Thursday, May 19, 2005

If You Look Closely, You'll See That I've Cleaned The Grout With A Q-Tip

The scarcity of my posts lately is mainly due to the specter of the large event looming on the horizon, one that has me paralyzed with fear and unable to write because of the overloading of my cerebral cortex by thoughts of said event.

I am talking about, of course, the family get-together I'm hosting on Sunday.

This meeting of several familial tribes (23 people - and that's with only part of the usual gang showing up) is to celebrate the birthdays of Rigel, my sister Eileen and Kira. What? You thought we'd already celebrated Kira's 9th birthday last month, you say? How many times can a child's entrance into her ninth year of life be celebrated? The answer is FOUR, people, and as I answer that I ensure my entry into the club known as Parents Who Celebrate Too Much And Their Children Who Expect It.

Let's see, there was the day of her actual birthday, when I descended upon Kira's classroom with cupcakes and juice to celebrate with her classmates, then there was the night of her birthday when we were joined by Grandma for a birthday dinner, cake and presents, two weeks later followed the Slumber Partypalooza which nearly resulted in the hospitalization of aforementioned parents, and now The Birthday That Would Not End is capped off with the 'Family Party' as it is know around these parts. The girls have always had both a 'Friends Party,' and a 'Family Party,' the former being recognizable by the presence of the girls' classmates, playmates and their parents and usually a mammoth inflatable bouncer, puppet show or other overpriced entertaining diversion device. Me, I like the 'Family Party' the best because it contains the element of potluck and the doting on our girls by older cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents thereby enabling Rigel and I to actually have an uninterrupted thought or to go at least five minutes without having to fetch a juice box or tie a shoe.

Uh, let's see, where was I?

Oh yes Sunday.

I've spent the past week on a caffeine-fueled cleaning binge, trying to get the house presentable for the viewing by other humans. It's been a Herculean effort, as I've spent the past few months sitting on my ass writing on my blog, contemplating the many ways I can avoid cleaning my house and as a result the place looks like a freshman dorm. So I've stayed up late the past few nights cleaning off counters and scrubbing walls in an effort to give our anticipated guests the impression that our house always looks this way, NO REALLY, and all we've done is a little straightening up.

Pre-party hysteria (a phrase coined by Rigel, and not in a pleasant way) is usually accompanied by the proliferation of small home-improvement projects, also done with the intended deception of the well-groomed home. I've made so many trips to Ikea in the past couple of weeks they have a sign that says, "Welcome Marsha" above the door and there's serious talk of designating one of the checkout lanes just for me, to accommodate all my 'Norden,' 'Björkudeen' and 'Trolfast' purchases. Rigel has become accustomed to coming home to our living room littered with cardboard boxes, and me furiously trying to assemble my 'Gorm' storage system before dinner. I get startled when my dark-haired children walk by - I could have sworn I was living in Sweden, near a fjord with my strapping husband Sven and my two lovely children Dagmar and Gerda.

I swear it will be different the next time I host a party here. I promise not to play into the falsehood of the perfectly kept home, and will instead defy society and it's pressures and proudly display my imperfect domicile for all the world to see. "Haven't you ever seen a three-day-old bowl of Cocoa Puffs before?" I'll scold my nit-picking guests. Or, to the others who would look down upon my slovenly ways I'll forthrightly confess "If you smell something funny, please check underneath your seat cushion. It could be that piece of sausage we've been looking for." Yes, it will be different next time, but old habits die hard. Now, I need to run. The garage needs a second coat of paint.

Archive File: This Life | Family

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1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to know If you still tape the tops of your rubbber cleaning gloves (to prevent "icky" water from getting in) to your arms when you clean the toilets?

    And as memory serves, I remember celebrating your 21st birthday for a solid week, culminating in a weekend bash in San Diego. Are you really surprised that you have adopted this birthday ritual for your offspring? Oh, Rigel, I could have told you so many things before you married her.


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