Today is the day after Christmas 2015 and I awoke early thinking about the fun and good company yesterday. There is nothing like a house full of family, friends and holiday spirit. All of the work and preparations leading up to this gathering are instantly worth it when everyone arrives and the fun starts.
The day began typically with Arnie and I bustling about the house, preoccupied with all of the details of any house-party complete with a big dinner. Last minute presents to wrap, calls from the kids and rolls to bake took our full attention.
Since we had been out the night before, merrily putting ourselves at the mercy of a full jug of Wassall we slept in late and were now at least two hours behind schedule in getting ready for today’s festivities. Some of us never seem to learn that there are predictable consequences of coming home in that dreamy adolescent stupor brought on by pouring a variety of wines into a large jug and calling it by a fancy name. Arnie remembers that, in college, we called it Screech. Now it’s Christmas Wassall. As Shakespere said, “A rose by any other name still smells as sweet.” Screech is still Wassill and this quote would prove to be prophetic. By any name, this concoction is a Sneak and crawls up on revelers with great stealth. This puts our friends and party hostesses, Judi and Chris, in a position of some responsiblility for the events of the next day. Events which we will ultimately blame on the Wassall.
But we rallied because there’s nothing we like more the day after a party than another party. Putting one foot in front of the other (another prophetic statement), Arnie gamely got up out of bed and pitched right in helping me with all we needed to accomplish. We had much to do!
I tackled the kitchen chores and he hustled out to make coffee and get Cracker the African Gray squared away for the day. The phone rang, we chatted with the kids. We grabbed quick showers. We paused for a moment for a Mistletoe kiss and hug and then went right back to work with cheer. Much to do and much ado!
The next thing I knew, Arnie poked his head out from the bedroom and snarled in an a-typical tone of voice, “Will you let those damn dogs out!” Wow! I know it was a rare full moon for Christmas last night, but what kind of bi-polor shift in mood is this? “Damn dogs”? He usually has those two right up on a pedestal taking up the space that should be rightly mine. And now they are, “Damn dogs!”? What happened to the cheer of a few moments ago?
I quickly scooted the little dogs out the door, not sure of why they needed to go out again so soon. I was sure that Arnie had let them out earlier when he got up. We were soon to deduct that he thought that I had let them out earlier when I got up. We both thought that they were doing that cute little dance because I had unwrapped the Christmas ham on the kitchen counter and they are both blatantly spoiled beggers. Oops.
We still are not sure which one of them exploded on the porch. We are sure that we will never buy a brown patterned rug again as long as we have dogs. That rug expertly hid land mines which Arnie stepped solidly into with both sneakers. He then proceeded to walk the whole length of our modest little home to the far end of the bedroom to make the bed. That would be sixty-four feet of footsteps that left reindeer tracks on the rug all the way to the back bedroom.
My sweet husband was on his knees in the bedroom with a bottle of Nature’s Miracle and a wet rag doing his best to clean up the path of tracks. He looked like the spot cleaner tech for Stanley Steamer. Oh, thank goodness I realized, he’s not bi-polor after all. We just have the most horrifying mess imaginable spread out over the entire house. With perfect timing, my Mom chimed in to the situation to announce, “Reggie and Jeff are here!” Of course they are.
Stanley Arnold and I just chuckled at this point. No sense in fighting the inevitalbe. My Grandmother used to say that if the dishcloth falls on the floor, it’s a sign that company is coming. Not in our house. Here, if the dog shits on the floor, for sure, company’s coming.
I took control of the sneakers, honestly not knowing where to start when I turned them over. Like a well worn tire, there was hardly any tread visiable. I gave them a futile spray of Lysol bathroom cleaner and perched them over the toilet and muttered a desperate Christmas wish. “Please Santa, make this disappear just like the Mr. Clean commercial where they spray on the foam, swipe the sponge across the glass once and enjoy the sparkle.” Needless to say, magical thinking was no match for this situation. It would take the hose, a brush and a clothespin for the nose to make those babies fit for Stanley Arnold to wear in polite society again.
This morning, the first thing I did when I got up was let the dogs out. Or did I? I need to go check. Right now.