Too Old for the After Party

We had a Christmas party last Saturday and I am still wiped out. Apparently while I’m not too old to throw and go to parties, I am too old to clean up after them.

The party was fun, making the food for it was invigorating, and getting the house half decorated earlier than normal was inspiring. Then the last person left (despite my begging, crying and pulling on the hems of their shirts) and my husband and I looked at each other with a now-who’s-going-to-clean-up-this-mess look.

He cleaned up outside and I cleaned up the kitchen, but I was easily distracted by Saturday Night Live and I only really got the perishable food put away. We crawled off to bed, only to find that the next morning the mess was still there! What happened to all the fairies? I’m not sure, but I remember something about fairies coming in the night and loading the dishwasher and blowing out candles and unplugging the coffee pot.

Sunday, I spent a third of the day laying on the couch watching movies and talking about how I was going to get up and get something done, a third of the day wandering over to the kitchen counter and randomly picking up things and setting them down in other places, and third of the day eating baklava and crab dip. And someone had brought us peppermint bark candy and it seemed to be magnetized, because I kept getting drawn over there to break off a piece of chocolately-peppermint goodness. By 5 o’clock the candy and the baklava were half gone and I was buzzed from the sugar and corn syrup. But not buzzed enough to have enough energy to actually finish getting one single thing done.

When we were younger we used to have a St. Patrick’s Day party every year. We were young and the parties went well into the night and next morning. Cleaning up sometimes meant getting out the hose and industrial strength chemicals, and calling next-of-kin to pick up leftover party guests. (“And could you take a few bags of trash and a baggie of spinach balls, too?” I’d ask.) But I don’t remember it being a problem. Maybe because our house was moderately skanky to begin with.

But now that we’re old and tame, our parties should be a breeze. Our guests on Saturday were all so well behaved, I don’t think anyone even threw up.

Today is Monday and by the end of today, I swear I’ll have those trays and wine glasses put away. The distractions and the peppermint bark can only last so long.

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