Sweep It and They Will Come

I have always been grateful that my Rogue is so wonderful a partner when we host company at our home.  Especially in the first few years, I could count on him to help set up the last minute glassware and bar, slice the bread, make sure the table was cleaned and picked up, ready for hungry guests.  He always preferred smaller groups and eating in the kitchen, but would accommodate my wishes to have a more formal setting in our dining room if I so wished.

As we have grown together in this partnership of hospitality, I’ve noticed that some things are no longer as important with him as they remain with me.  I am very detailed in my plans, so from the time the initial invite goes out, I have already amassed lists of menus, settings, decorating or seasonal items needed, you name it – it is on there; even numbering the last minute details to make sure that I plate things that morning, cover and wrap, yet still allow enough time to get upstairs one last time to check my natural look…pun intended.

So I must admit I am rather mystified at his choice of priorities in preparing for two recent events: the first, our placing our home up for sale; the second, a small Christmas gathering of very special friends.

Even with some help with housekeeping, I still go over the cabinets, wiping down counters and door fronts from recent sauce and coffee batches (does anyone remember when carafes used to pour correctly into the cups without dripping?)…on to stuffing excess paperwork in the armoire, any drawers that are handy, moving from one room to another essentially picking up any signs of life that would spoil the perceived perfectly lived-in mystique.

My Rogue wanted to know if he could help (he can sense my anxiety from the next room).

Sure, Honey.  I have something for you to do. How about (fill in the blank)

No, that can wait…think I’ll sweep the garage. (Exit stage left)

Wha…sweep the garage??? You’ve GOT to be kidding!!! I’ve still got the…

Are you kidding me?  We have to make our home look like… (Exit stage right)

For the past year, sweeping the garage has been his preferred task of choice. My response has been near-stuttering shock and awe of a variety of salty, sassy rants…women, use your imagination; men, see * below.

In my mind, I have the garage and one bedroom I can tear up and shut the door; we are moving and packing, right? Why shouldn’t I have at least one area a bit messed up or, pardon the expression, lived in

Putting a home on the market is easy enough.  Maintaining your daily routine as you exemplify the perfected lifestyle and ease of upkeep – a basket in every place to hide the mail, a tray perfectly arranged with daily needs, i.e. mouthwash, hairspray, liquid soap dispenser – each item turned just so for the total picture perfect ambience of living in said space –  is quite another.

No.  His priority is to sweep the garage, most recently, right before our entertaining some very special friends one recent weekend in our Christmas-decorated home.  I had spent the last three weeks, staging the decorations and lighting for just the right effects; making sure my little whimsical touches would delight visitors of any age. I was pooped, but I was extremely pleased with the results. To be perfectly honest, I was more than pooped…I was exhausted!

*Apparently, three men that happened to be close by at the time my ranting was still in full mode (I don’t run down too quickly), happily clarified this particular, male phenomenon.  Three of three all agreed:  yep, that’s what they’d do if company were coming; sweep the garage.  Each completely understood this nest feathering exercise of their male species.

The strain is too much…I’m beating the clock to finish the appetizers and set out the plates, make sure the candles are lit just before I run up, use mouthwash and redo my lipstick, and my Rogue is sitting downstairs, reading his latest magazine; the garage has been swept and all is well with the world… (Doorbell rings; Curtain up)