Last-minute Lucy

I am my mother’s daughter. An almost embarrassing amount. But instead of inheriting my mother’s good qualities, I think I’ve only managed to garner her quirks. Seasonal allergies year-round. Awkward feet. And bizarre compulsion to overhaul my house hours before company arrives.

Here’s a quick story from my childhood. (You want a minute to grab some popcorn? No? Ok, moving on…) My grandmother had given my mom fabric for curtains. I don’t really know why. Apparently my mom asked for it or my grandmother had just given them to her. It doesn’t really matter. The point is, my grandmother gave my mom the fabric.

Months went by, and our guest room remained curtain-less. MONTHS. To the tune of almost a year.

Then, one day, grandma and grandpa were coming to visit. The NIGHT before, my mom was slaving over her sewing machine, because she would be damned if grandma knew she had put it off that long.

(There’s a very good chance I’m telling this story incorrectly…I was like, nine when it happened. And I didn’t care that much about decor at the time. The but the gist is correct. I’m sure my mother will leave a comment clarifying, so be sure to check back.)

Another example? My mother once painted an entire room at 3 a.m. the night (morning?) before guests were supposed to arrive. (Actually, I think the guests were grandpa and grandma again…)

But come on. PAINTED. A. ROOM. Do you know what goes into painting? Drop cloths have to be laid down. Things have to be carefully outlined in tape, and then the tape has to be removed. And this room had fairly high ceilings, meaning a ladder was involved. AT THREE IN THE MORNING.

It sounds crazy, right? Well, watch your tongue, because I’m apparently the same way.

So you know how I had been on this mission to get my apartment properly decorated before my cousins arrived? (I’m not calling it “re-decorated” because this is the first time the decor is fully thought out.)

Well, my cousins were due to arrive at midnight on Thursday. My plan had been to finish all the decor in the dining room Wednesday night (all I had to do was hang some pictures on that blank wall). But when I went to hang one of my giant pictures, the hooks on the back broke and the whole thing came crashing down, breaking one corner of the frame.

Cue my second decor-induced temper tantrum.

I swear, I’m not a giant baby. I just hate when things don’t do their jobs. It’s just like when people don’t do their jobs. Except no matter how much you yell at a picture frame incapable of hanging on a wall, it never says it’s sorry. Blerg.

Which meant I had exactly 24 hours to solve my problem. And I had to work on Thursday. Which meant…you guessed it…a lunch-hour run to HomeGoods.

So I came home with a French print I wasn’t sure I liked and a mirror I liked but wasn’t sure would work on the wall. Spoiler alert: I ended up not using either of these items.

In the end, I gave up on getting things perfect before my cousins arrived. My saner-than-I-am husband finally sat me down and convinced me it was ok that things were not perfect and that I could run out Friday morning to the craft store and buy a new frame for the original poster I wanted to hang. Things would still be ready for the party.

Basically, I needed to relax. Guess what I’m really not good at.

The point is, in the end I did what he said. I’m returning the French print, but keeping the mirror to later be incorporated into…I don’t know, somewhere. Maybe our bedroom. I just like it. The posters were hung on the wall (with a much more supportive wire that the craft store lady assured me would hold the weight). And when everyone finally arrived for the party, the apartment was as close to perfect as I could have gotten it, even if everything had gone according to plan.

So what lessons do we learn here?

1. Don’t put things off. Please, please, please, don’t put things off…self. But remember, I’m fighting my genetics on that one.

2. Stop freaking out. Again, this is a battle against my very DNA.

3. No one really cares as much as I do. My cousins do not care if only one frame is hanging on the wall when they arrive. My guests would not have cared if the whole wall was blank. Only I care. I know this. It is not enough to make me chill out.

So spill: What’s the project you put off until the last minute and ended up driving yourself bonkers over? A final paper? Buying a present for an event? Hanging gigantic frames on your dining room wall? I need to hear ’em so I feel like less of a freak.

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Ramblings after 2:00 a.m.

I’m going to tell you about the party. And my long weekend in general. I am. I just am not going to do it in this post.

Because you deserve more than me just telling you. You deserve me showing you. And how will I do that? With the photos on my cousin’s camera. That is not in my possession. And which she still has not sent me. (No pressure…Morgan.)

Besides, I have something much more pressing to share: I can’t sleep. For the first time in over two years.

If this were a movie, this would be the moment where someone spits out his coffee and yells something to the effect of, “STOP THE PRESSES.”

That is, if this were a really, really lame movie.

But the fact remains, it’s 1:50 a.m. and I am wide awake. It’s actually more surprising that I so rarely find myself lying awake at night considering that for the first two years of my life, I almost never slept. I’m not exaggerating. Ask my mother.

But for pretty much my whole adult life, I didn’t have too much trouble. Sure, there were the nights I stayed up hours reading whatever new book I had discovered (I’m a nerd, blah blah blah…), but for the most part, I loved sleep.

Seriously. I rival house cats in my ability to fall asleep in just about any circumstance.

Case in point: I once fell sound asleep about two minutes into the Michael Jackson movie. Which I was watching with my soon-to-be mother-in-law. On her couch. In the middle of the day.

Those are skillz, people.

I’m also one of those people who (rather obnoxiously) cannot sit still for more than five minutes. Well, I can sit still. But only if I’m watching something really interesting on TV. Or at a computer. Where I can, ya know, entertain myself by blogging or something. All that non-stop activity can tire a girl out.

Despite all this evidence for why I should be able to be sleepy at a moment’s notice, here I am. Wide awake. Now at 1:53 a.m.

It’s partly because I’ve got a lot on my mind. It’s partly because I took a 3-hour nap at 2:00 this afternoon. (Don’t judge.) But whatever the reason, here we are. (Or rather, I am. Unless you’re up too. Which is neat. Unless you’re just on the west coast, in which case it just means you’re a functioning member of society. Congrats.)

As you’ve probably deduced, you super sleuth you, there is zero point to this post. Except that I’ve suddenly got time to kill and am hoping that some stream-of-consciousness blogging will be just the ticket to send me back to sleepy-time land. (My SECOND favorite of all the lands.)

Hmm…what else to ramble on about…ooh! I can show you a picture of my new hair. You’ve been DYING to see it right? (Right? …guys?) Whatevs, you’re going to see it anyway. Check it:

This picture is actually a two-fer because you’re ALSO getting to see what I look like when I can’t sleep. AND getting a sneak peek of my famed grandpa glasses! I know, it’s almost like a second Christmas. (Or a ninth day of Hanukkah. I don’t judge.)

So anyway. Yup. That’s ma hair. Enjoy. And lookee there. We’re passed the 2 a.m. mark. Brilliant.

Anyone have a few “how to fall asleep fast” tips to pass on? Or at least anything better to think about when I can’t fall asleep fast?