Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I. Am. Freaking. Out.

My dad is coming Christmas day. That means I have exactly ONE day -- tomorrow -- to deal with:

1. Fridge wreck. I need to fill the fridge so there's more than hummus and mustard (neither of which go particularly well together).

This also means that I should figure out a Christmas menu. Aren't I supposed to make a ham or something?

2. Gift wreck. I have not started my Christmas shopping yet. It will all have to happen tomorrow. This means I'll be bringing things home which will need to be wrapped and THAT will require that I waste $10 of gas shlepping to a store 30 minutes away to retrieve a $10 roll of wrapping paper I bought last week and instantly forgot. I refuse to buy a new roll when a store in Riverdale, Maryland has a silver snowflake pattern with my name on it.

3. House wreck.

I need to clean. Not your typical "ohhh the DOGhair!" lament, but instead an overhaul which will require that I play a particularly intense and long-winded game of "which of these things does not belong?" while running up & down the steps 7,000 times to return each odd item to its place.

Witness this wreck of a bedroom.

It is supposed to be clean, crisp, restful and smell nice for guests who will arrive weary on their way to Florida from NJ on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

They will want to fall into bed immediately after dinner. And they will not want to trip over an exercise bench, a pile of curtain rod rings (with sharp drapery pins mocking their bare feet), or a new rug meant to replace one defiled by feline fecal material (just last week):

3. Room wreck #2: still finishing touch-up paint in the room across the hall (now the office but also where we'll be sleeping). The furniture is in complete disarray and painting tools are strewn everywhere:

Have you ever seen an uglier floor?

4. Hallway wreck (between these two rooms):

The bookcase belongs in the closet but will not fit until cleared. Meanwhile, paper and office supplies claim ownership to half the floor in the living room.

Also, we need to throw out 5 garbage bags full of painter's tape and other prep detritus but a snowdrift still blocks side access to the trash. So now they are hanging elegantly from the banister.

5. Bathroom wreck: the bathroom, the only one available right now (because roommie uses the other), busted a handle. Flushing the toilet has now become a major ordeal.

Behold the joy of flushing the toilet:

(zooming in to show water streaming out the top)

Note how water sprays out? This is me, demonstrating for you (because I love you so much) exactly what my life is like 10x a night. How I get to heave off the heavy lid and paw around the nasty water to find and yank the flapper valve chain.

This is a BLAST, especially at 4:00 A.M.

Note also the added joy of doing this if you are a germ freak like me. At the faintest tug of nature's whisper, an internal struggle of cleanliness vs. practicality begins. The Howard Hughes center of my brain is quickly bludgeoned by primal need to not wear a diaper or pee like the dog on a fire hydrant outside, and so I must end every session maniacally washing my hands like a mental patient.
This dialogue is best represented by a comment from There I fixed it: Epic Kludges and Jury Rigs about this very awkward request in a public restroom:
The sign says "Please push to flush."
One of the commentors aptly responded,
"The brain knows it's clean but the hand isn't so sure."

I tried to buy a handle but the local hardware store only sells front-facing handles, not side ones. And so it does not fit! I ordered one online last week but because of holiday shipping madness, it has not arrived yet!

So, my life is a wreck. My house is a wreck. I have no food or presents, and somehow this is all going to change tomorrow. Even though I've only had 4 hours of sleep last night!


Kier said...

Oh no! It sounds like you need a teleporter and time machine more than I do.

Ah, the holidays... when one need never ask "What else could possibly go wrong?" because the answer will be delivered to you anyway.

At least it's usually nicely wrapped... and accompanied by strong eggnog. :)

Good luck and happy holidays!

Rebecca said...

I've known days like that. I freaking hate days like that.

My solution is to clear out a space in my closet and, if necessary, any other hidden space I can find and cart all the unsorted/don't yet have a place of their own things to those spaces as quickly as I can for the time being. After that, I put the out of place stuff back in their places as quickly as possible. I don't usually have time to do much more than that plus a quick clean, but it's usually enough to look halfway decent.

I once changed out a toilet kit during a Christmas visit. They can sometimes take a lot less time than you'd expect, particularly the handle. If you check carefully to make sure you know what you need, then pick it up while you're out, you may find you actually have time to bite the bullet and just get it done.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of that. It's even more difficult trying to do so much on so little sleep...and that's usually when it happens, damn it. Well, I'm praying for you. Hope it helps.

kevin forgot said...

oh dear, this is not good. you need a drink or ten.

Soda and Candy said...

I fix the same problems by never inviting anyone over, especially not to stay.

; )

I hope you have a great Xmas!!!

Surfie said...

Whoa ho! Sounds like there's no better time for a Christmas Miracle!

geekhiker said...

Did you survive? I sure hope there's a follow-up post to this one!

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