October 20, 2008

Welcome to my meltdown.

Stage 1: My weekend.

Saturday was intended to be the day we steam-cleaned the carpets. The original plan was to clean them right after breakfast and then go out grocery shopping and errand running the rest of the day to allow time for it to dry. What did we end up doing? Jack shit in the morning and an hour on the phone with AT&T's tech support trying to figure out why we can't establish an internet connection. Said phone call took me on a snoozefest journey of "ipconfig" on the DOS screen and switching cable ends to trying to find our LAN and it dropped us off at "Yeah, your ethernet card is fried." So we shuffled off to Fry's to buy a new one. Then we went to Hell-Mart Wal-Mart to get a few other things. Then we bought our anniversary dinner on the way home (Chinese take-out, we're classy, folks) and called it a day. So much for the carpet.

Sunday, we finally did clean the carpet. Right after breakfast. Husband picked up, I ran the cleaner. You might be saying, "Should he be doing this?" No. Why? He'll do a slapdash job. He's into getting un-fun things done as quickly as possible so he can watch the 49ers game efficiency and he wouldn't get the edges as meticulously as I would and he certainly wouldn't take that extra sweep over the wet stuff to suck up just a little bit more. So I run it and I'm happy about it. As for the results, well, I can't complain. I didn't pretreat with stain remover so all I was able to do was lift all the nasty dirt and pet dander and hopefully alleviate some of our allergy troubles for a few months, but that's fine by me. We don't exactly host dinner parties up here.

Then it was off to the grocery store where we threw a bunch of stuff into the cart, leaving me to have to go shopping again tomorrow because, again, he wanted to get home in time for the game. Admittedly, I'm not sure if he was trying to see the 49ers or the Raiders. I don't really pay attention. You see, if the Steelers aren't on, he'll try to watch the 49ers (he wants them to win) and the Raiders (he desperately, vehemently, savagely wants them to lose).

So what happens over the next 12 hours? My daughter drops the can of Diet Coke she's taking to my husband - it's closed and she's carrying it with both hands, she's such a good kid - and it slips out of her hands, hits the floor, and explodes. Okay, it didn't exactly explode, but it definitely sprung a leak and fizzed all over my fresh carpet. Grr.

This morning? The cat yaks up his breakfast on it. RAWRRRRRR. Why did I bother cleaning the carpet again?

Stage 2: The Eagle lands on Thursday. A bi-product of a 1950s childhood, raising little ones in the 1960s, divorcing and remarrying in the 1970s, being a working mom through the 80s and 90s, and still working through her late 60s and into her 70s because it's all she knows and wants to do. This woman has seen a lot and yet seen nothing. She's lived in western Pennsylvania for the majority of her life, save for about 15 years in south Florida. She's seen the Civil Rights movement, the Hippie movement, the modern feminist movement, and five wars. However, she watched it all go by while carving out her life in a once-booming-but-now-very-quiet little town and decided that that town was all she'd ever want or need. Occasionally, she'd say, "I've always wanted to see [insert far-off location here]. Oh well. Someday." But that day would never come and I think, after a while, it made her really bitter. So when Rob and I moved out here she made up her mind, I believe, that any place other than her hometown was just plain awful and completely uninhabitable.

Now that you have all that background information, you understand a little better why I'm a bit apprehensive about her visit. She knows I miss living back east. What she doesn't get, though, is that I don't mind it out here either. Were I to have to pick between the two, I'd pick Pennsylvania, but for now I'm content to live here. She takes that little grain of knowledge though and she browbeats me for the entire duration of her stay. This browbeating kinda makes me want to stay here a little more, that petulant teenager in me rearing its ugly head, simply out of spite.

Stage 3: Mom is that proverbial Suzy Homemaker. Her carpets were always clean, her table and countertops always wiped down, her plants watered and healthy, and her furniture without blemishes. You rarely saw any of my crap laying around because she was on my ass to put it away when I was done with it. She kept her lampshades dust-free, her picture frames all matching and perfectly arranged, and it always smelled of roast beef, some sort of casserole, or fresh laundry in her house. You know the type. They make the rest of us look bad. Real bad.

I'm attempting to clean the HELL out of my apartment to eliminate as much criticism as possible. I only have about 850 square feet to attack before Thursday morning but it's making me a bit panicky. I still have to mop the kitchen and bathroom, put a dent in our laundry pile, take down the "Condemned by Health Department" sign hanging on our bathroom door and disinfect it from top to bottom, and then attempt to clean the kid's room in the ten minutes before we leave for the airport so that it resembles something close to neat. If I do it any sooner than that, it'll look like a cyclone hit it before I walk out the bedroom door. Oh, and I need to dust everydamnthing. All before about 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning. The Eagle lands at 11:35 a.m. I have to haul a preschooler and a toddler strapped into a stroller through SFO and then keep them entertained until the Eagle gets off her plane and through the terminal. God help me if her flight's delayed.

So, welcome to my meltdown. This is Day One.


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