Stumbling thru life w/Grace

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Spring Cleaning With Purpose

Excited and stressed, I write out my list of things to do with purpose, and a deadline attached to it this year. And by "it" I mean spring cleaning. My girlfriend Delta, from WA who I have known for what, 17 yrs. is coming to stay a few days next week.

As I look around to tally the chores that absolutely have to be done, before her long awaited visit, I am becoming a little overwhelmed. My training, and 10 yrs. of working in a hospital pharmacy, mixing IV's where strile technique is EVERYTHING, has me conscious of all the unseen germs, that I would never want to subject a houseguest to. Let alone my longtime friend, and confidante. So kitchen cleanliness, and bathroom sterility, are a give. Clutter, on the other hand, is a whole different matter. What I'm trying to admit, and not very easily, is I suck at housekeeping.

I AM a perfectionist, although if you entered my home, you probably wouldn't think so. The problem is, if I don't have the time to do it to perfection (or I don't FEEL like doing it to perfection) it doesn't get done. (Or my wonderful husband does it, in his not quite perfectionistic way.) Although who am I to bitch, since I didn't do it to begin with.

And now my girlfriend from years gone by, is coming to stay with me. As I look around the office slash guestroom, I'm reminded of my penchant for clutter, and saving/keeping everything. Damn do I have my work cut out for me. I want Delta to feel at home, so I have to at the very least, douche this room, and the kids slash guest bathroom.

Delta and I go back a long way. We know each others ugly secrets, cuz some of them, we shared together. We have seen each other thru marraiges, divorces, raising kids, household moves, emotional traumas, many many late into the evening parties, dead end jobs, and we have even been house room mates, with our then two kids.

I met Delta in the infamous 80's, right before she was about to marry her live-in boyfriend. We met, when I started hanging out at the restaurant/bar where she was working as a waitress. Whenever I came in, she always greeted me with such enthusiasm, and remembered my name after my first visit.

I would come into the restaurant in the evening after the dinner crowd, and sit up at the breakfast bar for a few hours. Sometimes to eat, most times to have a few drinks. I was at the time, having a tawdry affair with a guy who was moolighting as their cook a few nights a week. ( He was a restaurant equpment salesperson by day) So she soon became my confidante, for my misdeeds. This "misdeed" lasted off and on for well over a decade. Not one of my better moments, or two, or three...

Soon, when her marraige had hit the skids, (NOT by any misdeeds on her part) we started slumming together. Delta is a beautiful dark haired, Lt. olive skinned feisty Italian. And she knew how to party and have a good time. And a good time we had.

Our friendship evolved from there. And we have a lot of shared memories, some of which I may go into at a later date. One of our memories, that we share a laugh over even now from time to time, was when we were living together, with our two children. My son Robby was a year younger then her daughter Jan. We worked together, taking turns dropping and picking our kids up from school. This gave us both a little freedom for a social life, besides our jobs. It enabled her to stay out later after work, to see her then boyfriend. And allowed me the same freedom on other nights to go out and see the uhhh gentleman I was seeing at the time. OK, he was a drummer in a bar room circuit band. (Nightclubs WERE big in the 80's) I'm off topic.

At any rate one morning it was my turn to take the kids to school. The only problem was, I had been up until 4:00 AM partying, and was hung the hell way over! I had taught Robby early on how to set HIS alarm, get up, fix his cereal, get dressed, brush teeth, and THEN wake me up, to take him into school. Jan on the other hand was a bit more pampered in her morning routine. (as it should be, by the way) Or maybe she just needed more guidance. But I groggily set her to work taking care of the details of getting ready. She came in where I was half dozing, and asked if "this dress", which was on her, "was OK to wear to school." I may or may not have actually looked at her. As just her speaking, made my head pound like my drummer boys drums in a solo!

Somehow I managed to rise, throw some clothes on and get the kids to school. Soon there after I headed off to work. A few hours later, I get a call at work, and its Delta. seems Jan fell down at school and skinned her knee up, and I think ripped her "dress." So Delta had to go pick her up. I had in my foggy state sent Jan to school in her slip. (It looked like a sun dress to me???) Jan, a 21 year old mother herself now, still chides me and laughs about it. At the time, I don't think Delta found it quite so humorous.

Our friendship has changed dramatically over the years. As we aged, grew, evolved, whatever you wanna call it, so did our friendship. I do know after my daughter was born, and we had completely cleaned up our acts, to the point of not being recognizable from our days in the 80's; Delta was there for me in a HUGE way.

My daughter was born in November of 93, and from the minute she came out of me, she screamed with such a loud, intense cry, she drove anyone around her, away. Except of course for me and her father. We had no choice but to stick it out. Tayler screamed, approximately 20 hours per day. A deafening, pained inconsolable scream. What we didn't realize then, or figure out for two and a half months of this, was that she had severe acid reflux. Everytime she ate, and then was layed down, her pain was horrid. Rick and I during these couple of months, played tag team with the baby. We never saw each other, as the minute he got home, I would hand Tayler off to him, and leave the premises for a few hours, as when he would go to bed, I was "back on shift."

Where I went, during these completely sleep deprived, traumatizing months, was Delta's house. She would let me basically come over, sit on her couch, and chain smoke. Some nights, we wouldn't even talk, just stare at the TV. Some nights I would be such an emotional wreck, that she would make me this very tasty white chocolate cappucino, and serve it to me in her white china cups and saucers. Don't ask me why, but this made me feel pampered and taken care of. At a time that I couldn't think straight. She never tried to "fix" my problems, she knew she couldn't. She was just there for me. And basically allowed me to meld into her family those few hours EVERY evening.

I have to say, this was one of the most harrowing times of my life. Having this brand new baby, that not only was I not able to bond with, I wasn't able to even comfort. I didn't allow myself much time to really emerse myself in these thoughts, and neither did Delta. It was what it was, and I needed all my strength and patience, to get thru it.

We did eventually figure out the problem, but not before I spent a small fortune, on every type of gimmick "garaunteed" to cure colic. Contraptions you strapped to the bottom of the crib, that vibrated, having her sleep at an angle on a wedge, mylecon drops (for gas) 20 different formulas, running the vacumm cleaner for hours (this actually worked part of the time) and many things I can't even think of now. We saw a few diffferent doctors, I even took this newborn baby to a chiropractor. I was desperate.

Finally, we had heard thru another pharmacist at work, who had heard from a hairdresser, about this severe form of reflux, and how Zantac drops all but cured it. We went back to the doc. armed with this imformation, and her reply, bascially was what the hell, whada we got to lose. From the very first dose, Tayler's crying diminished to a measley 4 hours per night. She still had colic, but after the 20 hours a day for 2 and a half months, this was a walk in the park.

So this Delta memory, probably above all else, stands out in my mind. She was there for me, stood by me, when I was closer to emotionally snapping, then any other time in my life. I will be forever grateful to her for this. And now, after being away from WA for 4 yrs, she is coming to stay with me. I want to roll out the red carpet, ensure that this part of her vacation is FUN with a capital F. And to start, I need to get her bedroom clean.


  • How fun that she's coming to visit!! I'm the same way about cleaning... however, I'm going to tell you what DH told me once as I was frantically trying to make the house spotless "She's not the Queen of England!" :o) She is coming to see you, not inspect the house and how you clean,... enjoy your time with her!!

    By Blogger Sis, at 11:47 AM  

  • I can totally relate to your post, I lose my mind when someone special is coming to visit. I view my entire house a different way and start doing stupid things like arranging my plates in the cupboard or ironing napkins... let's face it, anyone who knows me well enough to be considered special KNOWS I'm an unorganized freak who is allergic to the iron, it's so dumb! (But i do it anyway...)

    By Blogger Kim, at 8:14 AM  

  • It is one of life's greatest blessings to have a friend who "knew you when..." Enjoy your visit with Delta, and like "sis" says, she's coming to see you, not your house, so try not to stress:)

    By Blogger Susie, at 8:36 PM  

  • Sis! Yes you are right! And Delta knows me, she has seen my home in WA at it's utmost worse! She's gonna think I'm sick, or have been replaced with a UFO pod person, if my house is too clean.

    Kim! I hear ya! Actually what you describe is exactly my reaction, when mom comes to visit! I'm trying not to stress it too much. As Delta has never been the type of person to stand in judgement of me anyway.

    Susie! thanks for commenting, and putting into words clearly, concisely what I didn't manage to say in my wordy post. She "knew me when" and that is awsomely special!

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 12:33 PM  

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