Tuesday, March 21, 2006

An open letter to my family

Dear, dear, darling Family,

I know you are not used to seeing me leave this house by myself. I understand the trauma of sudden separation from someone you have come to count on, use, trust, exploit, and look to for security. I know how difficult it is when you are, all of you, over the age of fifteen (okay, one of you has to wait a month…) and, in one case, pushing the age of 50, to suddenly find yourself having to push yourself beyond your comfort zone.

And Lord knows I’m not a fussy housekeeper. Not even a mediocre housekeeper. Let’s just say that no house under my care has ever been condemned. Yet.

And, believe me, I understand my part in this whole dilemma since, as MK politely pointed out to me (and I stress “politely.” Mama K is exceedingly polite and diplomatic, so her “pointing out” consists of raising an eyebrow), I do have some Italian blood running in my veins resulting in the fact that I may have, just a little bit, just a tad, just a smidgen…spoiled you all.

That’s okay, really. Nothing gives a mother more joy than seeing her family flourish under her care. I rejoice in the fact that you feel the freedom to spread your wings and explore the world around you without fear.

But, before you all take off for another day of fearless exploration, I have to ask, regarding this house and this weekend: WHAT THE HELL WENT ON WHILE I WAS GONE?

How can three people generate that many dishes? How can three people generate that many dishes and not run out and have wash a single one? AND WHY DOES IT TAKE THREE POTS TO MAKE RAMEN NOODLES?

And regarding pizza boxes: traditionally leftover pizza goes into the refrigerator in the interest of not dying of some horrible food-borne illness. I can understand that you can confuse “counter” and “refrigerator” since they are in the same room. But I don’t understand confusing “refrigerator” and “beneath couch.” And – trust me on this – pizza tastes much better without socks on top.

Remember our little chat Friday morning? The one where I requested a few thing get done while I was out that day? Two loads of laundry, cleaned and dried. Not sorted, not folded, not put away. Just washed and dried.

Remember how we had that same little chat Saturday morning because it didn’t get done Friday? And how on Sunday we had yet the same chat, albeit somewhat louder and tenser?

And remember how you had the nerve to come to me Sunday night and ask WHERE YOUR FREAKIN’ GYM SHORTS WERE?

Just wondering.

For the record, here are some general instructions on homecare that I thought I’d already imparted, several times, over and over and over and over and over:

  1. When something spills on a counter, you are supposed to wipe it up, even the purple food that I still haven’t identified since to my knowledge there is no purple food in the house.
  2. When something spills on the floor, you wipe that up too. You definitely do not walk through it and track it all over the rest of the house.
  3. Three people; one room to vacuum. How hard can this be?
  4. When the dishwasher is full, it is not true that you “can always fit one more thing in.” At some point you must actually run the machine, empty it and start all over again.
  5. When the trash is spilling out onto the floor? That means it’s full. That means stop putting things into it because it will only fall out again and the dogs will grab anything with the scent of food on it and drag it to their chair, tear it up into little tiny pieces which will spread all over the floor so that now there are two rooms to vacuum.
  6. The dining room table is not a storage shelf.

Now I realize the dogs are mine. But, in the interest of reciprocity and since I cook your meals, clean your toilets, do most of your laundry, buy your clothing, spent a total of 42 hours giving two of you life, do you think you could OPEN THE STINKIN’ BACK DOOR AND LET THE DOGS OUT TO PEE? Just ONCE over the three days? And, if that is too much of an effort, CLEAN UP WHEN THEY CAN’T HOLD IT ANYMORE?

Now I realize we’re all trying to work out this new order where I actually have a life beyond all of you we can all become actualized on our chosen life paths, so I will not seek an extreme solution like walking out and living at the Ramada like chore charts and rigid schedules as if you were a bunch of toddlers. I am sure, having pointed out the areas of dispute, I will not experience a repeat of this weekend’s – ahem – failings.

But, out of curiosity, exactly how does peanut butter get on the ceiling?


Your Wife and Mother (tentatively)

Editor's Note: While we try to insert graphics into posts to break up Sisiggy's long-windedness, Blogger is not cooperating this morning. We decided to let it run without graphics of mounds and mounds of trash. Sorry to rob you of such an eyefull.


Jagosaurus said...

Tentatively. Heh.

Adrift at Sea said...

That's why children start out so cute... so you don't kill them for doing/not doing what they're supposed to. Unfortunately, as they get older, they generally become less cute, and less willing to listen. Good luck.. :D

Leslie Shelor said...

Unfortunately it's not just kids. I have ALL of these problems with my Dad. Who is 72, so it's not likely he'll grow out of it.

John said...

Whoa! {{flashback}} It's like you're channeling me, or my wife!

Katrina said...

My husband had to come into the room to ask me what I was laughing at--GREAT post (in that excruciating this-is-all-too-familiar way...)

Next time, lock them out of the house and let them sleep in a tent in the backyard while you're gone. That way, any mess they leave can just be mulched with the lawn mower when you get back.

lene said...

And it doesn't help to think that "see, how much you are needed" when you are cleaning the mess nor the DH's comment with an apologizing face "you ALWAYS keep the place so tidy" ... Could I just print out your letter and post it on our refridgerator door before I leave the house next time?

John said...


I like your mower mulching idea!

benning said...

Love the motherly rant, ma'am! Love it!

Purple may come from black beans. Have any around? Just trying to be helpful. LOL

Children and kittens, they get older and uglier. *sigh*

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I can't wait for the pictures.

Mrs Lifecruiser said...

Thank god, I don't have to go through that!!! We're quite able to make our own mess :-)

Sounds like the mices have been dancing on the tables while the cat was gone.....

Rainypete said...

Only three pots!!! What are they, chefs or something?