I'm on Red Alert: that's the level of anxiety I feel before my parents arrive in Chicago. They are wonderful parents that make me laugh all the time, but I'm the daughter of the best hostess ever. My mother loves to entertain, loves to have people stay in her home. She thrives in decorating a table straight out of the Crate and Barrel showroom. She's also been known to offer turn down service for any overnight guest, including my husband and me.
I am not the total opposite, but you must understand the woman sets a high standard. I am also from another generation that likes entertaining with take out and paper plates. I'm not sure my mother has ever used paper plates except for her kids' parties. So you can imagine the stress level when I realized that I had only one nice glass left, since I have broken the other 3 since their last visit in June. (Yes, I broke them, not the toddler) An emergency trip to the Crate and Barrel Outlet was immediately taken.
Add to the Red Alert, the PPS, Pre Party Syndrome, a condition that develops among the Belaval women when they have to plan a party. My Mom and Dad are coming for my daughter's 4th birthday party. I have to entertain a group of people that include the ultimate hostess. Planning parties stress me out. I love having a party but I don't like all the planning and the shopping. I want it perfect and I don't want to take my parent's entire weeklong visit to get ready for the party. I'm driving my husband and friends crazy.
I know what will happen: my Mom will smell the stress on me like a dog smells fear. She will immediately go into party mode herself. Check lists will be re-written. There will be more visits to Target and The Dollar Store. Flowers will be bought and arranged. Yes, she likes flowers for a kid party. At least that's what I'm hoping will happen. My poor father and husband will have to deal with two women with PPS. I think someone is going to have to sneak a flask into the girl's party just to keep us in check. Ay Mama!