It may be unbelievable, but I once enjoyed having company. Years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for me to host an impromptu dinner gathering or welcome unannounced company into my home to share a bottle of wine. It was easy because my home was in a constant state of cleanliness and order. But then cats happened.
Nowadays, the anxiety of hosting visitors is nearly unbearable. While entertaining, I spread a pageant smile and plug blind interjections appropriately in conversation because I’m busy telepathically begging Blind Murphy to hold his potty so that his unpredictable IBD won’t surprise-rape everyone’s nose or for Mr. Tiddles to not sprawl on the kitchen island like a buffet of porn and lick his penis to full mast.
An easy remedy would be to just stop having people over, but as much as I’ve tried, they sometimes find their way through my front door. Instead, I pop a Xanax, play host, and then submit the following self-addressed/postage-paid evaluation card the next day to their home via United States Postal Service. This form not only helps prevent future, pet-related offenses, but for some reason, it curbs my post-visit anxiety.
Dear [insert name here],
Thank you for your recent visit to my home. To help us improve future visits, please complete the following evaluation form and return via USPS as soon as possible.
1. During your visit, which rooms of the house were you allowed to visit? (circle one or more of the following) LIVING ROOM / DINING ROOM / KITCHEN / BATHROOM / HALLWAY / MASTER BEDROOM / GUEST BEDROOM / OFFICE / DEN / GARAGE / UTILITY ROOM / MASTER BATHROOM / GUEST BATHROOM / POWDER ROOM / ATTIC
2. Of the rooms circled in question 1, which one(s) did not meet your standard of cleanliness? (circle one or more of the following) LIVING ROOM / DINING ROOM / KITCHEN / BATHROOM / HALLWAY / MASTER BEDROOM / GUEST BEDROOM / OFFICE / DEN / GARAGE / UTILITY ROOM / MASTER BATHROOM / GUEST BATHROOM / POWDER ROOM / ATTIC
3. Of the room(s) circled in question 2, please provide additional information/feedback (for example, “Did y’all start hanging Louisiana moss from the ceiling fan blades or was that cat hair?” or “The pile of vomit in the hallway didn’t match the walls?”):
4. On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being “So clean, I forgot I had a nose” and 10 being “summer corpse”), please rate the odor of the house at the beginning of your visit? ________
5. On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being “fresh baked bread” and 10 being “shower fart”), please rate the odor of the house at the end of your visit? ________
6. On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being “Vin Diesel” and 10 being “Captain Caveman”) how much hair clung to you upon departure? _______
7. At any point during the visit, did I or my husband talk too much about our cats ? (circle one of the following) YES / NO
8. If your answer to the above question is YES, please explain why that is a bad thing:
9. Would you recommend visits to my home to your friends? YES / NO
10. If you answered YES to question 9, please explain why you would do such a thing to me:
Since I can only pretend “Oh no! The cats have never jumped on the counter after using the litter box before!” for so long, I probably need to amp up a therapy session in regards to this volume of my encyclopedic anxiety. I think I’ve come to terms with not opening my home like I used to, but I bet it would feel nice not fretting over whether or not Reese is hiding in someone’s purse when they leave.