There is a certain satisfaction waking up the morning after you've had a party, and your furniture is still slightly askew, and there is a pile of dishes in your sink, and you're finding glasses set down in corners and on top of bookshelves.
I love it. I love the evidence that there was a bunch of people hanging out in my space. Cleaning up doesn't even phase me because I am so happy that it happened.
In college, at the Polyhouse, after big parties on Saturdays we would spend Sunday mornings drinking pots of coffee and eating waffles, and then the 6 of us would clean all afternoon, trying to get the spilled beer smell out of the living room carpet, and would eventually make dinner. Is it weird that some of my most nostalgic memories from college come from cleaning up after parties with my roommates as opposed to the parties themselves?
I hosted a pot-luck on Friday to welcome home my boss, Ian, from the desert, and as a house-warming for myself. It was crowded and loud and fun and I loved it. This new living situation of mine is wonderful for a lot of reasons, not least of which is that I can entertain again.
I was in the kitchen, getting drinks and helping people find serving spoons for their dishes.
"Kelsey, do you want help putting out the salsa?" asked Heather.
"Sure," I said. "Here are some bowls to put them in," and handed her bowls.
"You can just send them out," said Aunt Janet* "they're ok in the containers they're in."
"Oh no," I said. "I mean, I know no one cares, but they need to be put in pretty dishes."
"I understand," said Heather, scooping the salsa into the bowls.
"My Mom and Aunties would be relieved to know this happened," I explained.
So presentation resulted in some extra dirty dishes. It made the women who raised me proud, even if they don't know it, and it made me happy to see them stacked in the sink the following morning.
*Aunt Janet is technically Ian's Aunt, but everyone calls her Aunt Janet, and I've adopted her as an aunt here in Pittsburgh.