Monday, June 30, 2008

Surprise Me

Today wasn't going well. Closet junk emptied all over the floor of the kids' rooms, waiting to be sorted and put away; crap all over the main floor because I was too busy messing up the top floor yesterday to keep our living spaces tidy; the basement family room cluttered up by the boxes I had pulled out of Theo's new bedroom; and all of Larry's and Anna's workcamp "extras" (coolers, air mattress, sleeping bags) strewn over the mess as a sort of garnish. In short, the mess was so big, so deep, and so tall, we could not clean it up; there was no way at all. [Extra credit to anyone who knows where that line comes from.]

Instead, we all slept late; Larry napped for 2 hours after church, exhausted from attempting to sleep on a schoolroom floor all week; the kids whined because it was too hot to play outside....I was just heading upstairs to take a nap myself when the phone rang. Friends we hadn't seen in two years were heading our way - could they stop by?

It's amazing what the threat of public shaming will do. One hour, folks - that's all we had. And, by golly, we got it done. Our visitors even stayed to dinner. It was great to see them. And after they left, Larry and I spent the rest of the evening alternately high-fiving each other over our excellent teamwork and quietly enjoying our comfy, clean living room.

Of course, I've still got the kids' rooms to finish. And the basement. Anyone out there want to threaten a surprise visit? Please?

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42 comments:

  1. I cant even get motivated with the threat of MIL shame.
    she's coming this week!

    mightcould you come *here*?

    M.

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  2. Gotta love a surprise visit. I'm always AMAZED at how much we can get done between "the phone call" and the visit (usually about half an hour). I always tell dh that we need to have surprise company once a week so that the whole place gets cleaned!!

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  3. Uhmmm, The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss?

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  4. Ooooh, it's from the Cat in the Hat! I'm so excited that I know the answer and I'm the first one here, and it's brought me out of lurking! lol!

    Seriously though, the closets are nightmare! I mean, why do they just throw their crap in there and why doesn't it bother them????

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  5. Well, The Cat in the Hat, of course. Perhaps your friends could have brought over that nifty car thingy with all the hands sticking out of it, to help clean up.

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  6. Yeah I managed to finish painting half the living room, rip all the masking tape off, take up the drop clothes and replace the furniture when I heard an old friend that we hadn't seen in 5 years would be stopping by the house in just four hours. If I could have managed to drop 20 pounds in that time I would have too!

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  7. If it weren't for visitors, I would NEVER ever clean. I kid you not...

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  8. I know what you mean. We live in squalor too much of the time. With these puppies in the house, people are coming at random to see them and suddenly we're seeing spaces we haven't in months. I love surprise visitors.

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  9. That quote (it was the Fish who said it) is on my Facebook under "Favorite Quotes." I mutter it wandering around the house, wishing with all my heart that the Cat in the Hat will drive through my front door with his clean up machine.

    You know, FlyLady has a term for this: CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome).

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  10. Oh I have done this so many times! Rushing around and throwing things in closets and later finding that closet and having things fall on my head.

    Yeah, a real blast.

    I could stop by for a visit...if you like. :-)

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  11. Dr. Seuss.

    Isn't it amazing what a little motivation will do for you? Just yesterday, our staircase had a PILE of crapola at the base of it, which was starting to creep up, up, and away. When Laura's play date and her parent was an hour away, POOF!, the mess disappeared. Rather, it was sucked into my office. But still.

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  12. Yep, the Cat and the Hat, by my favorite, Dr. Seuss. My friend has twins who have tshirts that say "Thing One" and "Thing Two"

    Good for you for getting it all put away and cleaned up. I may have suggested we meet somewhere else, to avoid tackling the mess!

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  13. hahaha. Ya, that is why I regularly invite people over...just so I will have the added pressure.

    Hmmm...I never thought about it but I used to do that in college with tests. Wake up really early in the morning the day OF the test so I wouldn't have an excuse NOT to study.

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  14. Sometimes, that's the only way my house gets clean. Then I forget about everything I crammed in the hall closet until the next time I open that door...there are often trips to the emergency room after that.

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  15. Amazing how that works. I think it's because most of the time the mom is the only one that cares. Then you get "the call" and everyone stops shuffling around and starts frantically shoveling.

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  16. I love surprise guest clean up time. So much done in so little time! Why can't it be like that the rest of the week??

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  17. The Cat in the Hat. I have the whole book memorized.

    I have planned parties specifically so our house will get cleaned. The funny part is that we still wait until right before everyone comes over to start cleaning.

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  18. Sometimes having people come to visit is the ONLY way to get things done. Especially after you are done having kids and don't have the magic due date to light a fire under your butt.

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  19. CAT IN THE HAT!!! And I didn't even read any other comments. What do I get for extra credit? Can you tell I was an overachiever in HS?

    Oh, and I will be by in half an hour. See what you can do....

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  20. The Cat in the Hat.

    I'll be over in 15.

    Not really, I live like 3,000 miles away.

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  21. Why is it that it's too much work for just our own family, but the work gets done so quickly when company's coming?

    I guess I need to invite people over more often as our lazy summer days have created quite the mess! :)

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  22. Entertaining guests is always an EXCELLENT motivator over our way.

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  23. It really is a syndrome. CHAOS...I like that. I'm always willing to have people stop by...it helps me clean off the dining room table...unfortunately, it's usually into a box which ends up in the basement or garage...then when I need something, I have to hunt! Luckily, I can usually remember where thing are!

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  24. This is my first time over here at your Domain & I love it. I will be back, but you don't have to clean up for me. Ta Ta for now!

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  25. Yep, that last minute panic attack cleaning works every time. Sadly I know all about my impending MIL visit and still plan on last minute freakouts.

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  26. I LOVE it. I think that's what it's going to take to get us cleaned up around here too. Kudos to you both for pulling it off!

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  27. I'm a little late but I knew it was Cat in the Hat, too!

    My husband hd to yell "RED ALERT!" last weekend when the in laws pulled a surprise pop-in visit. Ooh, the horror of surprise visitors. We got the house picked up in 20 minutes and then promptly sat outside for their entire visit. At least the living room got cleaned.

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  28. I have a love/hate relationship with unexpected company. It is amazing what you can do with a small threat of humiliation isn't it?

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  29. My sister used to have me come sit in her bedroom so that she could clean it. I didn't really understand that then but I do now! Could you come over in say, 1/2 an hour?

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  30. isnt it so devestating that the mess always gets worse before it gets better!!
    i have no shame. hehe

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  31. Oh yeah, there's nothing like people coming over to get folks to whip their place into shape! Over the years helping folks with home organization I used to tell my clients that when all else fails, have an impromptu party or dinner get together thereby forcing you to get it together. It's a great motivator!

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  32. I'll be over to take a shower in a half an hour.

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  33. I work the best under pressure. Isn't it amazing what we can get done in an hour when pushed? My hubby and I make a great tag team for these last minute we have to get this done NOW kinds of times!

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  34. Having company over ALWAYS turns me into the White Tornado.

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  35. Maybe we should start a surprise visit club and drop in on eachother.

    Been there, done that, super fast. It's amazing.

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  36. I feel I always work better under pressure too! It also helps if I hold a big stick while dictating my orders.

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  37. I'd totally come by if I could--but to drag you away, not make you clean more. The surprise visits do inspire motion, though. I am in constant awe of what my children manage to hoard.

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  38. Mrs. G.'s Heart of the Home (which I didn't read all the directions and opened my ENTIRE HOME) caused me to get off my arse and do some tidying. Today, ummmm, not looking quite the same.

    KEEP BELIEVING

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  39. I thought you'd never ask. I wish that were enough to light a fire under my toosh.

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  40. I love surprise visits and last minute plans.... Surprise visits that give you an hour can make you accomplish wonderful things. Last minute plans get your whole house clean!

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  41. Well done! My aunt and uncle pulled the same thing a few months ago...they were on their way, just 30 minutes out. But we whipped the house into shape.

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  42. Rofl! I SO relate to this one.

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