In looking back on the events of the last few hours, I have come to the conclusion that it was partially my fault: I should have listened to my cactus.
I call this unusual houseplant my “party cactus” because it always blooms whenever we have a party. Without fail. When I was watering the plants a few days ago, I noticed a couple of pink blooms. Instead of heeding its warning, I chuckled and thought “Finally, the cactus is wrong!”
I guess that cacti don’t like to be wrong.
My day started like pretty much any Sunday. I had turned down invitations to other Super Bowl festivities because A) I had too much to do and B) I really don’t care unless the Seahawks are involved. I was going to spend the day on some minor things like studying for my Statistics mid-term and putting together a tedious bid for a work contract that is due in days. Not to mention the looming deadlines for college transfer and scholarship applications. What I’m trying to say is that my stress level was already at Orange and dangerously teetering on Red.
Then, for reasons I will never fully understand, Rick chose this moment to tell me that he has invited a group of people over for a Super Bowl party.
For a split second, I’m completely paralyzed. Then, ever so slowly, my neck swivels to look at the clock. It’s 1pm. On Sunday. Super Bowl Sunday.
I catch my reflection in the mirror: disheveled hair, stained tee-shirt, and sweatpants that were new when Britney Spears was still considered “a good role model.” It’s my typical uniform for a lazy Sunday at home. But I was definitely not in hostess mode.
By now I can barely take in the condition of the room around me. My daughter had a sleepover the night before and the house is destroyed in that special way that only a pack of tween girls can do (and FYI: it only takes two tweens to qualify as a pack. It’s quite awe-inspiring.)
Rick’s voice breaks through the haze of my brain trying to comprehend what I have just heard. “Oh honey, it will only take 10 minutes to clean this place up!” I think he really believed that.
Hours later, we are desperately throwing random clutter into closets as the clock ticks closer to kickoff. There is only one problem: What am I going to feed these guests?
At moments like this, I always think “What would Martha do?” Yes, when faced with impending party doom, I turn to Entertainment Goddess/Ice Queen Martha Stewart for guidance. And I know exactly what she would do. First, she would dispose of the body of her husband in a simple but tasteful casket constructed entirely of tulle, glitter, and hot glue. But since I don’t have the time or stomach for cold-blooded murder, I move on to her next step. She would conjure up a fantastic buffet with items in her pantry and throw together clever Super Bowl-themed centerpieces with time to spare for a full mani-pedi. I’m not that good but I think I can make some edible party food using what I have on hand.
I discover I’m out of sour cream, a requirement for any self-respecting Super Bowl party. Martha would probably whip up her own but since the only dairy I have is chocolate milk, I’m forced to punt (did you notice the football reference?) and send Rick to the store.
He gets back just in time for the guests’ arrival and we proceed to have a wonderful time with our company. People seemed to enjoy the food and I doubt anyone was aware of the last minute party planning. I understand that there was a football game going on, complete with power outages and an exciting finish. But I hardly noticed as I was still in shock and a little woozy from acute calorie overdose.
All and all, it was a successful party. However, I doubt I will be getting any last minute entertaining announcements in the future. I hope Rick realizes how lucky he is that I am not the type that requires lavish gifts of flowers and jewelry to make up for his misdeeds. This could have ended up a very expensive party for him. Rather, I am the type to let it go for now but allow it to simmer inside and boil over whenever the opportunity presents itself. This will be brought up for many, many years to come. Maybe he isn’t so lucky after all?