At one point, I was seriously elbow-deep in cleaning the toilet, when the doorbell rang. It's one of those defining moments, you know? I ran to the top of the steps to see if maybe it was a delivery truck (they ring and run, leaving the package on the doorstep), but no, it was a friend. At the door. And she could see me, at the top of the stairs. Because the guy who built this house decided it would be cool to make 3/4ths of the door paned glass. Paned SEE-THROUGH glass. So, I muster up all the dignity I can, walk down the stairs pulling off my bright yellow-and-green rubber gloves, and open the door.
"You caught me cleaning," I say. I'm sure she's looking at the flyaway ponytail, stained up sweats and tee and sweaty face and thinking "Yeah, I believe you."
Of course the cherry on top was when Thing Four, still in his jammies, came running to the door as well. Yes, he was still in his jammies and it was noon. Shoot me. She was returning Thing Two's pillow, he left it at her son's house during a sleepover.
I thanked her, and mercifully, the conversation was short. Hey, at least I didn't hide and not answer the door until she left! The Twenty-something Lara would have hidden out of sight and not answered the door at all. Because the Twenty-something Lara worried incessantly about what people thought of her. The Thirty-something Lara? Not so much. :-)
It got me thinking. When I was growing up, our house was in a perpetual state of chaos. Only because both parents worked, and let's face it, my siblings and I were totally messy and lazy. My mom would come home from a hard day at work with all the love in her heart, excited to see her children she missed all day, but all those happy feelings flew right out the window at the speed of light when she stepped inside the house to a trashed kitchen, a trashed first floor, and us, screaming at each other and running like banshees through the house. Poor mom.
I remember when we knew company was coming, we did a Major House Cleaning. But on those rare occasions when someone surprised us (A.K.A. they didn't call before they came over) we let them stand on the doorstep while we went into full STASH AND HIDE EVERYTHING mode. My mom taught me the nifty little trick of hiding dirty dishes in the oven. Voila! Dirty dishes are out of sight! Because dirty dishes in the sink are BAD. So, if company surprises you, in the oven they go!
When Hubby and I were first married, we had people over All. The. Time. Our little apartment was like Grand Central Station. And sometimes, people would show up at the door, unannounced. One such time, I hurriedly shoved dirty dishes in the oven. The visit was great, they went home, we went to bed.
Cut to the next night, I decide we're having pizza for dinner. So, I turn the oven on and putter about the kitchen. Soon, I smell something. What is that smell? Then I realize. THE DISHES!!!!!!!!!
I throw open the oven door and scream. Pots, pans, and all my lovely black Calphalon utensils are melted. MELTED!!!!
Needless to day, I've never put dirty dishes in the oven, since.
Now, I put them...in the closet! BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!!!!!
I'm sure all of you out there are perfect and always have a clean kitchen, so you never resort to tricks like this. So, you can stop rolling your eyes, now! (Mom, stop crying!)
ps, I Googled "Hiding dirty dishes in the oven," and apparently, I'm not alone in this. So, I feel better.