Sometimes Life is Like a Tea Kettle…

I don’t know about you, but my personality is just like a tea kettle. I can be even keel for awhile, and I navigate through life pretty well even when a few curve balls are thrown my way. But sometimes, things reach a boiling point and that’s when I blow.

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This coming week, I’m going to be hosting about 18 people for Thanksgiving. It started out with a pretty manageable group and that number has steadily grown with family coming in from Maryland, Michigan, Miami and now Boynton Beach. This past Friday, my parents, who had left early to head to Florida decided to fly back to New York so they could spend the holiday with us. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled they’re coming, but know that things are now going to get a bit harried this week and my upbeat demeanor  is about to hit Defcon 4.

Out of our 18 guests, about 6-8 of them will be sleeping over so that meant I had to clean the entire house before they came. And trust me, while I can rock a powerpoint, a blog post and a press release, cleaning the house is not one of my favorite past times.

I also had to do the laundry and our dryer is on the fritz so that meant it would take double the time to dry everything (about six loads total). Oh and did I mention that one of my cats (this means you Hazel) peed on my comforter in our guest room and while I tried to wash it, it still smelled so I had to throw it out and get a new one? 

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Meanwhile, I had noticed that in my kids’ bathroom, strange black dots started appearing on the wall. Holy crap. Black mold. Actually, it was just condensation and dirt formed by never opening the windows. So early yesterday morning, my husband and I went to the supermarket so we could buy a 22 pound turkey, a few cans of yams and cranberry sauce and I could get cleaning supplies. Of course, we walked out of Stop & Shop spending over $300 in groceries, but it is the holiday and as my father in law always says, you can’t put a price on a good time.

Once we stocked the house with food and bleach products, my husband had to leave for the rest of the day for a meeting so I whipped into action. I proceeded to clean the kitchen and both bathrooms and even got the black gunk off the walls while wearing pretty latex pink gloves. I was rocking cleaning the bathroom even though I started to feel a little light headed from all that bleach.

After I opened some windows, I ran downstairs to do more laundry, fold clothes, pay some bills and corresponded throughout the day with my daughter who was coming home that night from college by way of Michigan (she decided to visit a friend for his birthday weekend), Philadelphia and then finally back to New York.  We started texting at 6am, I got another text at 11:00am when she got back to Philly, then another call at noon when she was at her apartment, then another one at 2:30 when she was on the train back to New Rochelle.

After I loaded another batch of laundry, put the clean dishes away, loaded more dirty dishes in the dishwasher, threw out the comforter and some old stuff in the fridge, I headed out again to buy a new comforter at Home Goods. The place was packed but I knew what I was there for. I passed the kitchen and dining section first and grabbed two fresh holiday tablecloths on the way over to the bedding department. Then I found a reasonably priced comforter and made my way to the register where I waited another 10 minutes in a long line that whipped around a few aisles. While waiting my turn and mindlessly checking my Facebook and Instagram feed, I glanced over at the items lining my way to the register and of course, had to impulse buy some decorative napkins since I was standing there for so long and was sucked in by the allure of things I really didn’t need to buy.

When I got back home, I put my pretty new comforter on the bed in the guest room and made sure to close the door behind me so the cat couldn’t get in again and wreck the place. I then went to the basement to fold laundry and my son then informed me he had to get a trifold poster board for his marketing class. Of course, it was due the next day. I instantly told him we should pick it up at that moment but he wanted to wait because he still had homework to finish. So I told him we should go in an hour because I had to get his sister from the train in two hours. He proceeded to stay upstairs for two hours and then I had to leave for the train but he still needed his poster board. 

And that’s when things reached a boiling point. I had actually been keeping it together pretty well but after putting in more loads of laundry and listening to our squeaking dryer, and folding everyone’s clothes, and cleaning black crap off the bathroom walls, and putting all the groceries away, and doing the dishes, and buying a comforter at Home Goods and waiting on a ridiculously long line, I finally blew my stack. I never yell at my son, but there I was arguing with him for not being more proactive with me. Why didn’t he come down the stairs like I had suggested so we could go out sooner to get his poster board? Instead, I insisted he come with me to get his exhausted sister from the train and made her wait in the car while we picked up the poster at Staples and then we all headed home and ordered in dinner because honestly, if I had to cook last night, I seriously would have lost it. How did housewives do it in the 50’s anyway?

I know I shouldn’t complain about having to clean my house but sometimes, when you are expecting a ton of guests for the holiday, the last thing you really want to do is clean the house, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, buy a new comforter at a store that’s packed with pre-holiday shoppers and track down a tri-fold poster board from Staples too. 

So yes, I blew my top when I shouldn’t have but my son forgave me because he’s a great kid and knows that I sometimes have a tendency to lose it when things get a bit stressful at home. We now have made a pact that when he’s assigned a project and needs supplies, he should just order it that day on Amazon Prime and we won’t have any problems. Come to think of it, next time, I’ll order my comforter from Amazon too. I actually ordered a slipcover for one of my chairs that has been mangled by Hazel – the same cat that peed on the comforter – hopefully it’ll get here before Thanksgiving so I can cover up her nasty habit of ripping my furniture to shreds.

And that dear reader is the story of the weekend I blew my top. I’m sure you probably have a few tea kettle stories of your own to share – especially around the holidays. While I’m grateful for family, this time of year just gets me totally stressed out and sometimes, like a tea kettle, I reach a boiling point and blow. But it’s okay. Today’s a new day and my son just informed me that all the lights in his bathroom went out. Time for some morning coffee, then I’ll shove another load of laundry into the dryer before I haveout to buy some bathroom lights.

Guess I better put the tea kettle back on the stove.