There was a shuffling of meetings earlier in the week and technically I still had some vacation time left so I did the minimal amount of work things I needed to do yesterday from home and then spent the rest of the day cleaning my house.
Really cleaning my house.
Since my home renovation there's been a constant layer of dust on everything and boxes of knickknacks and furniture stacked in corners so even when I do have time to clean, it's only been the bare minimum. And by that I mean just enough so that I don't go insane and so that my closest of friends and relatives can come over without me being completely humiliated.
But yesterday I vacuumed under AND behind furniture. I emptied ALL of the trash cans and recycling bins. I dusted everywhere - not just as high as I can see.
A couple of friends were coming over for dinner and were to arrive at 6:30.
At 6:20 my whole house was clean. Pictures hung, baseboards dusted, furniture de-furred and Febreezed. Lasagna in the oven. Dogs brushed and paws cleaned. Tree lights on. Ella Fitzgerald Christmas CD playing. I had even gone through all of my flatware and pulled out enough forks, knives and spoons for everyone that matched (matched, I tell you!) AND didn't have spots on them from the dishwasher.
At 6:25 I stopped to admire how, for the first time in a long time, my house seemed like a home instead of a shanty inhabited by a hobo.
At 6:26 I decided I would go ahead and make a little cocktail to enjoy while I waited on my guests and bask in this glorious moment of being a capable, competent grown-up.
At 6:27 there was a loud crash as three, five-foot-wide shelves in the mud room collapsed in an avalanche of paint cans and tools and dog treats and light bulbs and extension cords and citronella candles and garden clogs and rain boots and beach towels, gouging several holes in the wall and ripping off part of the molding around the door with them as they fell.
At 6:28 several words were uttered that were not in the holiday spirit.
At 6:29 I made sure that neither dog was trapped under the avalanche and was thankful they weren't in the mud room when it happened.
At 6:30 The dogs I was one minute ago thankful weren't harmed, were threatened as one of them dove head first into the pile of crap to dig out a bag of Greenies and the other started to drag a power drill out through the dog door.
At 6:31 my guests arrived. A dear and wonderful gay couple, who came through the door full of Christmas cheer and with festive food and gifts. They saw my predicament and declared: "If we were more butch we'd help you put all of that back up. Let's make martinis instead!"
At 6:51 my glass was refilled for the second of what would be several times that evening and I no longer cared how clean my house was, the disaster in the mud room, that one of the dogs helped herself to some of the appetizers or that the other tried to stick his nose in someones drink, or hell, even if my flatware matched.
That lasagna was damn good though.