One of The Husband’s best friends stopped by yesterday. No phone call, no email, just the random drop-by. I am not a random drop-by kind of girl.
If I know you are coming over, I want the house to be so clean that you are tricked into thinking our kitchen always smells like Clorox and we never have stray hairbrush hair or drips of toothpaste languishing in the bathroom sink. Oh, no, our house is magazine-cover perfect 100% of the time.
If I know you are coming over, I spend a solid hour (okay, three) racing around, putting things away, vacuuming, dusting, organizing, sweeping, rearranging, and Windexing. I know it is just a social visit, but with my alter-ego having a name like Queen Virgo, the house is ready for a Realtor caravan or open house.
I want to take pictures. I want to take lots of pictures of my house looking pretty (Say cheese!) so I can plaster them all over the front entrance and say, No need to come in, here is photographic proof that the house looks good. Okay, bye now! Next time I won't have to clean, I can just point out the photos instead.
I realize this is not good hostessing.
The Husband (thankfully) does not share my quirky freak-out qualities. He most likely would not even describe them as “qualities.” He would say “traits” or better yet “idiosyncrasies.” He might have even known in advance that Graham was planning to stop by and chosen not to tell me, but he denies it.
Graham gave me a hug and I invited him in. (Is this a good time to tell you I had no make-up on, my hair was still wet from the shower, and I was wearing sweats? I was not expecting guests. I looked sloppy.)
I wonder what the conversation between The Husband and Graham will go like later.
The Husband: Hey, it was great to see you the other day! So glad you stopped by!
Graham: Likewise. But, dude, what’s the deal with MOV? She looked, uh … tired.
The Husband (defensive): What do you mean?
Graham: Does she always look like that? I mean she looked 43. (says the number “43” like one might say “110”)
The Husband: She is 43.
Graham: Oh. Well, good. She looks it.
The Husband: Dude, do you think you could stop talking about my wife?
Graham: Sure! Sorry! How ‘bout those Steelers? And, uh, you might want to know there were an inordinate amount of dust bunnies in your hallway. Just sayin’.
I mention this imaginary conversation to The Husband later. He laughs. Then he puts his arm around me and says, “MOV, Sweetie, you are the only one who cares about these things. Seriously. Let. It. Go.”
And I do, I let it go. For about 10 minutes, I let it go. It doesn’t matter that there are dirty dishes in the sink, I tell myself. Or a pile of Tall’s dirty clothes in the hall, waiting to go to the basement laundry room. It’s not realistic that the house will look like a Museum of Clean every day.
It looks like a Museum of Chaos and Love. For right now, that’s good enough.
(“Mystery Of Visitors”)