Which meant having someone inside.
Inside, where we (mainly Christine) have books in stacks and we haven't seen the surface of the kitchen table in aeons. The house feels crowded, as clutter is everywhere.
But OK. And then her whole family was coming with, which promoted a small panic, so we found the kitchen table! And while i was in meetings, Christine tidied the living room. "This isn't small," J-- said, as she arrived -- alone, thank heavens -- and i did a double take, wondering WHERE ARE ALL THE BOOKS??
So, yay for restored order, although i do have some plant things on the laundry machine that need some sort of home.
--== ∞ ==--
I find myself recalling how much i wanted to impress J-- in college, how much i wanted to be interesting, and i observe myself judging myself in retrospect, "ooh, not clever enough." I will try to stop that. I also note the political judgements i was making. She spoke briefly about the social support network in England being brutal and cruel with no hope, I contrasted to Scandinavia, she returned with an observation about heterogeneity and things possibly changing with immigration. Little flags about "Arizona immigration biases" popped up in my mind, while i also could recognize some truth. I ponder my trust/distrust reactions while recognizing that it seems J-- is more focused on numbers, data, facts.
--== ∞ ==--
The whole day had a blurry quality to it: power blinks, rain, and storm threat (that i consciously was rolling my eyes at), the getting ready for company -- five additional people! -- the presence of someone i was delighted to see and yet who is more a stranger than not. Then wine at lunch and coming down off the adrenaline.
We have another social thing tomorrow, another connection from (oy) 30 years ago. At least all the house appearance insecurities are covered. Christine's house appearance insecurities mark a milestone in her American womanhood socialization. I've struggled with mine for years, because my mother demanded spotless, tidy, and well-styled living spaces. I learned over time that most people don't live in a house ready for Southern Living or Sunset to show up and do a photo shoot, that i can have a house that IS lived in. I've tried to accommodate Christine's clutter since we have been living together, as a negotiation of two people living together with rational priorities. "What will visitors think" is, to me, a much lower priority than "I would like to be comfortable." But -- wow -- the socialization to have the place look "nice" is so entrenched.
--== ∞ ==--
It has been a pretty unproductive-at-work week with some intense periods. I did realize today that the throat issue is almost gone, and the back soreness just is a ghost.
Over 2.5 inches of rain with little other effect: all the work to manage rain like this seems to be working, diverting rain away from the house. The NYTimes has raise the COVID risk level as the postive tests in the county have ticked up with some regularity now -- not statistical blips. The counties around have ticked up, too, and i feel it's back to masks for me. So depressing.