (I often put my makeup on in the car). Wouldn't take me anywhere nearly that long to merely wash my face, get dressed, clip my hair up, and tidy whatever part of the house this visitor would see. I'm sure I'd have time to also pour a coffee and watch the news. Wouldn't bother with makeup for this type of "visitor".

  • texashottie

    mnbasketgirl: (((((Blush!!!!!!)))))

    Totally not what I meant, LOL!!! Now you're going to make me feel funny when he shows up again!! LOL!

  • teacats


    Yep -- another here in her jams and cozies -- usually clean the house that way too before showering .....

    So -- it would be a dash to get dressed (and a bra! LOL!) and brush my teeth ----- and make sure that the litter box is tidy! LOL!

  • dgranara

    Definitely HOUSE for me. I read some silly study 5 or 10 years ago that basically proved that no one (other than you) notices when you look "bad" or "good." It has always kind of stuck with me...

  • oofasis

    Pamghatten, at 59 3/4, anything that had previously "filled" a bra appears to have shrunk. I so resent the need to be encased when there's nothing left to "encase" anymore! Now I only wear one about half the time, including work days -- only when it's obvious under my clothing.

  • letmag

    10 minutes would be divided. First 5 minutes to put on bra, brush teeth and pull hair back in a ponytail, second 5 minutes to tidy up the living room by picking up toys and moving around baby stuff out of the way in the living room.

  • texanjana

    Bra, teeth, house. I got so exhausted when I had workers here for 6 weeks, and they arrived at 7 a.m. I had to be out of the shower, and dressed by then! That is early for me.

  • demifloyd

    I just don't know what to say, or to think.

    I honestly thought I was one of a handful of women that liberated that bra once I got home. This gives me hope that I'm not alone in some other bad habits!

    The last few years I've neglected to leave enough time to make myself presentable in favor of smoothing phantom wrinkles in a bedspread and fanning the towels in the powder room "just so."

    My rule is--if no time for bra--then a sweater to cover, lipstick, quick comb through hair, THEN throw stuff in cabinets, pantry, quick clean the house, etc.

    I thought when we finally retired and built the "dream house," all of my china and towels would match, there would be no cluttered drawers, I would dress in beautiful, flowing outfits and have frozen concoctions and fabulous appetizers ready at a moment's notice for entertaining.

    Little did I know life would be more hectic, I'd have more dirt in the house, more dishes and laundry (although DH is on his own with his laundry since he retired) and I wouldn't even care if I didn't wear a bra or lipstick!

    Maybe in another life.

  • uxorial

    I guess I'm the only one who would do neither. I couldn't care less what an appliance repairman thinks of me or my housekeeping "skills." I suppose if I wasn't wearing a bra, I'd throw a sweatshirt on.

    There's no way I'd put on makeup for a repairman.

  • susanlynn2012

    I would get dressed in clothes if I was in my PJ's and put on shoes and brush my hair and then just make sure I was ready to answer the door. If I had more time, I would clean up my home a little bit but I doubt if I would have more time.

    This happened to me a few weeks ago when my air conditioner unit broke that is part of a heater and condensor unit (cost me $8100). I had a few quotes and no one else could come by for a week but I decided to call Rheem dealers on Sunday to leave messages to get quotes to compare with the Goodman quote and he Trane quote I got om the last two days. Amazingly one of the top salesman picked up and came over in 10 minutes! I was in my PJ's so depressed and sweaty. I had to decide to either get dressed and be ready to open the door or clean up my mess with all these air conditioner research papers and printouts all over my desk as I was up late trying to learn more about what I should buy to replace my 17 year old unit that leaked and caused water damage. I opted to get dressed and brush my hear and put on shoes. I did not put on make-up and I had no time to clean up.

  • parma42

    I hate bras and have my wardrobe arranged so the tops where I don't need them are all in one place.

    We do the dishes at night so I wouldn't have to worry about those, so I guess it would be brush teeth, comb hair, get dressed without bra and make sure there's a path available to where the workman has to go.

  • deco_clueless

    One question: why all this obsession with the bra? If you have clothes on, why would it matter if you have a bra or not?

    As for the original question, I'd spend 10 minutes on me. My house is a lost case anyhow :-))

  • IdaClaire

    Yeah ... if I'm staying at home, that bra's staying in the drawer! For sure! ;-D

  • emmhip

    deco clueless, some of us...ahem...with larger girls might need a bra before someone comes over. Otherwise, it's like, hello, meet my breasts!!! Anyways, this morning I left the house early before the the duct cleaning guy came over. My DH and kids were left to deal with him. Perfect solution. DH learns about our heating and cooling systems, and I don't have to worry about it. I did clean the house last night though. I guess if I had ten minutes, I would put on a bra (lol!), and probably pick up any toys that were around.

  • powermuffin

    mrjpandy - I don't think many others "got" it. Funny!

    My husband brought in the NEIGHBORS one morning. I had, luckily, just showered and dressed, which usually wouldn't have happened that early. They wanted to see how renovations were going and talk about a mess - it really was! Then later the same day, another neighbor stopped by to see the house. Acccccckkkk! Why can't they come when the house is clean??? I was in the middle of patching plaster walls and the ceiling and I was a bit embarrassed as I saw our house through her eyes. Next morning I cleaned everything up!!! And no one came by...

  • organic_smallhome

    Brush teeth, wash face, brush hair, put on clothes.

    As for the bra: Depends on who's coming over. *wink*

  • bestyears

    ohmygosh, I'm just laughing my a$$ off! Do you think any of these delivery/service guys have any idea that their customers are frantically rushing into bras as they lean on the doorbell?!??! My brother is a plumber -maybe I should ask him!!!

  • IdaClaire

    LOL, Uxorial! I like that!

  • IdaClaire

    LOL, Uxorial! I like that!

  • gracie-2006

    This is too funny! I have been in that situation way too many times! First I always think of "ME" b/c I am the one that has answer the door and show them where to go. I am pretty much a clean freak so my house is usually kept up. I hate it though when they walk in the kitchen if I have breakfast going or newspapers spread out while reading. I cringed one time when I had to quickly empty out everything (fire hazard I am sure), under my kitchen sink for a plumber. :-) LOL!!!!

  • redbazel

    Hottie........I'm intrigued by this thing with your builder? Can we have a little more info?


  • anele_gw

    My vote is neither . . .I'd have to make sure my kids were dressed! (My 3 yo is at that stage where you never know if she'll be dressed 10 minutes from now!)

  • gneegirl

    I had an electrician just show up EARLY one day when I was working from home - needless to say, I was in my bunny slippers! I had called - by mistake, one of those broker home repair companies. My phone started ringing off the hook not 5min later, then the doorbell. Turns out his office called him to stop by when the broadcast message was sent out. He was working 2 doors from my house. I didn't answer because I was answering the phone at the same time. Bad thing - I went with the electrician I had on the phone because I wasn't "presentable" to answer the door for the other company. Besides, I was PO'd big time that he would just show up. I wish I had opened the door because the electrician I went with was awful!!
    My neighbor is ALWAYS coming by unannounced, so I at least like to have the front part of the house presentable. I could care less what I look like, but I do brush (teeth) and bra before going to the door.

  • robinson622

    auntjen - I never heard that joke, but I have to share something similar.

    I am a teacher and a substitute who is also a friend mentioned she saw someone that knew me. She couldn't recall his name. After asking her what he looked like and anything else she could tell me about him, she frustratingly says, "You know...the blind guy!!!" I sat there for a minute, wondering who do I know that is blind. The only person I could think of was my roommate from college's father, but they live 2 hours away. So, I said to her, "I don't know anyone that's blind from around here." She says hysterically, "No, he's the blind guy, he was at my house measuring my windows." I knew exactly who she was talking about. We cracked up for quite some time.

    To answer the OP: I'd throw on a bra (I clean in the pjs too!) and baseball cap. I could care less what I look like for someone I don't know. I'd probably grab an empty laundry basket...if I can find one, and throw anything that is left out, (which is usually a lot in our 1500sf shoe box with no basement and 3 kids 4, 7, and 10) in there and toss it in the playroom.


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