So, you live alone. Maybe you chose this path, maybe the cruel fates took everything you love. Maybe, just maybe, you smell a tiny bit and nobody has ever, ever told you. Congratulations! You never need to make your bed. Ever.
You have no need to clear away yesterday’s dishes, or toss Tuesday’s newspaper, or wipe the mirror after you satisfyingly pop a pimple. You can leave your hair in the shower drain, hang your wet towel on the floor of your bedroom, and let the vacuum collect dust in the closet. You need not organize the coffee table books, push in your chair, or retrieve a raisin you dropped on the rug while you watched TBS for three hours Wednesday night. If you can't see the floor or a clear surface and you don't care, you are obeying Rule Number 1: Living Alone Rules!
Forget about polishing the silver (assuming here of course that you are a widowed home maker, who used to entertain frequently, and polishing the silver was a regular chore, but now that dear Harold has passed on you just don’t have the strength for entertaining).
The point is, you can make your palace a pigsty and nobody will complain. Some chose to live like type-A surgeons in negative pressure clean rooms, as if at any moment they will be called upon to build microchips, or contain deadly alien viruses that pose a threat to mankind. These people will die alone*.You like living alone, but you one day want to trick someone into living with you, so you need to find the happy medium.
The happy medium is the level of outright filth that can be successfully hidden in the time between a text message that reads “I’m in the neighborhood” and the time said person arrives at your door. But alas! You had an important deadline at work, the garbage disposal broke, you played a successful game of “see how long I can go without doing laundry”, and long story short your home disgusting. At least twenty times messier than your days at dear old alma mater. To make matters worse this particular texter is the poor sap you one day hope to live (have sex) with. What to do? You’ve tried for months to isolate them (with a bed nearby) and now you have the chance, but your bed is doubling as a reading room/snackateria.
First: Panic. Full-on, obtuse camera angle with blue tinge slow-mo pharmaceutical commercial panic. Use this energy to your advantage as you misapply the food snob’s code: think globally, act locally.
Second: Clean the bathroom. At least flush, pour bleach everywhere, throw all laundry, towels or garbage in the shower, and close the curtain. Re-open the curtain, and put all the dirty dishes you somehow let accumulate in the bathroom in the shower also, re-close the curtain. Light a candle, but not a scented candle, because you don’t want them to think your shit stinks.
Third: Make your bed. Clear a path from the door to the bed, and clean anything that is in sight from the bed. Never lose sight of pop-in objective numero uno/ Rule Number 2. Closets should be stuffed with whatever you can lift, then slammed shut with confidence. Internet browser history should be cleared, (you know why) then quickly visit a few news sites and check your e-mail (it’s not like you just cleared your history, which would be creep city).
Finally: When they text again to say “actually I’m in a big hurry, I’ll see you next week when I’m back from Chicago” slowly let out a sigh of relief. Put two bags of 100 calorie pack popcorn in the microwave, finish the bottle of wine you bought for company but then opened when you wanted to pre-game a match.com-organized meet and greet, and settle in for a cozy evening of “Raymond” on TBS in a clean home that’s yours and yours alone.
*Dying Alone is a Violation of Rule 3.