I wrote this in October 2003 to an off-topic list of a listserv I used to frequent (note: my family was coming for Canadian Thanksgiving and the gas oven stopped working the week before).
Tuesday: Had to stay late at work. New housemate's 47th birthday. Shopped for 2 servings of cake for dinner, made grilled steak, rosemary new potatoes, fresh green beans (he's like a kid -- you have to bargain with him over eating his vegetables). Told him it's his turn to wash the dishes. He watches TV, talks on phone to family members, and surfs 'net for rest of evening. (He did dishes next night.)
Wednesday: Had to stay late at work. Called the stove guy about the broken oven. No, he no can get parrrt yet; need schematic. You got Interrrnet? You can look up schematic forrr me. You got fax machine? Starting to lose hope.
Thursday: Had to stay late at work. Family arriving Friday afternoon sometime, screech! Had stress-inducing performance review plus 4 other meetings today. Housemate has not made dinner. Called the small struggling local furniture guy about spare bed order. No answer. Housemate finally moves the rest of his boxes downstairs to basement. Forgets his laundry is in the dryer (again). Still don't know what time family is arriving, call Mom to find out. Find neighbour's straying cat on my front porch, knock on their door to hand him back, ask to borrow their oven on Saturday. Answer is Sure! One hurdle over. Housemate informs me his Friday night billet has fallen through; he can't figure out why he can't sleep in 2nd guest room on new spare bed. Interesting to watch him figure out sleeping assignments with counting fingers; has forgotten that owner of house also needs place to sleep.
Friday: Vacuum, wash dishes, strip and remake available beds in morning, start load of laundry. Got off work 1 hour early. Shop for lots of booze and hot cooked dinner (oven still busted) and dessert for 6; buy prime rib roast for Thanksgiving ($60.00 CA!! but just the right amount of leftovers). Race home: message from Mom's cell that they'll be there in 1.3 hrs. Walk over to bed store: there it is! On sidewalk!! Owner informs me that several people have made offers on it. I insist he tape SOLD sign on it if he's going to leave it there until I can come back with car to pick it up (no parking on that side of street until after 6 pm).
5:45 pm Friday: Family arrives, and stand out on street like cows in pasture at milking time. I stand on porch and call Coop coop coop! They stagger over under volumes of luggage (they're staying 2 nights). Open wine and beer immediately. I drink most of it. Thankfully, housemate is excellent raconteur (philosophy degree, law practice, sports fan, photography -- covers everything and everyone). Older feeble brother claims new bed in 2nd guest room; I get the foldout couch, housemate gets sleeping bag on dining room floor. He doesn't snore but my cat does.
Saturday am: first (and only) bathroom conflict: housemate is brushing teeth... I need to go... Mom makes pancakes and I make coffee and boysenberry sauce. Younger brother offers to clear table and wash dishes for first time in 45 years (he's had a talking-to). Housemate has invitation to attend NHL season opener -- Leafs and Habs (result Habs 4-0, he'll be ecstatic) and bed for night. Hilarious recounting to family of his confusion over sleeping arrangements; lots of advice from mother on housekeeping and men.
Saturday afternoon: successful shopping at large mall, then run back and forth to neighbours' oven with roast and apple pie. Successful dinner; younger brother washes dishes again!
Saturday evening, still quiet, mild and pleasant: Brothers and sister-in-law and me smoking and conversing on front porch. Raccoon walks across street towards sidewalk leading to my backyard. Recall neighbour's spank-attack on grape-stealing raccoon. Wine-heated, I chase raccoon to wooden utility pole, up which he climbs rapidly, just low enough for me to leap up and smack him hard on the butt with my hand. Brothers and sister-in-law howling from front porch. I return in triumph. Angry, frightened raccoon on utility pole hisses at us for some time.
Sunday am: brothers still talking about raccoon attack. Breakfast, ablutions, make road lunch of prime rib sandwiches, dishes, packing. I get family to tour house to pick up forgotten articles and strip beds. Kisses and thanks goodbye all round. Start first of 6 loads of laundry and catch up on e-mail. Day off tomorrow!
Tell me why I do this again?
5 years ago