Monday, August 08, 2016

A generational difference? Or, how compulsive are you?

Sunday afternoon, and we’re expecting Jordan’s in-laws for dinner at 5:30. She and Christian have picked out a recipe for taco lasagna that they’ll cook. First she said she’d be here in the morning, then she said she didn’t know. Figuring it was her deal, I took my usual Sunday nap. Woke at four to find the house still needed “picking up,” the kitchen was a mess, and there was no sign of supper. Jordan was watching TV.

A couple of things you should know about this scenario: I am compulsive. If I’m entertaining for supper, the dish is mostly if not completely ready to cook, the house and kitchen straightened, and the table set by noon. The other thing is that Jordan is in many ways the child who is most like me—cautious, always busy, wants things done when she wants them, always efficient. I couldn’t believe this, so I tried to be as tactful as possible when I really wanted to ask, “Why on God’s green earth are you just sitting there?”

Her explanation: she took the dogs out, got overheated, and needed to sit. She’d do it in a bit, and it would all get done. It was her dinner, they were her guests, and I couldn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t scold. So I scooted around the house straightening what I could—remember I am confined to scooting on a walker. In the long run, I left some straightening for her that I couldn’t do but set the table, rinsed the corn (we roasted it in the husk in the oven), and cobbled together a fruit salad.

And she was right—by 5:30 it was all ready, corn and casserole in the oven. Christian had stayed at their house (it’s for rent) to show his folks how he had staged it (he did an amazing job—all I could say was it was too bad it didn’t look that way when they lived there).

Christian and the senior Burtons arrived about six, and we had dinner shortly after. The casserole looked and smelled wonderful—I didn’t eat it because of ongoing stomach issues but our guests raved about it and had extra helpings, with the result that only two of five ears of corn were eaten. Jordan made a cake for dessert, and we had a jolly evening.

I will give her this: it’s always eventually done on time. We just have different approaches, and if we’re to blend our households I’ll have to back off and not worry so much. In my own cottage, I can pre-prepare to my heart’s delight—and my nerves relief.

I still don’t know if it’s a generational difference or not. I can’t believe she’s calmer than I am, since she’s compulsive about many things.

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