is just around the bend. My side of the family is descending upon our humble abode. I am so not ready! But I am. Does that make any sense? I hate housecleaning. With. A. Passion. I haven't been able to negotiate for a cleaning service with Tim as a part of my "If Momma Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy" contract though. He's more of an indignant "Why pay someone good money for something I can do myself?" kind of guy. Unfortunately, when we have mass quantities of people coming to stay, he's more likely to be overtaken by the urgent need to rearrange the garage (because, um, you know, that's where we're all going to spend time eating pumpkin pie and watching football, right?) than being overtaken by the need to vacuum, dust, do breakfast dishes or change sheets. On these issues, after knowing each other since we were 14, we still have what I call 'intense fellowship', i.e. arguments.
The only solution to this problem is to do something I fought against for YEARS in our marriage. I still get a little eye twitch while doing it, but the headaches it saves me make it definitely worth the doing. Make him a list. I couldn't stand making lists of to-do's for him. I was not his mother. I did not understand why he couldn't take a look around the house and see the work that needed to be done. His mind doesn't operate the way mine does though. He can appear to be looking around the living room but in his head, he's thinking "I need to check Casii's front tires." Good thing to think because I have one that tends to lose air faster than the others, but he would never see the pile of books on the floor, the newspaper spread out over 3 sofa cushions, the cat hair that needs to be vacuumed off the rug or the 3 glasses on the coffee table left there from the night before.
When I finally humbled myself to make lists for him, he was ecstatic to check off tasks for me. He still gets sidetracked (how a man goes downstairs to get a bag of peas from the freezer for me, never to return. only to be seen outside 20 minutes later mowing the lawn is beyond me), but the list will bring him back on track. I get what I want in the bargain too rather than driving him crazy because I'm stressed beyond belief trying to do it all myself.
Moral of the story: While our first-born stubborn selves are equal, we are NOT the same. Our brains are wired differently. A self-help book would tell us to celebrate those differences. My advice to anyone who has similar issues, is to make a nice martini (margarita, glass of red wine, whatever floats your boat), make that list and take the edge off your personality differences.
What I do enjoy is the homekeeping part of entertaining. Creating an atmosphere, putting on music, baking pumpkin bread, filling little guests baskets. The details that will make someone smile, make someone comfortable and ease the way for frazzled family nerves.
I got a crazy idea this year that I was going to make little placecards. Sketched it up, made a demo model and proceeded to churn them out. They were a lot more work than I planned on, but I think they turned out nicely. Next time I'm hosting though, I may see the good sense in writing someones name on a tent folded piece of cardstock!
A couple of weeks ago, Dianna tagged me to list 7 random facts about me. I'm so tardy, sorry girlfriend! Be warned, you asked for it!
1. My name really is Casii. Not Cassandra or any other form derived from Cassandra. My mom thought this spelling was glamorous. I think she was still hopped up on Demerol when she filled out my birth certificate.
2. I have no pinky toenails. Freaky, ain't it?
3. I'm older than my spouse. By eleven days, but don't you know he milks it about landing himself an older woman.
4. My spouse and I like to play little pranks on each other. This is usually precipitated by one of us going out of town. Much of the time it involves underwear; hanging it from the ceiling fan, chandeliers, tucking it under pillows, suitcase or laptop bags. We've also had fun with the Dove true beauty ads. We'll rip those out and post them on mirrors, fold them up to fit into wallets, tuck them into lunch bags. When Sanjaya was on American Idol and defying all odds by hanging around, I was flipping out at the television. Tim had been out of town one week and picked up SEVERAL free copies of USA Today from the hotel lobby because there was a big article on Sanjaya. I was finding that young man's photo in obscure places for days. It was, at once, torturous and hilarious. Our latest prank? A thong traveled with him out of town, but he got me too. I'd been cleaning out the spice cabinet and what did I open the door to find? A giant 3 Musketeers ad I'd torn from a magazine.
5. As a teenager, I snuck a large pizza into the movie theater. Also, bags full of Taco Bell, sodas tucked into my waistband and probably lots of other crazy contraband. Today, they still haven't heard my pleas to have diet Dr. Pepper and the big theater doesn't have Junior Mints. What kind of movie place doesn't have Junior Mints?!? If you see a lady with a leftover Halloween box of Junior Mints going into the theater, keep it on the downlow, will you?
6. Addicted to diet Dr. Pepper. See above.
7. On a holiday note, the moment that the Halloween decorations are put away, I get out the Christmas cds. Right now, Harry Connick Jr. is serenading me. After that, it will be Nat King Cole and then Brian Setzer. It's happy, swinging stuff. Drives my kids crazy! hehehehe
Watch out friends, I'll be tagging some of you next!