Then, we'd walk up the stairs, with me bending down every so often to pick up a ball of dog hair and murmur something about needing to vacuum.
We'd come up into the kitchen where the smell of Clorox wipes, pumpkin spice candle and fresh banana bread would be a welcome respite from the moist green odor of the basement. I'd tell you that I just bought that new candle and that I love it so much I might just leave it up through Christmas. That candle is the single thing making me not want to start getting out my Christmas decorations. Then I'd tell you that this banana bread was a totally new and different recipe for me, consisting of cream cheese and Bisquick, with a little ground flax seed tossed in. I'd let you have a slice, hot from the toaster and buttered. I'd even offer you a cup of coffee.
Up some more stairs, where there would be more murmuring about vacuuming and how do these small sticks get all the way up here? Caught in the long tail hair of a Golden Retriever, perhaps?
The smell of Downy fabric softener and fresh paint combined with a subtle diaper pail odor would let you know we were there. I'd show you the guest bathroom, which I finally finished painting after starting to tape it off MONTHS ago. I'd explain how having guacamole green in a bathroom doesn't do much for your skin tone in the mirror. I'd ask you if you thought it would be weird to install a dark bronze towel rack in a bathroom that is otherwise decked out in silver-toned hardware. I'd show you how you should never leave that blue painters tape up for more than a few days because it clings to your ceiling paint and when you pull it down, the paint comes with it. You'd shake your head in sympathy for me, because really. No one should ever have to paint a ceiling.
I wouldn't show you the cabinet under my sink, not only because that would be weird, but because if I opened the door, everything would fall out and break your toe. I like you too much to do that to you. I'd point out how I still haven't hung any pictures in our bedroom, or any of the guest bedrooms and how my suitcase, perpetually unpacked, rests on the floor at the foot of my bed.
We'd go back downstairs, stub our toes on a few toys and watch Barney videos. We'd discuss why only certain toys get played with and how we'll never, ever be able to guess which ones in advance. Then, I'd walk you to the door and thank you for coming over. You really didn't have to bring such a generous hostess gift. I love wine!