Thursday, November 1, 2007

Guess who's coming to dinner

Tonight we have some people from our parenting group coming over for dinner and baby playtime. So even though Arduous has absolved me from housecleaning, I felt the need to completely scour my home last night.

When I first told Husband that I had volunteered our house for tonight, AND that instead of ordering pizza for everyone I wanted to make up a big pot of soup (it's healthier!), he looked at me with eyebrows raised.

"We have a lot on our plates these days. Are you sure you want to cook for 10 people on a weeknight? We'll have to clean the house, too, remember?"

"Oh, but butternut squash soup is easy, there's only like 3 ingredients, and we'll buy bagged salad, and we'll just have to give the floors and bathroom a quick once-over. I promise it'll be fine," I assured him.

But there is no quick once-over when you have a dog, two cats, two adults, and a 6 month old occupying 900 square feet.

I decided to make the soup on Tuesday night so that "all we'd have to do Wednesday night is a quick clean-up" and hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters (of which there were none, and so the bag of peanut butter cups got sent to lab with Husband before the inevitable failure of my willpower in the face of chocolatey damnation). Of course, my 3-ingredient soup actually turned out to be a 10 ingredient soup, and took a couple of hours to make, but Husband knew to expect that... my cooking always morphs into something more elaborate than the original plan.

Last night we got little Bean down for the night, and then I started scrubbing the bathroom while Husband worked on bleaching the counters in the kitchen. Then I swept /swiffered/mopped, and 4 hours later we had a presentable house. A quick once-over, right?

It's lucky for me that Husband is a pretty clean guy, and he works hard to keep the house in order, too. So when the pet hair tumbleweeds have formed gangs and proceed to divide the living room for a full scale turf war, dog vs cats, I know I'm not alone in preventing an all out riot.

But it's funny that even though I had just cleaned the house last weekend, I still had to re-clean the house the night before company arrives just to make sure it was in its cleanest possible state. Despite the fact that I told myself ahead of time that "these people all have 6 month-olds too, they won't notice a bit of dog hair on the floor." Still, I felt like I had had HAD to clean up a second time.

Did we HAVE to bleach the countertops? No. Did I have to re-clean the shower? No. Most likely no one will be showering at my house tonight. But somehow having a dirty house when company is over makes me feel oddly vulnerable.

I'm such a closet-1950's housewife, living my double life as a highly educated liberated woman. Sigh.


arduous said...

Hah! That is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I can't tell you the number of times when "cleaning for company" has meant stuff like ... cleaning my dresser drawers. Who the hell is coming over and looking at my dresser drawers?

The bean-mom said...

I *wish* I had some of that 1950s housewife sensibility.

I do clean, but only under duress.

EcoGeoFemme said...

I am just the same. I wish I would want to make my place that clean just for me to enjoy. You should have seen it the day before my future in-laws came. Immaculate!