Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Relatives Are Coming! The Relatives Are Coming!

I have come to realize that there are different types of house cleaning. There is the typical cleaning one does to their home on a periodic/weekly/monthly basis, where all of the things in the center of a room are cleaned and general pick-up takes place. Everything that doesn't have a place gets thrown in the closet. There is the type of cleaning one does when friends are coming to stay a night or two where it is a little more involved. A window might get washed, slipcovers may get washed since one of the friends is allergic to dogs, etc. And, again, things that don't have a place get thrown in a closet. Then there is the kind of cleaning one does when family comes to visit.

My Aunt and Uncle are coming to stay for a few days. I love them a lot and I am thrilled that they are coming to see us. My family is quite small and dying. Those of us who are around are all over the country and we are not at all close. Unless it's a funeral, we don't see each other. I think the last time I saw my Aunt and Uncle was 2 1/2 years ago when my daughter was christened. Someone in the family came up with the bright idea of combining my daughter's baptism weekend with a memorial service for my deceased grandmother, whose burial plot was finally getting a gravestone. To be honest, I wouldn't recognize my younger cousins if they came up to me on a street and TOLD me that we were related. Sad, but true.

At any rate, my Aunt and Uncle are coming! I must clean!

Now, we have only lived in this house for six months and the house itself is only three years old. How dirty could it be? WELL, it is. Two children, two perpetually shedding dogs and a husband create the perfect recipe for filth. But I am also scrubbing things that I didn't think I would scrub until spring, like the blinds that I cleaned the month we moved in (they were GROSS), the baseboards, the kitchen cabinets (I've managed to have coffee or worse drip down on every cabinet. WTF?!) I don't know what I am going through all this work to impress them. I don't do it for my mother-in-law now that we are two hours apart, but I did used to clean like a Banshee when we were 4 states away. What's worse, I am organizing closets. Hadn't planned on it. But I am. Let's be honest, a friend wouldn't go poking around in closets, bathroom cabinets or desk drawers. You know your family will.

I called my Mom to find out what my Aunt and Uncle's eating habits were because they told me that they didn't want us going to any trouble for them. My Mom informed me that they eat breakfast at precisely 8AM, eat a snack (coffee cake or sweets) at 10AM, eat lunch precisely at Noon, eat more sweets at 2PM, eat dinner at 5PM on the nose (they are in their 60's), and then they eat ice cream in the evening. She also told me that my aunt is a very picky eater and will probably not like anything I make. Fabulous. I will work on plying her with candy, brownies and apple cake for the duration of her visit.

I am trying to plan a reasonable amount of things to do without taxing my Uncle as lots of walking is very painful for him due to circulation problems. However, there is only so much "visiting" I can take. Especially when I know that 95% of the conversation is going to be about my mother and how I need to take charge of her life, kidnap her and force her to live with me since she isn't doing such a hot job taking care of herself or her affairs. I am currently compiling a list of topics that I can use when the conversation goes to politics, religion or my mother. Any suggestions are welcome.

Well, I'm off to polish the silver!!!


Susan said...

Let's see, topics of conversation . . . yeah, I got nothing. Sorry.

But now I want some coffee cake . . .

Jenette said...

Don't forget to steer the conversations away from your parenting skills. You know that will come up, and you know that they won't approve--- older people never do! Talk about the weather, people never get tired of that! :) tee hee! Have fun!

Misfit Hausfrau said...

You're right about that Jenette! My older daughter has recently decided it is cool to scream at the top of her lungs for upwards of an hour or more after we put her down. She was always great at going to bed. We have tried everything including ignoring her, which you know will go over like a ton of bricks when Aunt and Uncle come. They will want us to get her. Yeah, right!

The June Cleaver Diaries said...

Are you SURE your friends don't poke through your drawers when they visit? Even the one who's married to the Dog Allergy Guy????
Hmmmmmm.... makes you wonder, does it not?

ACK!! I just remembered how you didn't "clean out" your VCR when you gave it to your mom!!!

Mary P. said...

Phew. You're making me glad that my family are all slobs. The problem I have when they come to visit is they make/leave so much mess. I'd never seen this as a good thing before, but you can be sure I don't have to race around cleaning up. Thank you: you've given me my "bright side"!

Topics of conversation: crafts? hobbies? travel? the inconveniences of travel? movies? books? their home, its maintenance needs? their pets? their health - that's usually a good one with the elderly- and it can go on onto their doctor, his nasty receptionist (you could share your story here), the cost of medications. Think this'll work?

And if they do criticize your parenting, perhaps you could get them on board as babysitters, and leave them in charge for two hours. That should put the end to that topic.

minimal_free_reign said...

Just catching up with your blog - so happy that BG is having fun with the unicorn. I was getting my costume together for tonight's dress rehearsal and wouldn't you know - it's purple with stars and moons!