This Sunday Austin graduates from med school which means a lot of things that require a lot of lists. Most pressing is the 40+ people coming to my tiny house for a party after the ceremony, including multiple houseguests. So far I have developed a stress pimple (Gary), and a stress stye in my right eye (we call him Sal). My wish for them is to die quickly and leave me alone with my lists.
I don’t know about you, but when a lot people are coming to my home for an event, I like to abide by the following protocol to reduce stress.
Step 1: Plan ahead. Make at least fourteen lists of things you need to do on various days, including a grocery inventory and cleaning schedule. Use a highlighter if necessary.
Step 2: Talk it out. It is important to process every detail of the event as many times as possible with your sister, aunt, and friends at the gym. Make sure to also call your mom to go over the food items as she may take pity on you and make half of them. Include at least four rounds of heavy sighing.
Step 3: Employ your spouse. Asking Austin to do things around the house is one of my very favorite hobbies. However, asking your spouse to do all the things you do not want to do is a delicate process. Use tactics such as bribes, “looking busy,” and again–heavy sighing.
Step 4: Start a project you cannot finish. 3-5 days before your event, it is important to start a project that is impossible to finish. This idea is usually one that is supposed to “improve your environment” and “make things more homey.” Possible ideas include rearranging the furniture, creating a gallery wall, and painting the bathroom. Do as little research as possible.
Step 5: Run unnecessary errands. You need to get groceries for your party so you should probably also stop by Target for a new bra, shower liner (someone may take a shower!), and 20 houseplants. Wait, Target doesn’t carry houseplants. But a dozen local greenhouses do! Spend at least a half hour at each one. Use half of the grocery money on hanging baskets. Call your mom again.
Step 6: Completely panic and finally start the laundry. Oh, 50 people are coming to your home in less than 48 hours? Now would be a good time to do the dishes and start a load of laundry. There is also dusting, vacuuming, bathrooms, and carrying boxes of things you cannot deal with to the attic. You should also clear your phone pictures and make a moving slideshow. This would also be a good time to google “fun adult games.” Put the kids in front of Netflix. Go to bed at 3am.
Step 7: Transform into a gracious host. The last few hours before a party begins can be a bit “strenuous” as the children unpot the houseplants and your spouse keeps mysteriously disappearing to the basement. You may not be your best, soft spoken self–but people will be arriving soon, so it’s important to make the transformation from Disney witch to beautiful princess for the sake of morale. Kiss the children, smile at your husband. You are a beautiful butterfly.
May the odds be in everyone’s favor.