I have about 24 hours to clean the house and prepare for a double birthday party for the girls. This is the family party. Only grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a friend I've known since I was 11 are invited. The real birthday parties, the ones for social acquaintances and people who don't know just how fucked up my family is, are separate events. I learned the hard way two years ago that my family and the outside world do not mix. My father, who is mentally ill but completely oblivious to this, sat in his convertible Miata the entire party chain smoking. This wouldn't have been a big deal if his car weren't parked smack in front of my house and if my mother hadn't lost her cool a few times and loudly exclaimed to anyone she could corner that she was SO EMBARRASSED and that he was JUST SO HARD TO LIVE WITH. Meanwhile, my conservative brother was baiting my peacenik father-in-law about Iraq and other fun party topics. I think my bartender turned truck driver turned salesman turned bartender brother may have arrived during the last ten minutes of the party because I remember my mother loudly exclaimed HE IS JUST LIKE HIS FATHER.
Anyway, after that little fiasco, I decided that a separate family party was the way to go. So now we have three parties. One for M, one for E, and one for the crazies. The downside of this is is having to prepare for three parties (though E's party will be at the Children's Museum next week so no housecleaning necessary). I wish I could say that my house just needed a little vacuuming and a little dusting to be ready for guests, but it needs deep cleaning. That is how slack I have been the past two weeks. In order to do emergency cleaning, I have to clear toys and papers and books and mail and other clutter. In order to decutter, I have to find somewhere to stash the clutter.
I've told J that he has to take the girls away this afternoon for at least two hours so I can clean (for some reason I am unable to clean when they are present). I'm going to power up my iPOD and get through this as quickly as possible. I'm also calling a friend to see if she wants to go out after the children are in bed tonight. I think a pre-family drink will do me some good.
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