Thursday, December 31, 2015

Items of Significant Note for this Year

2015 has been a busy! I shall join the throngs of others who compile an annual list of accomplishments:
  • Number of loads of laundry: 730
  • Express 15 items or less checkout lanes that I successfully managed to sneak 16 items on: 32
  • Number of times I've been told I look fat in these pants: 1
  • Number of pairs of pants that have been shredded into ribbons and lit on fire: 1
  • Number of new recipes learned: 2
  • Number of which were successfully received: 1
  • Number of mandatory dental visits successfully avoided: 2
  • Number of teeth that fell out: 0 (at least this year)
  • Number of ER visits: 1
  • Number of boxes of Triscuits thrown out after it was discovered they were responsible for ER visit: 2 (Note: I do not recommend running up a flight of steps while munching the "cracked black pepper & olive oil" kind due to the risk of inhaling said black pepper and choking, causing delayed 3am esophageal spasm which turns out to conveniently mimic heart attack symptoms.)
  • Number of nice men who visited me in the ER and still liked me even after they saw ER hair: 1
  • Number of popular movies referenced by peers that I have missed: 47
  • Number of spiders seen in new home: 0.5
  •  Number of relieved sighs over the comparison in spider inventory between previous basement apartment to current upper floor unit: 1,875
  • Number of classes lined up to study relationship dynamics: 3
  • Number already taken: 1 (unless you count 475 post-divorce self-help books)
Happy New Year! My main 2016 goal is to sneak 16 items onto at least thirty-THREE express checkout lanes. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Can't we be together separately???

Apparently, art is driven by misery. At least in me. Well, maybe not art, but writing. Blog writing. Right now I am traveling and absolutely disconsolate so I shall seize the moment.

When I wrote "I have trust issues about guest rooms," little did I know I would be staying in one a mere few weeks later wishing I were using the experience as research for my post.

Everything wrong on this trip

-- Auditory Assault:
This house has ZERO insulation.

NONE. I can hear every conversation regardless of where it is happening, how loud it is or how many closed doors exist between me and those talking. The next door neighbor's dog sounds like it's on my lap. I can hear people peeing in bathrooms way at the other end of the house and then zipping up their pants. I swear I just heard someone tie their shoelaces.

My first night here, I bolted upright at 3am when I thought I heard a large rat in the wall scrambling furiously to get out.

Know what it was?

Someone unraveling the toilet paper roll.

Evidently, the bathroom is right next door to me and the toilet paper happens to be mounted on the same wall that my (shitty little) guest bed leans against and somehow, when I was torn from sleep by odd, muffled pawing noises in the wall, it took me a few to get my bearings. No, it was not an angry rodent trapped inside the sheetrock. It was just someone who drank a little too much water before bedtime.
I can also hear every conversation happening in the house at once. And noisy games of pool. Comedy channels.  Christmas songs blaring out of two hateful radios (one is not enough). And more: appliances running, dishes clanking, people hocking up lugies, phone conversations, bathroom habits, video games... absolutely nothing is private, concealed or sacred.

This isn't a house, it's a TENT. Do not be fooled.

I haven't slept in days.

--  No Room in the Guest Room:
Not really where I am but close enough.
There isn't a single clear surface in this guest room.
Right now I am typing on a laptop which is precariously balanced on a stack of papers. My glass of water is 4 feet away (there is no closer option) in a tiny clear area of about 3 inches between a broken, fluorescent light, two discarded monitors, a picture of Jesus, and a Mayan sandstone bowl with Christmasy red and green penises adorning the outside and stuffed with a tiny snowman.

I didn't realize the Mayans celebrated Christmas.

Or penises.

(Scratch that... all cultures probably celebrated penises.)

-- No Boundaries:
Someone nearly walked in on me when I was about to change my maxipad because NO ONE understands that you're not supposed to knock on the door AS YOU'RE ENTERING. Doors separate things! Respect the door!!

-- No Downtime:
No one in this house seems to need personal space. Doesn't anyone want to curl up in a corner and read, for chrissake? We have been interacting for the last 12 hours. Isn't that enough? Now you want to play a game, too?? I didn't grow up with 15 siblings and I'm not used to this level of togetherness!
From Dr. Carmella's Guide to Understanding the Introverted

As I am typing, I am glancing at the clock, relieved bedtime will soon be here and I just heard someone announce "Let's watch a movie!!"


Thursday, December 3, 2015

I have trust issues about guest rooms

I have trust issues about sleeping over other people's houses.

Their bed is always rock hard and uncomfortable and it's always topped with a mattress encased in stiff plastic to protect it from whoever must regularly sleep (and pee) there. The sheets are always cheap and shitty and look like last Thanksgiving's rumpled tablecloth. There's never any bedside table or anything to put a glass of water on. You have to settle for the empty cardboard sock insert on the floor.

People are always writing in to the Carolyn Hax advice column, "WHYYY won't my guest sleep over? They INSIST on staying in a hotel and I just can't understand!"

Well, the above happened to your guest at some point in their life. That's why!

When your guest visits, they will be tired and worn and likely rediscover they have a cat allergy (no, it's not enough to vacuum!). They'll be eager for a change of clothes and some down time. The room may be proffered but amenities such as surfaces, tissues and privacy will be defunct and this will not go unnoticed by your guest.

They will have no choice but to snag a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom (but it's the extra cheap, thin kind, AND there'll barely be enough of it for a proper nose-blowing and no place to properly throw it away so they must stuff snot rags back into their luggage).

Since there's no night table, there's no lamp with which to read. The guest must make do with the interrogation bulb swinging from the ceiling.

Turning off this light when ready to sleep will become a great arctic adventure since hosts always turn off the heat ("we sleep better!"). There is no choice but for the guest to climb out of bed into the freezing air, turn off the light and navigate back through the inky blackness while trying to avoid your moving boxes and children's toys.

This next fact is inexplicable but true: somehow hosts like to crack open their bedroom door at night. Privacy is never a concern, nor is the idea of engendering morbid embarrassment in the guest when they need to use the facilities at 2 and 4am.

They'll worry about waking everyone in the house up, and rightly so, because they will.

And boy, will they will hear about it in the morning.

"Did you sleep through the night?" the host will sweetly ask while pouring coffee.

"Yes," they'll lie, in order not to hurt anyone's feelings. "Everything is great!"

"I think I heard you up," they'll add. "Were you feeling okay?

Of COURSE you heard them up. The bedroom door was wide open.

The guest may feel compelled to explain the scintillating details of their intestinal health. One could only hope that the response would serve as proper punishment, benefiting future guests.

Later that night, instead of counting sheep, the guest will count the number of bad decisions they've made in life which led to this singular point, in your guest room.

THAT, my friends, is how hotel memberships are born!