Tell me, have you ever been in this situation?
There’s a car coming up the drive …
A quick peek reveals a guest arriving,
and your house is—let’s be honest—a mess.
socks on the stairway,
ongoing projects laid out hither and yon.
The scramble begins—grab and stash! Spritz lavender in the air. Break out a box of biscotti.
Within a minute and a half, your Potemkin village is perfect,
well—let’s be honest AGAIN—as perfect as it’s going to get.
Utter a hasty prayer that the closet door stays shut
and then fling open the door and declare,
“Welcome! You’re just in time for tea!”
You caught that, didn’t you?
Our word-of-the-week refers to a “pretentiously showy or imposing façade intended to mask or divert attention from an embarrassing or shabby fact or condition,” says Dictionary.com.
The term took root, according to legend, when Russian military leader Grigory Potemkin erected fake settlements, full of fanfare, in order to fool Empress Catherine II during her visit to Crimea in 1787.