Throughout history, there has been a dearth of volunteers to work kitchen duty. One of my wife's favorite sayings is, "We only have a kitchen because it came with the house." Being the parents of three children and having hosted a cadre of their friends, we haven't forgotten the mountain of work it requires to feed and clean up a kitchen after a party.
I remember one exhausting day during those teenager years, I looked around the house like it had been hit by a tornado and exclaimed, "We don't have children, we have locusts!"
Now that our children have grown and left the nest, we "feel" for those individuals who are left with a ton of work after the last of the party goers have vanished. So like the biblical character Martha, we tend to stick around until the end of a celebration to help clean up.
One night many years ago, we were invited to some church friend's home for a Christmas party. Their place was teeming with guests, most of whom we had never made acquaintance. To keep from mindless chatter and chit-chat conversations, we chose to work in the kitchen, it's safer and we always felt more productive. The night seemed to go on forever as sunset comes early in northern New England. Finally the last of the guests said their goodbyes and we wrapped up our self imposed duties of cleaning up.
The soiree must have worn out the hosts because as we said so long to them, the outside light went off the moment we reached our car in their driveway. Moments later as we we began to strap our children into their car seats, our friends in the house did the most unexpected thing. Thinking everyone had gone, they rushed into their bedroom like they'd been shot out of a cannon and began to undress in front of their large picture windows. With lights still blazing inside, we saw them undressing faster than Superman finding an empty phone booth.
Before we could even get into the front seat, we watched in horror as pants and blouses were thrown about the room as if they were being ejected by a threshing machine. Now down to their underwear, it was then as the lady of the house began to unhook her bra strap, I panicked. My wife with urgency said, "Let's get out of here before they see us!" I whispered back, "I can't! We're only 25 feet from their window, if they see our lights, they'll be mortified!"
Thinking quickly, I said to my wife, "Don't turn on the lights, scoot over into the drivers seat, I have an idea. Place the car in neutral and I'll push you out the driveway." My wife said, "But the house sits on an incline." I knew that if I could get a running start, the car could just go slightly up the hill as it left their property. I then could hop into the car and glide down their hill out of view, where I could then turn on our lights.
As I huffed and puffed our sizable car out their long driveway to freedom, I dared not turn around. I would have to change churches and friends if they reached their birthday suits. I'd always seen them in church looking so prim and proper, I didn't want to be educated otherwise. I'm convinced God gave me the extra oomph to get our beast of a car out of their driveway. My cheeks were doubly red as I huffed and puffed and eventually jumped into the drivers seat; one from the cold and the other from…..well you know.
Since that time I have had short, long, and small encounters with friends and acquaintances. It has been 30 years since that "brief" encounter, here's hoping for another 30 before the next one.