/> Raising Angels: To Shower or Not to Shower, That is the Question

Thursday, May 03, 2012

To Shower or Not to Shower, That is the Question

Sometimes I marvel at my ability to overdo things. I tend to say yes too much. In fact, I find myself actually biting my tongue in moments that I want to say, "How can I help?", when I actually can't do one more thing. I'm getting better at this but not good enough.

To add insult to injury, when I say yes, I don't do it the simple, easy way. At least, not most of the time. Let's take for instance this shower I'm giving Saturday. In the crunch before Glory Run I realized invitations had to go out. This is a relatively easy task except I couldn't find what I wanted and decided to make my own. I also hand delivered them.

I thought Cinco de Mayo would lend itself to an obvious theme for the shower, except for the small fact that I have not one iota of Mexican blood in me. Other than tacos, nachos and a mean burrito casserole, I had no idea what to make for fancy shower food. I could have ordered cheese dip from the local Mexican restaurant, put some chips in a bowl and called it a day. But seriously, I can't bring myself to do that.

Hear me out; I don't think less of people who go that route. In fact, I 'm kind of jealous of their ability to make it easy. I'm just admitting that I can't do it. I sometimes try to blame this perfectionism of mine on my mother but she's not having it. I did it to myself. Every time I think I've moved beyond it, I host a shower and realize it's not gone, it just manifests itself in different areas, now that I'm no longer in school.

Today I was trying to come down on myself for this character flaw when I realized something. I love to entertain. When it comes to throwing a party, it's no holds barred (well, okay, maybe some holds). Throwing a party combines several of my favorite things: a clean house, good food, and great decor. I pour over the party pictures in magazines and dream of having the time, money, and space to do what they do. I could so do that.

Interestingly enough, I don't do this for a living. Consequently, I don't have the motivation of a great paycheck. Speaking of which, we won't even talk about the cost of hosting one of these things (and if I could, I would spend much more than necessary). And there's the whole, I have four kids who need me, a husband with Shingles (at the moment having an allergic reaction to the antibiotic - been there done that and it's awful) whose birthday was also this week, and things like blinds for my family room that have been on my to do list for a year now.

Therein lies the rub. I still try to make it perfect, when I don't really have the time. I'll get it done, but I'll lose sleep (lots and lots) over it. Sometimes I can multi-task, like tonight when I offered to make an oatmeal bath for Nelson to try to relieve his itching. I realized that I really needed to clean the tub before he got in and thought, hey at least something is getting clean for the shower. Crazy. I often go into survival, get-er-done mode which consists of one of two things: 1) letting the kids do whatever will keep them out of my hair - Wii for two hours? Sure. Sprinklers on the trampoline? Okay. Cereal for dinner? You bet. Or 2) I run around like a drill sergeant making everyone work with me while barking at anyone who breaks my stride.

In my dreams I create a 1950's atmosphere of total calm. I see myself wearing the cutest apron over my darling dress while I pull out homemade goodness from the oven spinning around to put it in the window to cool after greeting my husband with a smile and a kiss and patting each of the children on the head while dishing out a good dinner to them with my other hand. In my dreams I am June Cleaver.

Reality is much scarier. I don't watch much sci-fi but I'm guessing those aliens have nothing on me when I'm in party prep mode. I am truly scary. See? I can admit it. That's half the battle...right?

The lesson here is to never throw another shower during any holiday month or May, which might as well be December except it's much hotter. I should also wait until I have an empty nest and am retired until I expect a perfectly clean house for such an event. And, I might wait until I can give myself ample time to plan as well as some ample sleep to prepare. Perhaps I should also consider hiring some help.

Basically, I won't throw another shower until I'm around 65. Of course by then I'll have another list involving why I'm too old to be doing silly things like hosting showers. Maybe I could do some when I'm fifty. Except, then I'll have a bunch of teenagers and I'll have all the reasons to wait that I did while they were young except that I'll probably be more frustrated by the fact that they are big enough to help but don't want to anymore.

Based on this analysis, there will never be a good time in my life to host a shower. So, I have a choice. I can stop offering to do them. Or, I can buck up, throw my hat in the bucket and do the best I can with the time and resources I have available.

Guess which one I choose. Fiesta baby!


Blogger Optimistic Existentialist said...

Ah saying yes too often. I do that as well. I don't look at as a character flaw as much as a sign that maybe we're just too nice :-)

8:19 AM  
Blogger Amy Parris said...

Ooh, that's a good way to look at it!

11:44 PM  
Blogger nicole said...

As I read this I thought there is no way she would just stop hosting showers or entertaining. ;) I do hope you can find some kind of balance. I know it is your gift to do these things, so I would never suggest you quit. I just hope your gift doesn't become a burden to you or your family. I know you are trying to watch for that though. Your community is blessed to have you.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Amy Parris said...

Nicole, you are so right. Entertaining is who I am. It's why we built the house. Lucky for me, my husband loves to entertain as well so we make a great team. And the kids? They love a great party like we do. Sometimes I just have to process it all.

9:52 PM  

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