Hey Oprah! Do you ever clean out your refrigerator right after the garbage men make their last pick up for the week? No, of course not, and because of this I am going to tell you about it, so that you can live vicariously through me!
This past weekend we were having a small family gathering for Greg’s and his brother’s birthdays. They are a week shy of two years apart. I used to be pretty good at getting parties together, but since the boys came along, they aren’t as easy or as fun as they used to be.
This is how I prepared:
Friday: Begrudgingly decided that I needed to start cleaning, but not the superficial stuff, because my children would have that undone long before Saturday evening. So, I started to clean out the refrigerator. Let me paint a picture of the nastiness…containers of leftovers that are probably poisonous by now, drips of god knows what on various shelves—could be juices (blood) from a pork loin that was thawing, cucumbers that resembled soup, anyway, you get the idea. Filling a garbage bag with old condiments; consolidating five jars of buffalo wings sauce into one (yeah, we aren’t great about looking past the first five inches in the fridge;) moldy cheese, oranges that felt and looked like shrunken heads—my mother is reading this right now and is apoplectic over the waste!
I hate this job, but I needed to shop for the party, and I had to make space in the fridge. Not to mention how embarrassed I would be if any of my guests opened the refrigerator for a beverage and got a glimpse of the morgue inside. Meanwhile, the garbage truck is out front emptying the can so that I can fill it up immediately! My planning is impeccable, since the garage should also smell like I am storing a pinched gangster in my trunk after fermenting for a few hours in 90 degrees.
Then after that lovely task, I went to that place in my head where I think that everyone is coming over to judge my home, style and housekeeping skills. Then I start judging them to justify my angst. All the while cleaning areas of my home that haven’t seen a cloth or a vacuum cleaner in 6 months…maybe longer. Stuff like under the sofa cushions. Good God! I certainly didn’t get rich from it, but surely, I should have left the food in there, just in case we have a hurricane and can’t get to the grocery store. Alas, my ego wouldn’t allow it—you never know when your guests are going to start flipping cushions. Then blinds and draperies needed vacuuming and scrubbing. Let me tell you—they get really nasty when you aren’t paying attention for years at a time. Dusting the tops of the big pieces of furniture was very important since my in-laws are pretty tall. I even vacuumed the dust off my popcorn ceiling, since it was dirty from not cleaning the ceiling fan for far too long. (Yes, I still have popcorn ceilings…I’m not proud of it.)
After all this I was exhausted from so much cleaning and judging. Enough for Friday!
Saturday: Off to the grocery store first thing to spend a million dollars! On the way to car I remembered what I forgot and had to go back in. Then to the liquor store and home to cook and clean some more. At home, I put chicken in the crock pot for tacos and tossed the packaging in the nasty garbage can in the garage, adding to the smell out there. It got so rank, that the smell seeped in through the air handler. We considered hauling it over to the side of the neighbor’s garage since he doesn’t look like he cares, but we chickened out! Get it?
More cleaning of bathrooms, making beds, vacuuming and mopping, and realizing that I forgot shredded lettuce for the tacos. Crap! Back to the store, AGAIN! I’ll be lucky if I am showered before everyone gets here, let alone look presentable.
I did manage to be cleaned up and ready by 5p.m. We had a good time, and guess what? Nobody noticed my “flight of the bumblebee” cleaning performance, let alone anything else—they never do—and guess what? I will do the same nonsense again next time. Maybe I’ll clean out the fridge before the garbage truck comes, and save myself the assault on my senses.