Monday, September 13, 2010

Portrait of a Control Freak

Now, I know I look so sweet that I might melt if I was out in the rain.

I reached the stunning realization two days ago, that I am in fact not sweet at all. I am a control freak.

There! I've said it! It's like, "It's my way or the highway!" with me and always has been.

Toilet paper is supposed to be placed so it rolls forward, not backward. Why? Because I say it's wrong to do it the other way!

Parties are supposed to be planned and menus, flowers, and wines decided two days before the event at a minimum! Why? Because I say so.

The perfect "dinner party" includes no more than 8 people. Any more and it gets chaotic. Outdoor lunch with a bbq is fine for up to 10 people. Why ten? Because that is the correct number to have. Using paper plates, cups, or plastic utensils is wrong. Why? Because I say so that's why.

If I entertain, I pull out the linen cloths and napkins, the sterling flatware, and the good china and crystal. It's just how I roll. If I like you enough to invite you, I want it to be a perfect and aesthetic experience for you. I choose the music to play. Nothing is left to chance.

Everyone is not like me. When people are not like me and they do things "their way", I have trouble adjusting to it. My son in law wanted to have a birthday party for his wife at my house yesterday. I said fine, but because Alex is away, I told him that I would need his help. He said, "Don't worry, I'll take care of everything."

I was full of trepidation because my son in law and my daughter are people who do not plan. They like to say "we fly by the seat of our pants". I am a planner and an arranger, and as I mentioned, a control freak.

But this time I decided to just "let go". He and I spoke once and he told me there would be a total of about 16 people that he had invited for 1 PM on Sunday, September 12. I panicked and said to change it to 3 PM because I knew we would never have enough time to get things set up by noon or so. He agreed and told me he would be over by noon on Sunday to do whatever was needed.

The yard was sort of a mess with leaves, and tables needed to be hauled out and set, and grocery shopping done. I thought that my daughter had married a crazy man if he thought this would all come together in 3 hours. But I bit my tongue and said fine. (Relax. It's HIS party, not my party.)

He arrived with Cyrus, my 17 year old strapping grandson, and Arianna, my beautiful 14 year old grand daughter. They got brooms, swept the back yard, hosed down the bricks, pulled out and set up the tables and chairs, went to the grocery store and got everything done. They were late in showering and getting dressed (about 3:15) but most people weren't here until 3:30 anyway.

Wonder of wonders, it was a lovely party and everyone had a great time. And I can honestly say it was not "my way" at all.

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