Monday, September 13, 2010

Strangers Without Candy

Our landlord is trying to sell our house. This is an absolute nightmare to me. It means I have people coming into my home when I'm not there—the realtors have politely told me to leave during the showings—and it feels like a huge invasion of my privacy.

I don't really like having anyone into my home at all, because I’m ashamed of it. It's a shitty place, guys. I'm just being straight up about that. I have never lived in a nice house since I left my parent's, but this is the worst. It is a shitty falling apart little box, and it's too small to fit all our stuff. Like, no linen or hallway or coat closet small. Which means that we still have boxes under the desk in the living room and hampers filled with sheets and towels and extra hangers littering our bedroom. And usually, the house is in a state of a huge toy and laundry mess. We're pretty good about keeping up with the kitchen, because a dirty kitchen is just gross. But the girls' toys and clothes, boots and shoes, backpacks, videos, books, and all the laundry that I don't have room for, it's strewn all over the house and crammed into corners and closets—stacked willy-nilly on the crooked closet shelve, packed into a corner on N's side of the bed and forgotten. Because when you have a shitty house, you don't really notice it. You don't want to. You might step for seven months around a houseplant in your shower and not notice it until one day you slip and come up clutching fern leaves and dirt.

Ok, maybe not all of you have avoidance issues like me. But when I feel overwhelmed, I tend to ignore it and hope it goes away. For instance, up until about two years ago, I had hanging in my closet two dresses I borrowed from Ashleigh Bryant in approximately 1997. I never returned them because once I hit a certain point—a year, maybe—and I still had them? I was feeling too ashamed. Returning them would be dragging the issue back up to the light of day. I didn't want to face that shame by returning the dresses. Hi, here are two homecoming dresses I borrowed eight years ago, I bet you're really thankful. You'll probably want to wear them tonight for drinks with your husband, maroon crushed velvet and empire waists are so hot right now.

The shame was painful. But I couldn't throw them out, they were Ashleigh's. And so the dresses hung, unreturned and unused, in my closet through college, my wedding and the births of my two children, red and black remnants of the glory of the 90's, until at some point on Birch Street I finally sucked it up and admitted Ashleigh wouldn't want them anymore and took them to Goodwill.

Ashleigh Bryant, please forgive me.

Now: As if the closets weren't enough, there's also the girls room. It's terrible. It's tiny, there are two of them in there with a toy box, no dresser, and two mattresses on the floor. We're waiting 'til we can afford bunk beds—now let's just all have a big fat laugh right here, because I'm telling you true, we are never going to be able to afford bunk beds. But Noah and I are hanging onto this bunk bed delusion, because it allows us to not be overwhelmed by guilt that Ayla sleeps on a twin size mattress on the floor and little Indy sleeps on a crib size mattress on the floor that no longer has any sheets that fit it and we drape it over with blankets or sheets that are too big and pull loose every night. Delusions are a powerful force in life and I urge you not to overlook them. Also, in subjects not at all related to delusions, I would just like to point out that I love my job because I know I'm not going to be doing it for the rest of my life, I have the exact body size and shape as that of Christina Hendricks and therefore can't wait to don my swimsuit, I don't spend that much money at Starbucks, my children are not at all willful or defiant but just incredibly tenacious, Velveeta with Rotel over noodles is an antioxidant-packed meal, and my hair is not thinning it's just still falling out from the hormone changes that took place after the birth of my youngest. Four years ago.

Now if you'll excuse me, Nathan Fillion is coming over to make margaritas and read me Jacqueline Carey novels.

Seriously, I don't know what I'd do without him.

What was I saying? Oh yeah--So they're showing our house today and tomorrow. This means that I have to scramble around cleaning in that terrible hour after dinner is eaten and I need to bathe the kids and brush their teeth and get them to bed, clean up the kitchen, pack school lunches, rotate the laundry, and do whatever else I've been putting off for days like school projects and hocking coupon books (wanna buy one?). The hour when I'm really hoping to get it done fast so I can sit down before I have to get up an hour later to go pick up Noah. So there's the cleaning thing, which you know, sucks. And then we have to leave our house. At bedtime. So that Strangers can inspect my dirty laundry with all the privacy they deserve.

So it's Monday lunch time, and I went to this gorgeous wedding yesterday. And I wanted to write about that, and about some other things that occurred over the weekend. But this hit me—and did I mention I have to pack for a trip this week too?—and I just really needed to vent.

And I don't think I've ever used this blog to vent before—to describe, to relate, to express or articulate, to rant even, yes, but not to vent—and so I'm hoping you'll excuse me for doing it this one time.

And if I've done it before, now is maybe not the time to point it out to me?

Because guys, I am not my house. But this still sucks.

I am Vesuvius, and have I mentioned to you that I am best friends with the entire cast of Firefly?


  1. 'Shame is like everything else; live with it for long enough and it becomes part of the furniture.'
    Salman Rushdie.

    I was looking for a quote the expresses how much I agree with your feelings in my own life. This came somewhat close. My shame can be a houseplant in the shower, for sure.

  2. I live with my own delusions constantly, they are a snuggie I can slip into and disappear at will, warm and cozy. Like, soon my book will be published and I'll have enough to buy a condo in Washington. Or, our house isn't mismatched, it's eclectic. Or, those numbers on the scale aren't real. Zachary Levi would marry me if he had the chance. Northglenn is an okay place to live. Oh yeah, I'm familiar with delusion.

  3. Dalley, I love that quote and it brought me joy. Actually I think it was the "my shame can be a houseplant in the shower" part that caused the joy. Or both of them together. Either way, it made me laugh. Happily.

    Colleen, have you tried just inviting Levi over for margaritas? Worked for me.

  4. I say this will a ton of love for my gorgeous husband...but if Zachary Levi showed up at my door I think my heart would actually explode. Only him or Christian Bale could do that to me.


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