We hosted a little party this past weekend. This in itself is not an unusual occurrence and this wee soiree was a friendly frenzy of festive folly, such as the season invites. Yes indeed, much merry was made. This makes me glad. When thirty people descend upon our home bearing food, drink, and musical instruments, I do hope everyone has a holly jolly good time.
Clean-up the following day is not quite so jubilant but hey, we don’t really mind. A small price to pay.
So there I am post-party, vacuuming and dusting and polishing and wiping and I discover some new divots in our hardwood floor. A couple of long scratches. A large scuff. Our fairly new glass-topped coffee table is also sporting a hefty new scar, carved right down the middle. And my beloved black baby grand has not only sustained its own share of new blemishes, there’s a stubborn bit of wax residue clinging mightily to its finish, the result of some over-exuberant candle blowing at the end of the night.
So what do I do upon realization of this carnage?
Yep, I break out into a big toothy grin and then I chortle. I do love to chortle.
Because my friends were here and they had a good time. And my house and every last stick in it is meant to facilitate the enjoyment of life. The celebration of love. The gratification of friendship. The making of music!
Now I know a lot of folks are horrified when they realize I do not demand coasters on the piano. As a matter of fact, we don’t actually demand coasters anywhere. And we are a “shoes on” house. That is correct. Unlike most of our fellow Canadians we don’t insist that all footwear be left at the door. As long as you’re not snow-covered or sopping wet, keep your shoes on, baby. First of all, we have a big fluffy dog and even though we do try to keep up he does tend to track in a good portion of the great outdoors embedded in his fur. Secondly, and most women will get this (especially at party time), if you have gone to the trouble of decking out and dolling up and your stilettos just happen to complement the outfit, why would I ever ask you to abandon them?
Naturally high-heeled shoes and a lack of coasters render our home vulnerable. And again I will say, I am okay with that. Because our home is sticks and boards and glass and brick. Carpets can be cleaned. Floors can be refinished. And my beautiful piano becomes (in my opinion) even more beautiful with ever new blemish. Because this piano has been used and it has been enjoyed and it has been loved. And do you know what this sweet little gem has even done to repay me (and my friends) for all the loving abuse? It stays in tune. It stays in tune relentlessly. You are supposed to tune a piano after every move (mostly because it will need it) buy my little sweetheart has been taken apart and hauled across province twice since it was last attended to. And it is still in perfect tune. I like to think it’s simply a display of musical gratitude.
We do not live in a museum. We do not expect perfection from people or things. We tidy up as best we can, we accept new idiosyncrasies (better word than flaws, don’t you think?) with grace and we smile at the memories. All the while, looking forward to the next opportunity to celebrate life with our friends.
I do believe with all my heart that is is a far better way to live than worrying, making rules, covering stuff up and worrying some more, all so that your home remains pristine. As my aging face reminds me daily, pristine is overrated. Lived in and loved wins every time. I’ll trade a happy memory for a new scratch every day of the week.
By the way, that wax blob on the baby grand is courtesy of my beloved. My human beloved, not the piano. This is the second time this season he has extinguished festive flames with too furious breath. I will say he is awesome about cleaning up the mess.
I will also say he has been banned from ever blowing out another candle as long as he shall live. Because a girl’s magnanimity can only go so far …