A real-life anecdote recorded in the spring of 2013
Anyone who invites guests for dinner knows how stressful things get before the melodious chime of the doorbell at 6:00. Today, however, I wasn’t expecting a lot of stress. Mom had requested I clean the vanity, mirror, and toilet in the kid’s bathroom; but beyond that, I had no tasks or plans beyond a shower. I might even have some long stretches of writing and drawing time.
So let the fun begin!
10:00 a.m.: My sister (to be known here as Gingersnap) began assembling the doubled recipe of crock pot beef stew.
10:10 a.m.: Finished breakfast. (The shameful rising hour was due to my reading The Silmarillion late into the night—“the Precious made us do it!!”)
10:15 a.m.: Managed a complex interweaving of personal chores, assembling outfits for later, renewing a library book, and—possibly most essential–checking my favorite blogs. Answering various cooking, scheduling, and computer maintenance questions.
10:30 a.m.: Headed to the kids’ bathroom with bucketful of rags and cleaning supplies.
10:37 a.m.: Paused cleaning to look at the stalled printer, and told Emmet he’d have to wait to print his comics.
10:42 a.m.: Decided to scrub rust and water stains off the brass light bulb panel.
10:48 a.m.: Gave up and hoped the guests wouldn’t notice the panel.
10:50 a.m.: En route to laundry room to dispose of dirty rags, I received a panic call from Gingersnap. The stew needed to be in the crock pot by 11:00 a.m., and she still had vegetables to chop. Told her I’d be there to help in a minute.
10:52 a.m.: Hurtled back to the bathroom and feverishly swiped toilet bowl.
10:55 a.m.: Dashed to the kitchen. Received news of a temper tantrum.
10:56 a.m.: Dealt with temper tantrum.
11:00 a.m.: Shuttled knife, cutting board, and onions to dining room and minced with all haste.
11:09 a.m.: Narrowly missed slicing fingers.
11:13 a.m.: Took plateful of minced onions to kitchen.
11:15 a.m.: Headed back to bathroom. Found newly-cleaned toilet stopped up with toilet paper.
11:16 a.m.: Fixed toilet. Tried to wash hands and found that I’d forgotten to refill the soap dispenser.
11:18 a.m.: Tried to pour liquid soap into the dispenser, but the soap mimicked the fervor of cold molasses. Squeezing the bottle sent a tidal wave of soap over dispenser rim and only a few drops into the dispenser itself. Resigned self to holding soap bottle up-side-down.
11:20 a.m.: Heard a squeal from Emmet along with a plea for my presence.
11:20 a.m.: Shouted a logical inquiry as to why.
11:21 a.m.: Received answer of “Will you just come here?” amid more squeals.
11:21 a.m.: Pitched soap bottle in trash can and headed for den.
11:21 a.m.: Found Emmet squashed against the couch, legs in the air, with our dog straddling his prostrate form, effectively holding his head between the couch cushions and her furry body.
11:22 a.m.: Relocated dog to the rug.
11:23 a.m.: Urgently phoned Mom to request liquid soap from the store. Delivered message to answering machine.
11:25 a.m.: Dumped the cubed, sliced, and chopped veggies into crock pot.
11:26 a.m.: As the mound of vegetables rose, realized that crock pot wouldn’t hold the doubled amounts.
11:26, 13 sec. a.m.: Mentally bade a sad farewell to writing and drawing time.
11:27 a.m.: Dragged a second (heavy) crock pot out from behind the (heavier) juicer base.
11:28 a.m.: Tried to divide the partially mixed ingredients between the crock pots. Ended up with a 1:3 meat-veggie ratio in the first and a 3:1 veggie-meat ratio in the second. Shrugged and added broth and seasonings.
11:30 a.m.: While forcing the wooden spoon through the unyielding pile of meat and veggies, flipped a good half cup of the mixture onto the counter. Repeated accident with the other crock pot.
11:32 a.m.: Set heat and timer on both crock pots (in theory; I later found that I’d turned only one crock pot on). Unloaded dishwasher. Belted out songs from Pirates of Penzance to alleviate potential frustration.
11:45 a.m.: Parents came home and discovered that my other brother had a fever; and thus our dinner guests couldn’t come visit after all.
Over the years, I’ve learned to laugh at such hectic happenings. I’ve heard people say that if you don’t laugh, you’ll go nuts; but to me, the craziness really is funny. In hindsight that is; one of my personal maxims is “This will be funny later.” Especially if you can get a good blog post out of it. 🙂