Monday, June 19, 2006

before the parents arrive

I am always cranky. The house is never as clean as I would like. The dog is always shedding too much hair. We never have proper plans for the day. BusinessMan doesn't get up early enough to help me frantically clean, even though I wake up the night before with mini-panic attacks about the state of the house. And then Dad never has the consideration to actually call and tell me what time they're planning to arrive. Instead I have to call him at some point in the morning and find out that they are only 1 hour away, when I'd hoped for two to finish cleaning, shower, and maybe grab some breakfast.

But then once they arrive, things are actually OK. As a matter of fact, we all had a very pleasant day yesterday on the coast. Beaches were run, ice cream was eaten, tourist junk was not bought, waves were watched, dog was exhausted.

So why do I keep freaking out before the parents arrive? I know it has to do with feeling inadequate in my position as an adult. Feeling like parents will walk around our house keeping a mental scorecard of the dog hair under the bed, the piles of dirty laundry, and the stains on the kitchen countertops. Feeling like I won't measure up as responsible and mature if they see my house at anything less than its best.

But of course, identifying the issue at hand is quite a bit different from resolving the panic. Sort of like, knowing what edits I have to make on the manuscript before resubmitting is quite a bit different from actually having it done by July 1. So back to work.


Katie said...

Me too! My parents arrive on Wednesday and I made lists this morning of all that needs to be cleaned/organized/fixed. Not that it's a big deal to them, but I feel it necessary to stress.

Good luck on the revisions and enjoy your family being around!

brother said...

Did you clean up for me? I seem to recall dog and dog hair everywhere and dishes in the sink ;-)

Really it's just that they trained up and we are trying to be carbon copies of them. You can go ahead and take after Mom and try frantically clean the house before company comes. Me? I'll be like Dad and clean for a few minutes to get a clear pathway so my guests can get in the door.

I need to quit making stuff and start writing marketing material for the tradeshow this weekened. I hate writing!


ScienceWoman said...

Brother - yet you just wrote a 3 paragraph comment. ironic? I can't remember whether we cleaned for you or not (I think not), but seeing as you are less adult than I, I don't think the fear of judgement would have been as harsh. I'm sure we made the bed in the guest room though.

Writer Chica said...

Glad you had a nice time. "Beaches were run...", oohh, I so wish I had beaches to run! Bummer that the prep time is so stressful. Don't really know what to say other than that you certainly do measure up as responsible and mature, regardless of the state of your house. I think the transition from child to adult child is difficult for both the parent and adult child to make. I know I'm still working on it.

Li said...

Do you remember the pre-parent-visit rituals of yore (i.e., college)? Shove the dirty dishes into the broken dishawasher to hide them, hide all evidene of male visitors, drink all liquor..... and not necessarily in that order :) And whether it was then or now, what do our parents see? That we're doing well and happy. At least that's what I hope they notice.

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