July 18, 2004

Mission: Highly Improbable

I slept too late today, and I'm stiff all over. Yesterday evening the Hub Spouse and I had a few friends over. Which marks the first time we've entertained here since 1998 (a birthday party for a friend) and 1999 (when my husband was making his little indie movie, and we filmed it here).

I kept it small (12 people), and tried to make it manageable. The largest ulterior motive was to create an incentive for me to straighten up the house a little bit. That worked, as far is it went, though there's still plenty to do. The living room was still a horror story: 25% of the floor space was taken up by piles of magazines and papers. So a few recalcitrant piles certainly remain. I did clear a path to the husband's Emmy awards, in case anyone wanted to check them out (someone did). [Come to think of it, there was a gathering for my husband's family here in the summer of 2000, if that counts, wherein there was clutter around the edges, and we had houseguests in 2001, with clutter rampant.]

And of course the motive behind de-cluttering is to clear things out to the point that we can have a social worker over here without her running away, screaming that we're unfit to be parents. (Yes. My ulterior motives have ulterior motives.)

Still, once the spouse and I talked about having a party at all we began to realize—or admit out loud—how much my clutter cuts us off socially. Ideally, my husband would like to be able to have the writers who work for him over here: it's only right.

I wonder if this particular soiree occurred because I didn't want to get to the point of no return, and die among piles of magazines like those poor clutterers one reads about in the newspapers.

This party was mostly my friends, though they weren't all people who knew each other; I was trying to stay away from the dynamic wherein people sit around talking about their shared history. And, just to be fair, there will be a party this fall skewed toward my husband's friends, to which I'll only invite a couple of my own.

The victories: 1) I only got irritated once, and that was when I snapped at my bestest guy friend for something that was irrelevant (and none of my business). For me, no moments of panic, no "oh shit, it's all ruined! go home everybody, my grand plans have been foiled!" is a big achievement. I don't enjoy the fact that I was an asshole for five seconds, but on the Attila Girl scale that's small stuff. I'll make my amends, and life will go on.

2) While mentally taking notes on "what worked, what didn't" for the next party, I was able to recognize and tell myself that more things went well than went wrong. That's big stuff for me, considering how much of a perfectionist I am.

So we need to do this a minimum of 2-4 times a year. And this one event had huge symbolic importance.

(Little Mr. Mahatma: you and your wife—and the boys, if the gathering's large enough to absorb their energy—are at the top of the list for the next Attila Party; I was concerned about keeping it small enough for people to fit onto my little balcony. Thought you'd want to know.)

Posted by Attila at July 18, 2004 04:14 PM

Don't bother cleaning up then. If your house is in anyway not safe for children, my kids will discover the secret. Balcony? Expect them to play bungie-jump without the bungie. Weaponry? Remove the items to the next county or you'll see "Command & Conquer" re-enacted in your living room. Free food? White carpeting? Need I say more!

This is why we throw parties and rarely go to others. But they are good kids...really! Maybe I'm just one of those damn Liberal parents...

Posted by: Little Mr Mahatma at July 19, 2004 08:19 AM

I'm sure at some point you'll find out how to harness that little-boy energy for good . . . start indoctrinating them now about the importance of making money when they get older, so they can support Mom and Dad in the style they'd like to get accustomed to.

Posted by: Attila Girl at July 19, 2004 04:32 PM

Don't laugh but we *seriously* considered piezo-electric flooring to put their running around to good use.

As for our old age and them supporting us, we first have to survive the Teens. As for money they've discovered that being really cute around grandparents is profitable. Blighters!!

Posted by: Little Mr Mahatma at July 20, 2004 08:27 AM

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