Companies Coming… dust bunnies BEWARE

October 1, 2008 | By More

When I announce to my family that we are having an event at our house, they immediately begin to groan and protest. Remember, I do have a house full of males so the idea of any party that involves proper dress and manners is a real bummer to them.

One of the first questions they ask is, “Do I have to be here?” The next question they ask in the midst of their moaning and groaning is, “Do I have to help you get ready?”

You see, their aversion to parties may also have something do with the fact that through the years they have learned if mom is having a gathering it means one of two things for them — they can either help me clean or help me complete some major remodel or decorating project.

When I say ‘help me clean,’ I mean really clean. I will admit, I have had them clean places that no one in their right mind would ever look while visiting someone else’s house. Seriously, I have never felt the need to look under a child’s bed while at someone’s house or behind their washer and dryer. So, why is it I think the people visiting my house are going to look in those places?

I know it makes no sense; my children have told me so a million times. Somehow, in the euphoria or panic of having people in my home, I lose what little touch with reality I usually have.

The other thing they get to do is help me accomplish a major remodel or decorating task. That sounds somewhat normal doesn’t it?

Nevertheless, all the moaning, complaining and suddenly remembering plans that will make them unavailable to lift a finger is because I want this task accomplished in a matter of days. It is as if we are on a TV design show and we must work through the night to meet the deadline.

The list of things I have made this poor family do, just so I could have an event, is endless. It does not help that my disposition takes on the characteristics of a lion seeking to devour the weakest member of the pack. Because of this, “take-no-prisoners” attitude, my husband once pulled a “Dictator Don” moment and declared we could no longer have ANY events at our house.

Fortunately, for everyone involved, I had a moment of my own not that long ago. It was as if I ran into a brick wall built by my own pride. (If you have been reading this column for long, you know I am just full of it. Now some may want to debate what the “it” is but I promise you, pride is in the mix.)

Just like so many times before, I was having a bridal shower at my house. I had been frantically working to get my dining room painted and to touch up baseboards and wall scuffs. We all know that baseboards and wall scuffs are what everyone is looking at when we go to a party – NOT!

My family, after many years of practice, had perfected the art of disappearing during such projects. I was working all alone on the evening before the shower. I looked like a wreck. I had a headband on with my hair going in every direction. I had on Capri pants and a cut off t-shirt that did not match each other, much less the paint I had managed to get all over myself.

In the midst of the fiasco I had created, gifts were being delivered from two local businesses. When the young woman arrived, I was in a frenzy trying to finish the painting and restore order to my destroyed house. I mean it was bad.

There was no clean place to put the gifts. I still had not dusted or vacuumed anything. I had to make a path through the furniture and nick-knacks that had been moved out of the dining room so I could paint.

I quickly wiped down my coffee table so we would have a place to put the gifts. All the while, I kept thinking to myself, “What does she think of my house? She must think I am a terrible housekeeper… She is going to go back and tell all the people at the store what a disaster my house was.”

As she left, I was having this conversation in my mind about how I wished it had been perfect so she could say what an amazing and beautiful house I had.

Then it happened. No, I did not hear a voice, but I swear it was as if God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Wouldn’t it be better if she went back and said what a kind and gracious person you were?”

It stopped me in my tracks. I was so wrapped up in wanting people to judge my value by my stuff and my house that I missed an opportunity to value someone else. I decided then I do not want my house to be a place people come just to look at the decoration; I want people in my home because it is a safe and welcoming place for them.

I am doing better. There is a lot less stress when mom decides to have an event but I still get the question, “Do I have to help you get ready?”

The answer is still, “Yes”.

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Category: Every Day Life

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