Shell game


shell gameUgh.

Though this year belies the fact, regular readers know I’m a private man.

Sure, there’s this blog, but if I had a dollar for everyone who reads this thing, I wouldn’t have enough to pay the hosting fee! So there’s not much risk in my privacy becoming “viral”.

Outside of my Great North American Baseball Road Trip, my only exposure to real people is shopping for groceries or household goods. And since a lot of that is at Wal-Mart, I’m not sure that even qualifies.

But, twice a year I have these barbecues/parties and I invite a couple of dozen people over.

Into my home.

Now, I’m a single guy, but neat. Not Tony Shalhoub-Monk-OCD neat, but the place can be straightened up quickly enough that the surface appearance tends to yield a “Your house is so clean!” most of the time.

For elongated stays, like my parties, I have to actually clean. Thus, I am in a paroxysm of cleaning this week. All the stuff I try to spread out over the month I’m doing in the first few days. Then comes the stuff I never do, like washing the windows and fixing the screens. Meh.

Almost seven years ago I remodeled most of my house and I just now realized how brilliant I was in the choice I made for the tiles in my foyer (okay, it’s just a hall) and kitchen area. I picked them for the warm color (beige-tan) and pattern, but as I was mopping, I noticed I couldn’t tell what was the tile color and what was dirty. The splotch (splash?) pattern had sprinkles of darker colors that could have been dirt or just colors. So shrewd! I could never mop it and who would know?

Amazingly, as of just now, I’ve finished everything but the window outside my office. That will require special gear (i.e., long pants, since it’s in the landscaping that has encouraged little blood-sucking flying things to stick around) and some enthusiasm (sure) before I get out there.

But, the tables are cleaned and set up; the extra chairs have been cleaned and the interior of the home is more than straightened…it’s clean!

That leaves the next three days for cooking (and chopping and mixing and cleaning again). All this for roughly 3 or 4 hours of visitation. And each time it ends I say I’ll never do it again.

But 6 months from now, at my birthday, I’ll come out of my shell once more and host the next one.

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