The New Year began much as the old year ended, in complete and total chaos. I’m not sure why I was surprised, but I suppose I still cling to the hope that another year brings with it another crack at that serenity business I keep hearing so much about but have yet to experience. We had guests for lunch on Thursday and I had spent a few weeks preparing for the meal — planning the menu, even testing out a couple of dishes, and conferring with my pal Nancy in LA because she and I were cooking from the same cookbook that we’d both just bought (this, by the way is a terrific way to feel like you’re in the same kitchen with a friend who is miles away). But, despite all my planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning, minutes before my guests left they all were forced to drop to their knees and frantically mop up the white latex house paint from the floors of my house in a panicked attempt to clean it before it dried. That’s right, their final memories of Rosh Hashana lunch will be hysterically scraping my hardwood floors with rags and cloth napkins. Why? Because there was a can of paint in my driveway. A can of paint that we should have dried out and disposed of, but which we’d neglected for a couple of weeks and was left hiding behind the trash bins. Apparently it wasn’t hiding well enough because the boys managed to kick it over, stand in it, and then form a procession which went over the driveway (white footprints), across my deck (more footprints), brush past M’s pants (suit pants, which many of you will know is a rarity unto itself, and will now be even rarer), through the kitchen (even more footprints), across the rug we brought home from our honeymoon in Turkey, through the hall, and into the girls’ bedroom. Which is where I was standing when Bennett found me, still covered in paint.
“Holy new year Batman, you better go get your father,” is what I think I said.
“I did, and he told me to come and get you.”
Turns out, that M had told the boys to come and find me, but that he only thought they had paint on their (best, dress) clothes, and didn’t see it all over their shoes. Before I knew it, my guests were on all fours cleaning up as fast as they could. There were white sticky footprints everywhere I looked, and the 300 kids in the house couldn’t help but walk through them, making it worse. Actually, it seems that the only kids who got ANY paint on them at all were those kids whose names end in “Geller.” I can’t even begin to think about this too much, but everyone else went home clean. One of my guests, a terrific new friend, said to me “Does this mean I’m finally going to make it into your blog?”
The hardwood has recovered, the status of clothes and shoes is uncertain, and I don’t have high hopes for the carpet — but I did send M and some of the kids to Lowe’s to see if they could dig up something to help. As for me, the kids have been home for almost five days now, and it’s been rewarding, fulfilling, and utterly draining. I need a nap. Happy new year.