Maybe I forgot to mention this, but we are selling our house by owner. This past week, while I was doing my daily chores, my doorbell rang. I found a nice realtor lady on my doorstep telling me that she had a couple that she was showing houses to and they wanted to see ours. Oh, and did I mention they were waiting in the car can they come in now? The first bead of sweat appeared on my forehead. I negotiated 30 minutes of prep time, shut the door and set a timer. Did I mention this is our first house showing? The second bead of sweat appeared. I then began to simultaneously clean every room of the house. Logic would say to clean one room at a time, thus making for much less dashing about, but Logic had taken the day off. Fuzzy Thinking was telling me that if every room was the same level of mess, the house would flow better than having one very clean room and the rest a hazmat zone. These were the thoughts I was having as I vainly tried to fold up my collapsing 5'x4' reflector panel. Very much like trying to cram an angry cat into a sock in double time, I wasn't having much success. The house viewers were just going to have to scratch their heads when they opened my office closet and saw a giant panel of gold material blocking their entire view. We will call it Obstructionist Feng Shui. If it cannot be seen, there is no mess.
25 minutes to go.
My wonderful neighbor and her son just happened to stop by at this precise moment. Before she could even get her finger on the doorbell, I ripped the door open and babbled something incoherent. She could tell by the wild look in my eyes, the sweat pouring off me, and that distinct frothy-mouth look that I had either contracted rabies or some people were coming to look at the house. She came in and, instead of having me put down, grabbed a vacuum and got to work.
15 minutes to go.
My neighbor's adorable 1 year old son stands in the middle of the hallway as I leap past him clutching a bin of clean clothes and humming the finale of the 1812 Overture. Loudly. Mouth agape and a quizzical look in his eye, he wonders why his mother has brought him into this house of madness.
5 minutes to go.
Amazingly, every visible part of the house is sparkling. Let's just hope they don't open anything. Especially not in the kitchen. They might see the box of Ritz crackers that has been crumpled into an impossibly small ball and mashed between cans of black beans and a coffee maker.
3 minutes to go.
Nobody wants to come into a house with two manic pugs locked in a back room, especially if they have to look in that room to determine if this could be their future office. I brought both dogs over to my neighbor's house and into her back yard, just as hubs pulls onto our street. He knows nothing of what is about to transpire and all he sees is me running full tilt from the neighbor's house back towards ours. He thinks the house is on fire, but I am able to calmly reassure him by collapsing into the passenger seat and croaking "pee gasp pee gasp peeople coming!" Still not sure that our house isn't burning down, he pulls out of the garage and drives to the neighbors house.
The timer rings.
I take a deep breath, wipe the deluge from my face and walk to the door with a smile just in time to open it for the prospective home buyers. My countenance reads: Sorry for the inconvenient wait. I just needed a few minutes to straighten the curtains and dust a few shelves.