I Love a Parade

Every year since I have been in this location, the massage therapist next door and I spend the Monday after Thanksgiving in a sweat-drenched marathon of tearing apart our respective suites — stacking, unstacking, arranging, rearranging, hiding, throwing, tossing, and, ultimately, reinventing the spaces where we spend most of our waking lives.

We do it out of sheer love — or a sense of obligation — for our friends, family, and favorite clients. Because our windows look out on the official parade route for the city’s annual Christmas parade and our friends, family, and favorite clients can’t help but notice that watching the parade from the comfort and warmth of the fourth floor is far more appealing than pushing, shoving, and freezing on the sidewalk.

Every year, Cindy and I take the day off. Every year we spend our entire day making our spaces presentable for company. Every year, after the guests have left us alone amidst our pile of leftover catering trays, sticky discarded styrofoam cups half filled with apple cider, and rooms of arranged furniture, Cindy and I look at each other and swear we won’t do it again next year.

As soon as we get the leftovers packaged, pour out the cider, throw away the cups and plates, and stow away the unused plastic forks and paper plates that we’ll never find again when we need them, we start discussing what we’ll do differently next year.

Thing is, if it wasn’t for the annual parade party, I’m not sure the little salon would ever get a proper spring cleaning.

I try to clean the place on a regular basis (duh!), but some of my cabinets are hard to move around. The vacuum doesn’t quite reach into the corners around the bases — or the baseboards for that matter. And I always forget how dusty the top of the flat-screen TV that I use as a digital frame gets until I’m on the step ladder, putting up garlands.

The parade party forces me to move all the furniture, vacuum under and behind it, and dust the tops of things no one ever sees the tops of. It also forces me get out the Christmas decorations and make this place look like we’re still on Santa’s nice list.

This morning I woke up stiff and sore (from bending, lifting, and climbing up and down the step ladder all day), not entirely enthusiastic about getting out of bed and resuming my busy holiday work schedule.

“At least the salon is clean,” I smiled. “Really clean.”

And then I sat down with my first client. I watched the dust settling on the desk and the glitter flutter on the gentle air currents toward the floor.

Sigh. So much for that show room clean.

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