Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Housesitting: Sometimes Joel, You Just Gotta Say...

Last night is the first night I've spent in my own bed for the past two weeks. To say I missed it would be an understatement, even though the bed I was staying in for those two weeks was a Tempur-Pedic, and now I've decided I don't know how I lived without one this long. But I had to get home and check on my toothpicks...make sure they're where I left them. Count them. See if any are missing. Or re-arranged.

Here's their Vacation View. They're sweet to invite me every year, but who'd mind my toothpicks while I'm gone?

August is the month my gay husband and husband-in-law go on vacation, and I live at their place while they're gone, to take care of the dogs and fancy saltwater fish. And while their house is the one place where I spend the second-greatest amount of time, and feel most at home, everything is still a major adjustment for someone like me who ...thrives on routine (is one way of putting it).

There is a reason they returned to find every tube of toothpaste in the house had been re-squeezed from the bottom (the way I like it...because that's the correct way), and not the middle (the way they like it, which is incorrect). They're free to go back to their old habits of course, but they know the next time I'm over, I'll just fix it. And yes, I realize it isn't my toothpaste. 

I kept logs and feeding charts for the dogs and fish. And then I left them detailed notes about nearly every single thing that happened every minute they were gone (which is the only way I was able to avoid really abusing their iPhone International plans).

For example,
"I called the Fish Guy on Friday Sep 1, when the tank made a very weird noise – like a choke going out on a 1972 Buick. But he didn’t call me back. So I called him AGAIN that night and he said, oh, he was outta town for labor day and pour a bucket of water in the below tank (so I did – but I had already been putting water in it, everytime it sounded cranky). I don’t think he ever did come by. It sounds ok now."

What that was code for was this: I don't think the Fish Guy fully appreciates the enormity of his responsibility, commensurate with what he is paid to do. For heaven's sake, I didn't call him on Labor Day weekend, I called him EARLY on Friday, the day before the holiday weekend. He should've called me back then i.e., I think it might be time for a new fish guy. Plus, if Nemo dies anytime in the next week, I want it to be pretty clear that didn't happen on my watch -- that guy should've fixed the choke when I told him it went out.

I had very few dog notes. Only one dog threw up one time in two weeks, another got the hiccups for an entire day (which I checked out with our favorite twitter vet), and the rest of the accidents were typically limited to one or two a day. I expected far, far worse. (The last weekend I'd stayed over there left a pretty good scar.) There was no bloodshed this time, just a mishap or two:

"The episodes of Destruction are hidden in the back bedroom. As a straight girl, I don’t know how pricey throw pillows are, but they sure LOOKED expensive."

What this was code for was: Please don't kill me for letting the dog eat the Valentino pillows (and the Ralph Lauren shirt, which possibly they haven't found yet). When I told one pal about all this last week, he asked "have you said anything about this yet?" I said I had hinted a little on facebook, but that No, they didn't know the extent of the damages. I didn't want to ruin their vacation. He said, "aww, too bad." I thought what he had in mind was maybe leaving the stuffing and feathers all over the floor, and feigning ignorance, but he said no, "it would just take a few wires and a little singed carpet." On further quizzing, he seemed to think a small-ish fire -- where I got all the animals out safely and was the Hero -- would've been the way to go. But since I'd already blown it by giving it away on facebook, it probably wasn't an option, and he definitely wouldn't help me. Then he laughed and walked me out to the husband-in-law's car, which I was driving that day,  and said, "Sometimes Joel, You just gotta say... What the..." (And now we all know he is NOT the guy we should ask to housesit.)

Of course I alphabetized all their DVDs while I was there (as anyone would expect me to do if I was in their house for longer than five minutes. And I borrowed their copy of The Social Network because they always say they'll watch it with me, but they never do. And I borrowed their copy of  Wishful Drinking, because reading Carrie Fisher is always good homework.

I pointed out, "I ordered up a few movies, but NO PORN, so if the bill is crazy, just dispute that. Also: don’t watch Blue Valentine. Man. That is two years of your life you’ll never get back. Catfish is overrated too." (It really was.)

What I'm thinking is, if the Fish Guy lets himself in and watches a whole bunch of porn sometime when everybody's at work in the next week or two, I don't want anybody thinking that was me. (If I had ordered porn, I'd be glad to tell them and I'd just let them know to expect a $375 cable bill. But I didn't.)

Check Engine Light
The Office Move
Bye Disco Kroger
Why I Live at the Disco Kroger
Drivin' Miz Daisy

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