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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

whitewashing the walls

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Yesterday morning, a gaggle of friends brought their kids to my house to decorate Christmas cookies. I love hosting play groups like this, where the moms can get together to drink coffee and laugh, and the kids have a little activity and then time to play. We had a blast. My friend, Catherine, names have been changed co-hosted with me and brought over tons of cookie cutters and Alton Brown's Sugar Cookie dough.  Several other ladies bundled up in this frigid weather and joined us for the fun.

photo by dano, via a creative commons license
This is the thing, though.  While I love to have people over for a good laugh, I don't enjoy having to clean up my house before they arrive.  I had an even harder time of it this go-round because my son's Cub Scout den (for which I am the leader) had a meeting the night before.  And, I had had errands to run and other stuff to do for much of the day.  And, after I got home, I spent some quality time with the mister instead of cleaning up all of our crap.  So, come sun-up Tuesday morning, my house was not in tip-top shape.  By far.

I jumped out of bed and promptly started cleaning blogged.  It was a short post, but one that required a little research.  When I finished, it was 8:30 ish.  I jumped in the shower, because you can't be a stinky hostess with a messy house.  That's just not cool.  Catherine was due at my door at 10 AM.

Upon finishing my shower, I finally began to pick up the mess.  Clean the table, counters, bathroom... check.  Pick up toys... check.  Remove random junk that has been strewn from one corner of the house to the other... semi-check.  All that stuff got piled on my bed to be dealt with later.  Vacuum..... vacuum.... vacuum... why isn't my vacuum working?  Crap and double crap!    Fling the vacuum aside... check.

Dishes.  Oh, the dishes.  Needless to say, I hadn't worried over the dishes the night before because I was too, um... busy.  The sink was piled high.  The time is ticking down.  The dishwasher was already full of clean dishes that would have to be unloaded.  What to do?

courtesy of miss pupik, via a creative commons license
What to do?  Suddenly, the name of a favorite blog came to mind, Just Hide the Dishes in the Dryer.  Grabbing up my large turkey roaster, I starting piling dirty dishes inside.  One, two, three pots and pans.  Numerous plates, coffee mugs (Yes, Liz, that's why you had to use hubby's John Wayne mug.  My nicer ones were hidden), silverware, serving spoons, all the random junk we use in our day to day lives.  Out of my sink, into the roaster.  Four, five, six... where do I put this shit?  Lifting the roaster (wow, this is heavy), I dashed down the hall and into my bedroom.  The dishes were plopped on the floor by my bed, roaster and all.  I would deal with them later.  Back out to the kitchen I go to semi-shine my sink.  They'll never know!

That is, until I write a post about it.  But, I do have a point.  Yesterday, my home looked presentable.  Obviously lived-in, but (fairly) clean.  My vacuum did break, remember?  Hopefully, my home exuded comfort and welcome and a sense of this-is-me-not-trying-too-hard.  Out of respect for my friends, I cleaned up my home so they would feel comfortable.  So they wouldn't have to look at all of my grime.  I think that's perfectly acceptable, even hospitable to do.

But, what about ourselves?  Do we clean up our personalities when we're with our friends?  Or, do we let it all hang out?  Do we really show them our true selves?  Are there corners that we try to hide away from prying eyes?  If so, why?  Why must we fake a perfect persona for the world to see?  Why must we always be the peppy, perfect cheerleader?  Why must we always be dressed to the nines?  Can't we wear our sweats once in awhile?

Let down your hair, ladies.  Allow your friends to really get to know you.  Seek out a few close relationships, if you haven't already.  Sometimes, it's okay to have proverbial dishes in the sink.


  1. Are you sure we aren't related? I am the same way about the house. If people come over, I flip out if it's not presentable. I won't even let family come in unless it's "family clean", which is not as clean as "friends and strangers clean".

    We had a party for friends on Saturday and I sent The Boy off with a set of grandparents and we spent 7 hours cleaning our home. I took things of shelves and scrubed, I made GG clean our half bath (which houses our cat box), and I started obsessing over everything.

    I'm hoping to keep it semi clean over the holidays, but with going out of town, I don't have much faith. GG can be a slob. His mother was so glad he married such a neat freak!

  2. Fun blog, I'm glad I stumbled on it!


  3. Well aren't you just the sweetest for stopping by! I promise you, those enchiladas are so stinkin' easy and will be a total hit with your family and friends!! :)

    Wishing you such a lovely week!


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