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Oh, what a lovely attic you have

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Christmas time is almost upon us and for this year it means preparation for an upcoming Christmas party.

My wife decided we should have a Christmas party this year. This decision should not be particularly earth shattering, but it creates great conflict in our household considering we have diametrically opposed views concerning preparation for parties.

My wife is very meticulous and list-oriented. In short, she wants everything just right for the party.

I, on the other hand, believe only in having a good time at a party.

My wife would fret for days over whether a particular painting should be hung in a particular spot for the party or the location of a particular piece of furniture. She also makes certain that everything is spotless. I’d have a party, people would come over, and I’d tell them to please walk around the underwear in the hallway but figure they wouldn’t care because the keg of beer was at the end of the hallway.

So, now that you understand the pre-party scenario, you will understand why some experts say Christmas season is more stressful than any other time of the year. A few days ago, my wife needed me to begin assisting in preparing for the party. I moved furniture from our house to a storage place, threw away items, cleaned up areas, did God knows what for most of the day. Near the end of the day, I decided to take a few minutes break, when she roared in the room and demanded that I begin to help her because if I did not, “there is no way I will be ready to have this party on time.”

I asked what possibly we had left to do on this once-promising Saturday that had rapidly spiraled into a Russian gulag.

My wife said, and I quote, “I need help in cleaning up the attic so that it will be clean for the party.”

Now, I have attended more parties in my lifetime than I care to even remember. Well, truth be known, there are quite a few of those parties I couldn’t remember if I tried. I have also thrown a few parties in my life. I have gone to parties in which people jumped naked in the swimming pool, threw up in the kitchen, broke fine china, and once after I left a party, someone walked through a sliding glass door.

I must say, however, I have yet to attend a party in which people gathered in the attic.

I asked my wife, “How many people are we planning on having at this party? Wouldn’t we be better off to rent a tent outside than trying to stuff folks in the attic?”

For some reason, I was met with an icy stare.

I guess my wife just doesn’t have a sense of humor when cleaning for a party. I then began to wonder, maybe the party would not be crowded but we were inviting a group of home inspectors. Who knows? They might wish to browse around in the attic.

Very close to this particular delightful day of cleaning, my wife informed me that she planned to take some time off so she could clean the couch in the den. She told me that she was having Stanley Steamer come over to clean the couch because my dog had been laying on one part of the couch. Call me naive if you must, but I asked, “Why are you cleaning the couch if you are having Stanley Steamer come over to clean the couch for you?”

She said she needed to clean the dog hair off of the couch before Stanley Steamer got there because they didn’t need to see where the dog had been sleeping.

I said, “I thought you were calling Stanley Steamer to clean the couch from where the dog had been sleeping and I assume Stanley Steamer would understand.”

I won’t repeat the rest of our conversation.

Well, anyway, we’re planning on having a party for the holidays. And I’m glad the attic is nice and clean. Not for the party, mind you, but, because it looks like that’s where I’ll be sleeping for the next foreseeable future.

.364Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.