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Friday, July 31, 2009

Fun and Games


Typical.

Just like with buses, you wait all year round for your family and friends to show, but then when they finally deign to favour you with a visit, they only have to all turf up at once, en-mass, don't they?

I knew well in advance of my big sister's up-coming visit, and have been virtually counting the days down - oh yeah, I'm looking forward to it no end. As it happens, the timing is perfect - my eldest is off to Spain on the day she arrives, conveniently freeing up sleeping quarters for her.

Less than one week after my sis' departs I also have Andy and his new wife coming over, but that's fine, we have almost a week to relax and recuperate before slotting the next round of entertaining in, haven't we? No worries.

But that's when the phone rang from my dearest mate, Little Ally - and guess what? Her partner is only going off on a fishing trip, isn't he? What a perfect opportunity for her to slope in for a quick visit, eh? And it is. I haven't seen her in yonks, and it'll be wonderful for us to catch up again.

It's just.. sigh.

Well, I'll have three continuous weeks of playing hostess, won't I? See, Hubby is not the most sociable of creatures, bless him. He likes a quiet life, and in all honesty, he's happiest when he has me all to himself. I know he's gonna' sulk. He doesn't mean to, he just does. It gets embarrassing (eyes skyward) there are only so many excuses I can make for him. He doesn't set out to be rude, but he usually succeeds. He's horrified if I tell him he's upset someone (again), he never quite gets it, and is genuinely, honestly, hurt and puzzled as to what he has done wrong this time. I can see where Sam gets it from - wink.

Ah, well.

Still, there is an up-side - the only time this house sees any "Spring-clean" is if it's under threat of imminent invasion. I have but one small week left to turn this midden heap before me into the gleaming palace I like to kid my guests we live year round in.

Oh, it's not as though they'll be donning any white gloves to check out the dust levels, nor any such thing. These folk are laid back, they are my friends, it's me they are coming over to see, definitely not the state of my house. I know this, of course I do, I do.

Doesn't make a scrap of difference.

My family hates it before anyone comes to stay, they walk around on egg-shells. I transform into a stalker, scowling and muttering, I lurk about spitting through gritted teeth, "Don't you dare to make a mess!" Or screaming, "I just cleaned that!"

The kids develop nervous tic's. I don't know why I get so anal, but I do. I'm back to my slovenly self the moment the first house guest crosses the threshold, it doesn't bother me in the least if the place is then subsequently trashed - just so long as it is absolutely spotless on the day they arrive.

I guess I really am my mother's daughter, she was more than a little compulsive herself - but er, wasn't she also completely nuts? Oooh Lordy, it's a bit worrisome really, isn't it? I could get the family to help, but they never do it right, well, not right enough for me - it's quicker and less stressful to simply do it myself.

Ah, it's only the build up that's bad, we always have a wonderful time in the end. I have a fantastic few weeks in store, I simply need to slip on my old rags and to charge up the i-pod. There's a little scrubbing, cleaning, fumigating, polishing, washing, airing, sterilising and bagging up to do around this place..

(Sheepish smile.)

34 comments:

Leslie: said...

Goodness! You have described me to a T...but you would NOT want to see the mess I'm in right now. Well, actually if you pop over you'll see all the boxes shoved in the living room (lounge) from my latest invasion. (well, I did approve it...lol) Now to try to rearrange and integrate two lives into one home. Have fun with your friends and family! :D

Daryl said...

Oh that's my husband as well tho to be honest (vs a cute but not a factual or fair comment) he has become like a good wine or cheese he's mellowed with age ... as for the cleaning ... gah .. we just painted and the place hasnt been cleaned except for the places I photographed for the post about it .. so keep that between us.

Enjoy the company .. you know you will

Fletch said...

Oh, Happy Days (are here again?)!

We have a treasure called Fernanda who 'does' for us twice a week. She has nearly been kidnapped by our visitors THREE (more) times - twice by the Oz bunch, and almost every year by my daughter and her hubby when they visit.

We shall remove the shackles from her ankles soon, now that the 'silly season' is drawing to a close ...

Scott from Oregon said...

You need to go shopping and let the "rest" of the clan take a crack at cleaning...
When they finish, you can start.

chewy said...

Well... they ain't coming by bus that's for sure. Get to it Cinderella. (wink)

um... Why not banish hubby to the shed. (nudge)

Cuckoo said...

Oh, it sounds so much like my home. :D

Cleaning,scrubbing, yelling and when the guests come, walking like a robot with fake smile (i mean other members of family who are certainly not very hapy to see some people taking up their space and freedom.

BTW, I liked Chewy's idea !
Yayy !!

SJ said...

Your husband might not mind being in the shed till the guests leave. In his place I wouldn't either.

Kit Courteney said...

I've got one like that. He drives me nuts. I'm marrying a Mars Bar next, I've decided.

Shrinky said...

Oh Leslie, does this mean what I think it does? How wonderful - exciting times, eh?

I will Daryl, thanks. Ah, decorating, yeah. In retrospect, this week was perhaps not the best of times to start redecorating the eldest daughter's bedroom. I think I am just a glutton for punishment. Shrug.

Oh Fletch, when the kids were young we had our own treasure in the guise of 'Chelle, she stayed with us, full time, for seven years! My eldest was pageboy at her wedding, and I am Godmother to her firstborn. When we moved from London, with the kids older, and me not working, I simply couldn't justify the luxury of getting someone else in to clear up after me and mine. (Darn it.)

Scott, you obviously don't know my brood, do you? I wouldn't find anything, and the place would be as bad as before I left it. (I think they have a conspirancy going).

Aw, c'mon Chewy, you know sulking is no fun without an audience! And no, the thing about living on an island is your guests can never take the bus home again at the end of the day - grin.

Oh Cuckoo, you obviously have been there, eh? Grin.

Haha, you know sj, you may have a valid point there!

Hey Kit, now you're talking! Teehee.

jay said...

I used to be the same - actually, I used to be a cross between you and your husband. I did the 'this place must be pristine before anyone sets eyes on it' thing, plus the unsociable 'I've had enough of you lot please go home' bit. But I'm a bit better now.

That's the Depp Effect, see? His motto being ... um, well, you know what his motto is, and I don't to use the f word in people's comment sections. LOL!

I like the house to be clean before people come, but I'm no longer obsessive. It's more important that they come. And therefore I enjoy them more when they come!

I've also adopted the American model of hostessing as exemplified by my Tennessee friend TJ. 'There's your room, there's the bathroom, there's the fridge, there's the kettle - I might cook for you, I might not. If I don't, help yourselves or go hungry!' ROFL!

mrsnesbitt said...

Your hubby sounds the same as mine! Always wants "A quiet night in with you dear!" Gawwwwwwwwwwww we are such good company honeybunch!

simon said...

yes- we are the same. I am anti social though preffering immediate family ( and in another room!)

Mushy said...

Sounds like every woman I've ever known, but especially my mom!

PRH....... said...

Cleaning, Painting, and guest taking care of...and life moves on....sounds familar.

Shrinky said...

Hi Denise, yeah, my friends jokingly refer to me as being "under lock-down" on the weeks when hubby is home - actually, come to think of it, I don't think they are joking at all!

Oh Simon, we all have certain family members we feel that way about.. grin.

That's what worries me Mushy, I CANNOT be turning into my mum - eeek, perish the thought!

Yeah Pat, and so the cycle repeats, eh? Sigh.

Akelamalu said...

I'm just the same - the place has to be spotless when guests arrive then it doesn't matter a jot!

Get cracking gal! :)

Shrinky said...

Today is the day, Akelamalu (snapping the rubber gloves on, as I type).

david mcmahon said...

I can hear you snapping on those rubber gloves ....

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

We are enjoying the calm AFTER the storm and of course the clean up is waiting to be done! I wouldn't miss the storm of it though and you wouldn't either Shrink! Enjoy your guest! :)

~Babs said...

Oh Lordy, this is all so familiar!
Clearing the path,I call it. My sister always says,,,"Do NOT wax the driveway",,,,it's an exaggeration of course, but not by much. Sigh.
And cooking,,,,betting you cook up some favorites to have on hand and ready also!

Sandy Kessler said...

It's so true . I can do marvels of zippy clean if someone is coming sandy

jinksy said...

I have a sneaking suspicion half the world is the the same - you are not alone! I used to say I was going to 'do a white tornado', when visitors were in the offing. Nowadays, though, it's more like a faded whirlwind! Love me, love my mess...

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

we ARE all the same..if l know someones coming round, I get all houseproud and get on my own nerves....lol great post....wish l could tell you to chill relax, but you wont.

Brian Miller said...

i am one of those hubbys too after a couple weeks of "guests". T's pretty good at thinking things upfor me to get out and do though togive me a break. have fun with your friends and family!

Suldog said...

Ah, you and I are soulmates, in a way. I'm the one who doesn't mind having folks over, but MY WIFE prefers not to have to spiff things up for company.

Congrats on the POTD mention over at David's, by the way. Well done!

Shrinky said...

Ah, David - that smell of rubber, eh? (Wink)

Oh, I will Carol, especially as I am over half-way through the clean-up now..

bab's, "wax the driveway" indeed! Giggle, it so sums it up though, doesn't it? Grin.

Sandy, if you and Mr. Zippy Clean want to pop over, I don't mind in the least, honestly!

Thing is Jinsky - it's NOT my mess, well, not most of it. When the kids fly the coop, this place will be sparkly clean and shiney, just you wait and see.

FFF, nope, no amount of telling me to chill will make me, not until this place is gleaming (sigh).

It's funny Brian, that's the way it works around here, too - I tend to take on off out with our friends on the pretext hubby has "work" to do - it works well. Smile.

Thanks Jim, yeah, I sure was a heck of a lot more sociable in my single days. Sigh.

Anna said...

...and this is me too: '... likes a quiet life, and in all honesty, he's happiest when he has me all to himself.' - oh I like life like that too, entertaining is nice but I get exhausted easily. This is very interesting read, nice sense of humor. Anna :)

Alex L said...

Just lock them all in the shed till the guest arrive. Or till after they leave, depends on your preference I guess.

Shrinky said...

Hi anna, thanks for that. I find I get more tired at the thought of folk arriving, rather than when they are actually here.

Hey Alex, you may have something going there.. hmmmn. Smile.

San said...

Shrinky, we have some serious family events coming up, visitors from out of state, the works. Also a reception for two artists at the gallery. When I learned some friends from San Francisco were coming to Santa Fe on the heels of these other folks, I had to invite them to stay with us. And you know what? I was so relieved to learn they wanted a romantic time on their own, for the most part!

Like you, I get worried about how the house looks, how clean it all is, what we'll serve. It exhausts me. I'm not usually like that. Until company's on the way. Guess I'm a recluse at heart.

Shrinky said...

Oh San, looks to be a busy (but happy) time ahead for you. I find, no matter how wonderful the company, or however much I may enjoy my time spent with them, there is always this part of me that exhales when I finally wave them off goodbye at the airport. Smile.

david mcmahon said...

Looking forward to the update, Shrinky!

Nancy said...

I've been doing the same thing. Everyone has to come the same week? What is that???

Grandson has been here for a few days and the house is a shambles. I kind of forgot how that happens with kids..

chewy said...

hey shrinky.