But while I love my mother and stepfather, I do not love it when they visit – and much less so when I’m in the midst of trying to sell the house.
Because along with them, they unfailingly bring a metric buttload of stuff and trouble.
The mound of luggage with no place to put it is merely annoying; I hate clutter (plus it scares me that they have enough with them to stay for months on end despite the arrangements being for two days). No big deal; that one resolves itself when they leave. After which I always have to scrub the bathroom – because keeping the water in the shower and the toothpaste in the sink (along with a few other aiming issues) is apparently difficult. And I have to thoroughly clean the kitchen – because using cutting boards and dishware for food prep and consumption is less fun that using the counter and letting stuff fall on the floor. Leaving glassware all over the counter is, however, de rigueur.
OK. Deep breath. She used to have to pick up after me; I deserve this.
And then there’s the smoothies they like to make. I have 12′ ceilings in the kitchen off of which I usually have to wipe blueberry spatters after my parents’ departure (the lid, it seems, is difficult to secure on the blender. I need to shop for a fool-proof blender…but you know the saying, “There’s always a bigger fool.”)
Again, not that big of a deal. A ladder, and a little bit of water, bleach and elbow grease, and problem solved.
I have to follow them around to turn off taps, close the refrigerator door, open the washing machine door (it’s a front-loader; it gets mildewed if you close it), lock the back door, set the alarm, pick up wet towels from the back of wooden chairs and more. In other words, they need watching after (which is quite odd, really, because as far as I can tell, they function just fine in their own home).
I find all of the above frustrating, but do my best to stuff it down. After all, the woman used to wipe my bottom.
In the past, the gas stove has been turned to almost off…but not quite. Had my windows not been open that day, poor Cleo (my now deceased cat) would have died years earlier than she did. The gas was left running for several hours.
Two years ago, mom locked JJ in the basement, where, because of chemicals, tools and access to the outside, he’s not supposed to be. It took me hours of frantic searching to find him cowering in a corner covered in cobwebs, blood and bites from I don’t know what. So then there was an expensive trip to the vet to boot.
These things are bit beyond annoying.
On their last visit, my stepfather dragged his suitcase up the stairs and left a long swath of black muck on the white wall. And a divot. I fixed it and touched up the paint after they left.
On this visit, my mom used an expensive backsaw to trim the tree limbs…after I’d expressly asked her to not trim the tree limbs. I know she just wants to help…but her help always means more work and frustration for me.
And arriving home from work today, I was met at the door by my crying mother. It seems the hot water had been left running for three hours in the tiny bathroom sink with a fancy European drain that isn’t meant to handle a deluge. Three hours. Of hot water. That overflowed, ran down and soaked into the wall, then filled up the litter box beneath the sink, which then overflowed and drained down the same wall into the basement. There was a 1/4″ of water on the basement floor. And I was out of litter. So I turned right around and got back in my car to go buy some. And to pop an Ativan.
Clearly, my mom felt awful about it, and I realize it wasn’t intentional. But that doesn’t mitigate my anger (the Ativan mitigated my showing it…much).
With a showing on Saturday morning, I have a basement that smells like wet cat litter and a wall in the first floor half bath that at best needs retaping, mudding, skim coating and painting. (Of course, I’m out of that paint.) And at worst, I need to cut out the entire section and patch in new drywall. I’ll decide once it’s dry.
So while I love my mom and stepdad, I kinda wish they wouldn’t visit. And instead of leaving them alone again, I’ll be going into work a little late tomorrow…after they’ve headed out, and after retrieving my key.
Perhaps next time, I’ll spring for a room at the nearby B&B. It wouldn’t cost much in terms of cash, and it would be a huge savings to my sanity.