Sunday mornings in New Hampshire are sacred in our house. It is a time to pause and reflect. While the rest of the world may continue on its hurried pace I close my eyes and give thanks: Thanks for the extra sleep, and thanks for our “Sleep Number” bed. I am a 55 in case you are wondering. Thanks for the Keurig coffee maker and thanks for the Boston Globe being delivered to our corner store. Once Paul tried to pass off the local conservative paper when they had run out of the Globe. We don’t talk about that incident anymore.
Today, I stumble downstairs and experience a shocking revelation. Paul is on speed. He doesn’t drink caffeine, so I can’t blame it on that. “Are you going to eat eggs or do you want a waffle?” He says. Before I can answer he adds “Because I’m cleaning the stove now, so if you’re going to have eggs you better make them now.” I am bewildered. I don’t answer questions on Sunday mornings for at least one hour after waking. I thought we all understood this. “Um, a waffle” I mumble. As soon as I set my coffee cup on the counter it is swiftly moved to a “containment” area for dirty things. I haven’t showered yet, so I am afraid that I will be quarantined next.
“So when you are done with your breakfast, I need you to do a few things.” Paul says as I witness a blur move from the kitchen into the family room. “Do a few things?” I think to myself. But this is Sunday. We don’t do things on Sunday morning. That is why God invented them. So that people could sleep late, read the paper and watch trash TV. Not only is he on drugs, but he has lost his religion!
While eating my waffle I narrow my eyes and watch Paul pull out every Yankee Candle that we own. Monique, our thirteen year old is fully absorbed with reading her book. I think it is a tactic to avoid getting swept up into all of this cleaning business. If she were in China, she would have sewn more than one hundred articles of clothing by this time in the morning.
“We need the bathrooms cleaned and there are flowers that need to be arranged throughout the house and I need you to stage the shelf in the dining room.” Paul spits out my tasks. All I can think of is where is my newspaper? That is what I live for on Sunday mornings. As if he is reading my mind: “Oh, the paper is on the front seat of the car. We need to be out of here by noon. The open house starts at one PM.”
“Haven’t we sold this house yet?” I am thinking to myself. “This house is too perfect. That’s why it hasn’t sold. People are intimidated.” I say out loud. Paul gives me a look that says. “You are not getting out of these chores.” I walk to the bathroom resigned to start cleaning. There is one of the Yankee Candles that Paul has placed throughout the house burning on top of the toilet: Mistletoe. It smells like someone shit a Christmas tree.
"Is it really necessary for our bathroom to smell like Christmas?” I yell out to Paul. Instead of answering he starts singing Christmas Carols. “Up on the toilet, plop, plop, plop, down through the plumbing goes Mr. Slop.” Pretty soon we are all singing Christmas carols in the middle of September. But it is Sunday, time to pause and reflect and make a little time for God. My mother would be so proud.