On Friday night we had a dinner party. Carl had invited clients over for dinner. People I had never met. Carl’s good like that, he’s sadistic.
I wasn’t stressed though because I knew it would all go well because the teenagers wouldn’t be there – out as usual and I would have the whole day to get everything organised.
But Friday turned out to be a bit hectic. Not only because I squeezed in an appointment with the beautician and ran down to Arabella’s school (twice) and tried hard to renew my driver’s licence, and had the menu to prepare and food shopping to do but because I also had the house to clean. Now there’s a project!
Taking on some time-saving schemes I decided to lock and bolt the doors of the teenager’s bedrooms as this would stop the humiliation I would feel if the guests accidentally wandered into one of these rooms of national disgrace.
By late afternoon I had everything fairly organised and Carl came home early and said he would take Alfie to his usual Friday evening outing, Sea Scouts. There was no way I could take him not only because I was busy but because I still didn’t have a licence. As Carl was leaving I said, ‘Could you hurry back?’ and he said he would. And what I meant was, ‘Could you hurry back after you drop him at Scouts?’ but Carl, for no good reason, decided to stay at Sea Scouts and arrived home two and a half minutes before our guests were due to arrive. I said, ‘Where have you been?’ And Carl looked all confused and said, ‘It only finished a few minutes ago. I hurried back.’
‘I wanted you to drop him off and hurry home. I’ve got so much to do and I’ve had no help’.
‘Oh, well what can I do?’
‘Could you put on some music?’ Because Carl does all the things around the house that are to do with cords, leads and wires.
And then for no good reason Rosie vomited. And not very quietly either. And so I had to get down on my hands and knees and clean dog vomit off the polished timber floors. And having cleaned that up I then noticed little paw prints of blood on my white kitchen tiles. The tiles I had bleached and scrubbed a few hours earlier. Where was the blood coming from? I checked the vomiter and it wasn’t her. I turned Ruby on her back and looked at her paws and sure enough, she’d ripped out a toenail. Carl said, ‘How did she do that?’
I said, ‘That’s not helpful Carl. Do you want me to ask her?’ Because I knew the doorbell would ring any minute and I hadn’t had time to put on any make-up because of Carl’s lengthy absence, the vomit and the missing toenail. I hurried into the bathroom that I had cleaned just before I scrubbed the kitchen floor to try and make some improvements to my appearance but reeled back in horror as I entered the room because the teenagers had been in there before going out and had left it in a state similar to their bedrooms. There was water all over the floor, the towels were askew, the vanity was filthy and there was something splattered on the mirror. I hoped it wasn’t toxic. I gave the bathroom a quick repair and was about to look for a lipstick when the doorbell rang. That was when, with a very strained face, I managed one of those very forced happy and relaxed looks.
So in they walked and I said, ‘Lovely to meet you, come on through, the kid’s bedrooms are closed because there’s nothing in there you’d like to see and there’s the bathroom and it looked really good an hour ago and here’s the kitchen but don’t step on the floor because that’s the dog’s blood you can see and over there, that big pile of washing belongs to Archie and a few Sunday’s ago I asked him to sort it out and he’s told me he’s going to and I’m sure that will happen one day. And what would you like to drink?’
And we had the best night.
It turns out they also have a daughter doing the HSC and she also goes to a princess school and is also studying Drama and this week she’d also performed in front of the Board of Studies and she has her formal coming up and her mother has gone the whole nine yards trying to find her a dress and she said her daughter is high maintenance. We had so much in common! It was like being in the company of someone leading a parallel life.
We had a fabulous time where we couldn’t stop talking and laughing and swapping teenage horror stories. Very therapeutic.
And nobody worried about the vomit, the state of the bathroom, the blood on the floor or Archie’s enormous pile of laundry.
And speaking of teenagers, I made them a salad they can take to uni/school.
Mixed Bean Salad
Degree of Difficulty: 1/5
- half a mignonette lettuce, leaves roughly torn
- 2 x 300g cans mixed beans
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 4 gherkins, finely chopped
- a handful of mint, finely chopped
- a handful of basil, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup EVOO
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tbspn grain mustard
- salt and pepper
Place the lettuce leaves on a large platter. Drain and rinse the beans and place in a large bowl. Add shallots, tomatoes, gherkins and herbs and mix to combine. Spread over lettuce.
Pour EVOO into a large glass jar. Add vinegar, garlic, mustard and seasonings. Place lid on jar and shake until well combined. Pour over salad. (Dressing makes more than is required for this salad so use only what you need and keep the rest in the fridge).