March 30, 2009

You Will Self-Destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2...

What’s faster than a cheetah with its tail on fire?

No….it wouldn’t be Richard Simmons chasing short-shorts and tank top clearance racks rolling down a hill. Hmm…and it wouldn’t be my husband fleeing at the next thanksgiving get-together as my family gathers around the piano to sing.
Nope, but good guess.
And it definitely wouldn’t be Joan Rivers running for her next Botox injection. (Actually, I think she’s really pretty…in an “I’ve had too much plastic surgery” sort of way…)

Oops. Did I just say that out loud? My bad.

“BAD CAMRYN!” *slap*

Nope, nope, nope. The one running faster than a cheetah with its tushie on fire-- is ME.

Luckily for me, the National Geographic photographers were having a slow day observing quirky animal behavior and just happened to use their magnified Nikon 600mm zoom lens to capture this shot inside my house!

Save this one for the scrapbook…

I’m not blogging about severe gas, I’m speaking about the classic situation of finding out you’re having unexpected company—and your house has been terrorized by the kids.

In other words, your house is a major d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.

I was kindly informed of such an event when my husband called and told me we had an important guest coming to the house, soon.
It’s those moments when I tend to morph into a Tasmanian devil injected with pop rocks. It’s all so overwhelming—sometimes I just stand there twitching, like a mouse that got trapped, forced to watch a Stuart Little horror flick.

When extreme, insurmountable pressure hits me, I just run in circles unsure of where to start. Picture a kitten with a ball of dangling yarn, turning in relentless circles.
That…would be me.
As I rush through the house, kicking any object near my foot like a soccer ball, I am shouting into the phone, pleading with my husband, “Ack! We can’t have people here! Give them your parent’s address! It’s ALWAYS clean!!!”
“You’re so cute,” he says.
Oh, come on! Puh-lease,” I beg, trying to persuade him. I even offer to, “Bake a box of brownies and pretend I made them from scratch. I’ll even put on an apron and smear flour on my cheek.”
“It’ll be fine. We’ll see you in a few minutes.”

We’ll? As in ‘WE’? And did he say “in a few minutes” in the same sentence?

NOT a good combination.

I whimper—or growl—into the phone. I’m not sure which…I don’t think the noise I made can be found anywhere in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.

I hang up the phone and the “I-wish-I-had-a-calming-pill” crazy woman is racing against the clock. I run around the house, grabbing as many things as my arms can carry. I feel like I am competing in American Gladiator’s ‘Clean this House’ competition, and I am up against 2 champion gladiators: “Home Wrecker” and “Impossible Not Plausible.”

I run frantically through the house, stashing anything visible to the eye.
(To expound—I have to clean every dang room!)

I am breathing heavily as I race around to stockpile my kid’s junk in dark closets (because no one will look in there.) And the pantry, (because no one will look in there) and the laundry room, (because I can shut the door and no one will look in there.) Or my most notorious stashing place for unexpected junk--the kid’s rooms. (Because it’s off the entryway and the closest destination from point A to point B. And--I can close the door and no one will look in there.) (You can imagine the fits I get from my kids when it’s time for them to clean their rooms.)

As a bulging mountain of objects drop from my hands and fall between my arms, I am Hucking, carrying, and kicking objects down the hall, sweating like an Olympic Marathoner to get things put away in a rush, barking at the kids to, “Find anything! Hurry!” I screech, bribing them with every tooth-rotting sugar treat on this green earth if they’ll help me.

I know I’ll be stuffing items somewhere clever-- like my mini hand-held dirt devil vacuum, but then I won’t be able to find it when I need it. And, chances are, I will be forced to buy another one just like it because my hiding spot was so “clever,” but I’m sure to come across it while deep cleaning a few months later.

Thus, I’ll be forced to get rid of one of them because I can’t remember why I bought two in the first place, (Duh, Camryn) which would then result in giving one away to some thrift store. And I’ll visit that thrift store 3 months later because I’m a “bargain shopper” and I’ll see it on a shelf for $.99 and say “wow, that’s so cheap!” and I’ll buy it back and take it home and be so proud of my “bargain buy,” happy that I now have two.

Because I’m so “clever.”

See what happens when we have to clean the house in cheetah speed? And now, I am racing around like a human bulldozer trying to clean up the house when I am suddenly struck with the thought to light a candle to camouflage “smells.” (Because we women have a fear that our house always stinks) But there’s not enough time to light a candle.

Metamorphosing into my alter ego, Little Miss Clever, I go for back up.
I reach for the aerosol room spray. (“You go, girl!”)

Because Little Miss Clever is in a hurry and fails to follow instructions, I spray 6 squirts, even though it STRONGLY recommends only 1, but I hope the aroma spreads quickly and it makes the air smell like “fresh laundry.”

As I reach ‘hysteria’ mode—the doorbell rings.
I stop dead in my tracks. It’s the “deer caught in the headlights” look.
Although, in this case it’s: “Camryn caught with her kid’s dirty underwear” panic look.

Where am I going to stuff this? I turn 2 degrees to the right and open my hallway closet and throw it in, slamming the door.

Our important company has arrived before my husband gets here. Dang it. I am forced to take a few deep breathers and then put on a HUGE smile and open the door to greet my company as if I had just gotten off the couch to answer the door. (Because someone opening the door and greeting you with sweat rolling down their face and their chest heaving with exertion as they struggle to say “come in”—would be weird.)

With a bright, happy smile, “Hello,” I say musically, forcing myself to breathe through my nose to regulate the pounding of my aerobic heartbeats. (Hoping my nostrils aren’t flaring as I try to temper my racing heart and my company doesn’t get mixed signals about the welcome.)

I invite them in and watch their eyes—watch to see if they crease ever-so-slightly—and then I’ll know if I went overboard with room spray as we are all assaulted with the “beautiful scent of my home that always smells like this.”

I strike up a conversation and pretend my house is always this fragrant and the smell is not overpowering enough to singe the ends of my hair like a bad perm.

As we talk, what everyone really wants to do is just cough and tear out our eyes now that our lungs are burning with “Fresh Clean Laundry” aromatic tear gas. But hey, that’s far better than to be coughing up a lung from the malodorous poopy diaper I changed...fifteen minutes ago…and…forgot to take out…because my husband’s call distracted me…

My HoUse SMells So BeAuTiFul!!

When our company finally leaves, all I want to do is collapse on the sofa and never rise again. I lay there, committing myself to worthless promises that I’ll keep the house in tip-top shape so that I won’t have to go through that again. But how does one keep the house in immaculate order with 4 kids, a hairy dog, 2 rabbits, a husband, neighborhood friends coming and going, tight time schedules, etc, etc, etc?

If you have it figured out, puh-lease share the secret with the rest of us!

I need a nap…


AnnieAd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AnnieAd said...

I'm exausted just reading about it!! But - been there, done that. Isn't it amazing how the same people always seem to show up at your door when your house is at its worst? Thankfully you had a few minutes notice to 'clear the area'.

tina said...

That was funny. I have been there done that. Matter-o-face I was hosting a goodbye party for my sister-in-law who was living with me. There ended up being so many people we needed to move the couch back toward the dining area so there would be more space. a person got on either side of the couch to move it. I paniced because I knew there was a LOT under it. So as they moved it I sneakily stuffed the stuff back under as they went. No one knew except for the 2 that were moving it (one was my hubs) the other girl looked at me after we were done moving it and said" are awesome!!..." Yep...I'm awesome.

You're awesome. I LOVe the underware in the closet....perfect.

Heather said...

LOL...OK I love how you "stuff" things in the kids room, and then point out the complaints they make when they have to clean it...and when they do "clean their rooms" (notice the parenthises) they will end up tossing out the stuff you put in their room because They didn't put it there in the FIRST place. But they don't care that it's out of place in the FIRST place because they got it out. Wow sounds like I have kids!!

Ok camryn I want to see you do yoga. I have been doing it for a while and yes I have lost some wieght,although I'm not sure how twisting into un-natural positions that in it's worst nightmare might remeble a rejected pretzel, and that this is good for your mind, body, and spirit and suppose to be calming....maybe because your praying you won't get stuck in that position....But I love your photos, and I REALLY REALLLY want to see you do some yoga positions!!

Natalie said...

I LOVE it!! It is so true, I have had that happen to me MANY times. I have my special places I stash all the junk before the unexpected company arrives :)

Christy said...

I am so glad I am not the only one that has to do this. Too funny!

Jill said...

i think the orkin man thinks i'm a maniac! every time he comes to spray the house, my beloved hubby informs me as the van is pulling into the driveway - "oh, uh, by the way - orkin is coming this morning". i have yet to meet the man in something other than pjs. i scramble around the house cleaning furiously so he wont think - no wonder they have ants! - although the damage is done and he's already seen the worst of it because those hidden' places are the first ones my husband takes them too! how do people with kids keep their houses clean? i have a friend with 6 kids and her house is immaculate! disgusting! i think she secretly has a live in maid! lol! you have a way of capuring every woman's nightmare and making it funny! thanks for the great story!