I am fortunate. I manage to find humor in many places, some unexpected. Sometimes my boys look at me, and I am laughing for some random, inexplicable reason, and they have to ask, "Why are you laughing? And most times I can't even give them a good reason. To quote my favorite Buddy: "Smiling's my favorite." So, when Martha Stewart emails me a special, personal email message, (What? You got one too?) my mind is already primed to see the humor in her suggestion that there only "Six Simple Steps to Get Ready For Guests." The subject alone had me profoundly amused, the idea of me successfully applying the 6 Simple Steps is freakin' hilarious.
Step One: Create a Welcoming Space
Well, this one's not so bad... I mean, my guests are welcome. I want guests. OKay, but for God's sake please call first, like at least 2 days ahead. I will stop doing anything except clean, and I will burn a lot of incense and stuff things under beds. I will glare at Geoff whenever he sits or starts taking off his socks. I will give the children withering looks, when they ask, "Have we had breakfast?" And I will answer all requests with a shrill, panicky, "I'm cleaning!" Driving myself to the brink of exhaustion, cursing my landlord... the house will get
Step Two: Clear Out the Clutter
What? I thought we covered this. No. No, I guess the "Welcoming Space" bit wasn't about sanitizing... it was more about giving up our bedroom and the comfy chair. Note to self: Must get a comfortable chair.
So, apparently cleanliness is paramount to receiving guests. Martha is very practical on this subject and she suggests we hold a "tag sale." Get rid of the mess. Sell it off piece by piece. Good idea. OKay... that part where I ask for 2 days advance warning of your arrival? Better make it 2 weeks.
Step Three: Set Out Individual Hand Towels
Sure. No problem. After cleaning for 2 weeks, Step Three is a cake walk. Martha suggests I tie the fancy, individual towels in a festive ribbon, thus giving the appearance of a five star establishment. LOL... Who knew? Festive ribbon is all that stands between our place and The Hilton.
Step Four: Supply a Bedside Water Glass
Hold on... when did we provide a bed? No worries. William and Alex can double bunk and that frees William's room. Now, about the water glass... which do you think, giant plastic Zoo cup or giant plastic Legoland cup? And please, do remember to cover it, unless you don't mind sharesies with Chango. Cats get thirsty too you know.
Step Five: Pick Out The Right Sheets
May I just say, if this were a test I would be getting high marks. I know the answer to this one! The right sheets are the clean sheets. Score!
What was I so intimidated about? This is pretty easy.
Step Six: Provide a Handy Guide to Your Appliances
See? Now I am laughing again, because our appliances are On or Off models... the ones that work. The landlord might have a few pointers to add, like "Do not put anything in the garbage disposal." Nothing. Same for the downstairs guest bathroom: Do not put anything in the toilet. Nothing. Also, most of the windows are either stuck shut, or fall closed faster than a French Guillotine. Don't lean too heavily on the stair and balcony railings... well, best to avoid using the railing period...
Two weeks notice, that's all we ask.
In the meantime, we're at the beach.