The chicken is breaded and ready to be fried. The salmon is in the fridge, should that victual be preferred. And what a lot of delectable side dishes from the deli: collard greens, sweet potato casserole, squash, salad, bacon Brussel sprouts, and a pie.
Why all this fuss, you wonder. Why the midwestern family-style menu? Well, let us just say an important guest is coming to dinner. She’s a good friend. An old friend. A frenemy since high school. She’s Veronica to my Betty: our coming-of-age comic book was Betty and Veronica.
Last time Veronica visited, she cleaned my house. If she wanted a clean house, she should have stayed at the Hilton. That’s my philosophy. While she lectured me on the methodology of waxing floors, I was busy finishing a PR assignment. My husband has occasionally said wistfully, “Remember when she cleaned the house?” I snapped, “Don’t use that against me.”
This time the house will be spotless. Okay, at least clean. I will not, goddamn it, look bad in front of someone who is not my mother. She was the only one allowed to help clean the house!
Five hours into “summer spring cleaning”… I have mostly just cleared the clutter. Oh, and moved a lot of the furniture into the study so I can clean the floors.
The cats love cleaning. They followed me around with bright eyes. It’s more fun than the traditional string game. They crawled into many totebags today. I took our totebags down from the shelf to load up stray books (they’re everywhere). We have Prairie Lights bags, Barnes and Noble bags, Skoob, Villette, HyVee…
I paused to take a picture of a cat on a chair temporarily perched on the dining-room table. So cute! And I needed a moment before I lost my mind.
Really, I’m sure I’ll enjoy Veronica’s company. She’s a smart gal, we both love Cary Grant movies, and we’ve known each other since high school. If we have less in common than we used to, who can be surprised? And though I’m cheerily married to Archie and she’s carefree with Reggie—we all have work that is more important than housework.
Let’s just hope she doesn’t clean my house to impress Archie and Reggie.
If she does, no dessert for her!