You know how it is: you are expecting guests, baby shower guests, for instance, and all of a sudden, your house begins to appear … less than perfect. There’s nothing like the expectation of company to make you see your house in a whole new light; you are suddenly hyper-aware of the many faults and foibles of your kitchen. And guest bathroom. And back door. And front steps. And….
There’s the kitchen faucet which works perfectly until someone new comes along and tries to move the spigot. Then the aerator just pops right off, and he or she gets drenched.
And the freezer, which has to be closed with Velcro because it pops open every time the fridge door closes.
And the back door out of the kitchen, which only opens on alternate Wednesdays, unless there is a full moon, in which case you have to wait until the next solstice. Its handle went missing for three whole months once. Just flew off.
And the powder room toilet which flushes perfectly well because you’ve paid to have the plumber come back three times, and each time he’s told you, “It’s fixed!” And it is fixed, unless you forget to manually lift the flusher after you’ve flushed, in which case, you end up with a flood in the basement, like last weekend, for instance, when there were 30 kids running around the house. At least shower guests can be depended upon to be able to read the sign about the proper care and feeding of the Temperamental Toilet.
And the front porch steps, which you don’t ever notice from day to day but which look absolutely dreadful when company is coming because they are crumbling and have lost all their paint after a winter of having hockey bags dragged up and down them.
In some ways, I take a quiet joy in knowing just how to negotiate my diva kitchen sink spout that has to be handled just so, and, yes, even in knowing how best to care for The Temperamental Toilet. I know the sound of that toilet when it is well and when it is ailing, and we rush to its aid when it’s ailing. It’s just what we do.
And really, it’s not so different from having kids with diva tendencies that you don’t notice, until you do. Some things you aim to change, others, you live with.
The last of the shower guests left at 5:00.
At 6:00 the doorbell rang. A painter to give us an estimate for fixing the front steps. I take no joy in peeling paint.