We had company last night. The in-laws came by to see us (really just to see Logan) and at the same time they wanted to clear their basement of my wife's junk, which means we get to have the junk now. And it's really junk (old dorm stuff, Sega Master's System games), but anyway, I'm off topic.
There's the intended purpose of company, to be social, to see people you maybe haven't seen in a while, etc. Which is all very nice and pleasent. Then there's the other purpose of company, to make sure your house is clean. Two days before the inlaws were to come over, we were cleaning and putting things away and making the house look nicer. The countertop hasn't been as clean as it is now for a while. Of course there were spots on it by the time the in-laws left, but oh well.
On Wednesday we're going down to St. Louis for one of Brandi's skating competitions and we'll be staying with my aunt. I called her the other day to just go over our plans and make sure everything was still okay for us to come down (it is) and what was she doing when I called? Cleaning! That's right, she was cleaning to get her house ready for us.
I'm sure the phenomenon is partly courtesy. Who wants to come and spend time in a dirty house? But then there's also the part that's the social norm, power of shame stuff. No one wants others to see is their house isn't clean. It's just a part of civilized life, but sometimes, it's a pain in the butt.