To clean and not party or do what I can and party?

We throw one party a week, about 6 a month. Friday nights, a group of 10-12 of us gather around my counter for five hours and laugh and share our weekly stories of kids, cooking and screw ups. My house is also the main gathering place for the Leslieville scotch society.

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Note the background mess? I didn’t have time to light the candles on this night.

These Friday nights are our saving grace. So fun and social and better than any therapy they are.
After a week of nuts, and dinner and mess, the place usually looks like a bull went through. My bull being beautiful Ruby.

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She is a whole other post.
Sometimes an hour before a party I look around and think What will they say when they see this chaos? My mother can’t believe I have people over when the house looks crazy. I could say No. I could take an hour to clean it. I could schedule our parties more than three hours in advance. Risking not having the party because my dishes have pulled up or there is some art craziness on the table would be a shame. So I just take a deep breath and crash clean for however long i have and allow the party to happen, have everyone come over and know they love me, hope they feel good about their clean houses (I like to think their houses are clean) and have a great party.

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Friday night schedule:
6:15 finish dinner
6:16 pull Italian pop and lie on couch to digest
6:19 hope Matt cleans the kitchen
6:20 Arthur yells Spiderman games and steals Matt from my dreams
6:21 Ruby rolls by on her roller blades
6:32 clean the kitchen And see the rest of the house and think of the company that is coming
6:52 Ruby is in the fridge and spills Lily’s open can of Gingerale
7:15 watch Merlin with kids
8:00 Watch another Merlin with the kids
8:45 rush, teeth-a-brush, PJs, snuggle, look at clock, shit 22 minutes to pick up the front hall so people can step in
9:12 discuss the lizard’s future with Ruby and decide that I will not get around to rusting the dining room table for company, good thing we have party counter
9:24 laugh with Lily about another stupid( and inappropriate) Internet quote. Kiss goodnight.
9:27 spray cleaner on counter and scrub off the oatmeal/mouse poo/Cheerios/ice cream/ milk/sticky mango for the company. Grab pillows and blankets off the floor and stuff in ottoman on my way over the box of rockstar light to get candles for counter beside the computer which I awaken and get stuck picking music to start the night off”oh anything!”. Where are the matches!

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These are my Friday nights. Mess. Kinda clean. Lots a fun. Mess.

Even ten adults make a big mess. Comparable to my children! All of these people are my family and there are worse jobs out there than to pick up after loved ones. This totally sounds like BS. It pisses me off actually. Again though. Fun=mess. What choice do I have if I want fun?

Just pick up and move to the next party…

Fun has been had. Mess has been cleaned up and made. Here are a few shots of the house pre-pretty dress store/ mad men surprise birthday party. The pirate ship I was building in the dining room needed to be dismantled to use the pieces to make the dressing room.

These are remnants of the papier mâché dragon figure head on the counter.

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Here are the 60s hors d’oeuvres 75 minutes later.

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The belief that it will all come together remains strong. Maybe it is from my theatrical “the show must go on” attitude. I also know that if I focus for 15 minutes and clean those dishes, tidy to the counter, adding papers to the piles beside the counter, it will all be okay. I trust my friends will help put the beer on the fridge and the pickles on the plates when they arrive. They will not care if there is a half built balloon dragon in the stairway. Hey they got to leave their houses in whatever state it was to come mess up my house! Could have cleaned the house and kept it clean, but last night was a lot of fun. It was worth it!

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Again, that word Fun.

To some my house is crazy. Sometimes it is clean, sometimes it’s an obstacle course. Sometimes it is so nuts I could scream. I do! I am learning to understand why it can be so nuts. Why it is all right to be this way. Believe me, anytime you call and ask what are you doing Ginette, the answer is “just cleaning.” I clean and pick up ALL THE TIME. I could blame the kids. Matthew, the husband. I could blame my friend’s kids or my friends when we are all drunk at 2am. I can blame me for letting everyone do crazy things in this house, including me. But crazy is fun, and I think crazy might be my zen. I am so tired trying to get everything”normal” yet I always choose wild and crazy.
I am starting my own Kid adventure party business. There are simpler ways to make a bit of money A bit is all i will make with this venture! I build big pirate ships and have cannon ball fights to blow away the minds of six year olds. I do think this is kinda normal. And fun.
My friend loves Mad Men and funky retro dresses, well lets throw her a party and build a dressing room and all the women can try on new dresses all night and let’s redesign the kitchen a la 60s. More chaos and cleaning todo Sunday morning, but we will have so much fun drinking Manhattans and martinis. Again that word fun.
Fun gets me in trouble. It has for as long as I can remember. The question I need to ask is: is the fun worth it?; and the answer I need to accept is: YES!

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