I always look forward to the Fourth of July. It’s the day of the year that I throw caution to the wind…fat content be damned…and have a hot dog. And this year’s totally lived up to expectations. Processed meat-like products cooked outside on a grill. What makes them so good?

But beyond my annual indulgence in nitrates, there was another reason I was looking forward to the holiday. I was quite sure that the Fourth was one of the few days of the year, along with Thanksgiving and Christmas, that real estate agents and prospective buyers won’t be touring properties. And that meant that we could have a day in the house without being on alert that we might need to stash all evidence of our existence in a moment’s notice.

Don’t get me wrong, I welcome the calls for appointments to show the house. In the current abysmal housing market with headlines predicting a recovery sometime in the next millennium, having a steady stream of appointments gives me hope that there is someone out there who is willing to overlook the 17-year-old carpet and see the best features of the house: location, location, location. 

However, for the day of the Fourth, it felt really good to live like a slob again. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. The truth is that in the two months that our house has been on the market, I have retrained myself to put away the blow dryer, flat iron and all brushes, clips, wrinkle creams and volumizing hair products so the bathroom counter is completely cleaned off before leaving for work.

So I didn’t totally regress for the day but it was a holiday from scooping the cat poop, making sure every dish was in the dishwasher, wiping the flossing spots off of the mirrors, burying the dirty underwear in the laundry basket, and refolding all the bath towels into perfect thirds.

Tomorrow I’ll go back to trying to keep the lived-in look of our house to a minimum but for today, we’re on vacation.