Friday, October 2, 2009

Brian's Mom can Rest Easy

I need a nap. I have been such a good little housewife this morning, and now I'm exhausted. I tidied up the house for Brian, who is coming over this afternoon for a second playdate in as many days. If I know you, and you've been to my house a few times, you know that my house is usually not tidy. There is usually paper stuff on the coffee table, wood chip crumbs on the floor from the dog, dirty dishes waiting to be done, clean dishes waiting to be put away. The toothpaste and one or more of our toothbrushes is out, there are jackets that need to be hung up, a laundry basket of clean folded laundry in the hallway to be put away etc. etc. This is a normal day. Sometimes its worse. But when someone is coming over who's never been here, I make a special effort. I figure, if we're still making first impressions, I want them to think that I am a good mom with a clean house. If we make it past the first visit, they'll find out I'm a slob soon enough.

Brian's mom (whose house I saw yesterday, and it is spotless) may not even come in to pick him up. She may honk the horn. But I know that I like to take a peak inside people's houses, so unless she's in a big hurry, she'll probably step inside. But I really did it for Brian.

Now, you're thinking, "A little boy is not going to notice all the crap around the house, he's just going to look at the toys." Not so. When I was a little kid, and I would go to someone's house for the first time, I would always have a little anxiety about whether or not their house was clean. Most houses were picked up, and I didn't do white-glove checks or anything, but I smelled for smells, and I looked around and took in colors and furnishings and siblings and pets and bathrooms, and the over all mise en scéne. It was some kind of safety gauge; If the house was in disarray, and there was a cat on the table and rock music coming from some downstairs room and a lack of rugs and window coverings, it seemed to be a sign that everything was not okay in the house. There was one house I went to that was so disgusting I never went back, and to this day, I don't like the name Cheryl because that was the name of the girl who lived in the gross house (if you're name is Cheryl, don't take this personally, I'm clearly irrational.)

Now, of course, I realize that its kind of bullshit. My cat is sometimes on the table, and I often have crap everywhere, but we're okay, we're safe (except for last night when I was sure that our attic was on fire and I called 911, but that's another story) and I confidently serve milk and snacks to children in clean cups and clean plates. But just in case Brian's mother does come in, or she asks Brian was Leila's house clean? which I often ask Leila when she's been on a playdate in a house I haven't been to, I know that he will say it was clean, and she will know that we're okay. I think I need a therapist.

The other housewifery thing I did today was bake two dozen cupcakes for the bake sale and the school's annual Hoe Down tomorrow. I just tried one, and it tasted weird, so I double checked the recipe and, sure enough, it calls for baking soda AND baking powder, and I left out the baking soda. See what happens when you don't make a boxed cake? So now the question is: do I just frost the suckers and drop them off tomorrow and forget about them, or do I make Rob go to the grocery store tomorrow for some boxed cake and a batch of cupcake liners? What will it say about me and my family if my cupcakes are flat and pale and a little eggy?

I will contemplate these and other Questions of Our Time while I take a little snooze on couch... Have a great weekend!


Lara Starr said...

As my Aunt Ruthy says, "Frosting hides a multitude of sins" - I say send 'em to school.

joanna nelson said...

How is it that we spoke for 47+ minutes this morning and you did not tell me about your presumed attic fire?