I'm having a big party tonight and the only things I have left to do are all the things I hate doing, like mopping. All the decorating and prettying up of things, I did yesterday. All day. As if I were waiting for the Cribs film crew to arrive for the episode on my place. I arranged flowers and candles and organdy table runners; I finally figured out what to do with that cool beaded thing I bought at the after-Christmas sales two years ago. I dusted and polished and rearranged stuff (didn't have the energy to move any furniture, although I've been known to completely reconfigure a living room for a dinner party.)
I can't help it; I'm obsessive about entertaining. It starts small, in my head, when I tell myself: "These are all people who've been here before and who know your house. You don't need to impress them. Just run the vacuum over the carpets and put some fresh flowers out. Done." But then I get started, and it becomes a disease.
Inside my head, while simply cleaning the bathroom:
Wow. That door is really dirty. God, I wonder what magnitude of life-threatening germs are on that door handle? I should probably Clorox Wipe it. And maybe the whole door, really, it's pretty gross. Hey! This door is white. So why do I have a cream-colored towel in here? All the other accents are olive green. Why don't I have an olive green towel in here?
...while dusting the den:
OMG, these glass doors on the curio are practically frosted, they're so dusty. I should Windex them. Maybe I'll rearrange the stuff in the curio. It's been like this for years. That stuff on the shelf is all cluttered, too. I should rearrange all those little things too. God, it's dark on this side of the room. Why is there no light over here? I should move that lamp over here...but then I won't be able to see in that corner... why aren't there two lamps in here?
...while putting away the groceries:
Hmmm. Why is there never any room in this pantry? I can't find anything in here it's so clogged up. I wish I could afford one of those custom closets. These wire shelves suck. I should put in flat wood shelves, at least. How hard would that be? Hard. Maybe I could put, like, bins or something in here. Nice bins. Colored bins! Color coordinated bins! Then I could have everything in its right place.
And that's why I have a new green towel in the bathroom, two candles transported from the back patio to the shelf in the den, and a dozen pink and green plastic bins, lined up side by side, in my pantry. Will my guests care in the slightest (or even notice) that all of this has occurred?
No. I get that. I can tell myself over and over that I'm wasting precious time, spray painting the picture frame on the side table in the living room (because the color is so hideous I can't bear to look at it another minute, even though it's been sitting there minding its own business for five years.)
Is this just me? Are the other people out there who feel the need to completely rennovate their homes just because a few people are coming over for drinks? Seriously, I'm already stressed about the fact that my barstools are broken (dangerously loose hardware, but still useable if one is careful). But I can't find any new ones I like! Not by tonight! (Notice I don't care if my kid gets killed when one of them comes flying off its frame, I'm just worried about what my girlfriends will think about my busted up kitchen furniture.) What is wrong with me?
Anyway, gotta go. I have a light fixture for the hallway I have to install. It is sooo much nicer than the brass one that's been there for twelve and a half years. Can you believe I put up with it for that long?