I debated writing this. I really did. But it’s Thursday now, and I’m still irritated so I’ll just get it out of my system now.
Last weekend, we hosted people in my house. It started with my husband inviting up his best friend. Every year, his friend comes up to stay with us for a long weekend and they go to the Cubs/Cards series in August and usually pick up a Sox game, too. That’s all well and good, other than me being trapped with the wee ones with no relief when I need a break at the end of the week, but it’s just one weekend.
Then my husband realized he could get four tickets to Friday’s game. So instead of asking if I wanted to go with a friend of mine, he invited up his brother and his brother’s girlfriend for the weekend, too. Ok, fine. His brother is pretty independent, and he’d have a car to go to the casino or whatever he wants to do rather than hanging out with me and the wee ones all day long.
A month or so ago, my in-laws called and said they decided they were coming up, too. They didn’t ask if it was ok, just announced they were coming. Nothing against my in-laws, but my husband will be doing three baseball games in three days (with Saturday off), and I’m not really up for entertaining you for two full days since your idea of entertainment is sitting on your rears watching tv and eating. I need to do things. And so do the wee ones.
I resolved to find things for them to do like go to the racetrack one day and maybe visit the children’s museum. But my husband decided to get baseball tickets to them to Friday’s Cub game which would remove them from my responsibility for the majority of that day and only necessitate entertaining after the wee ones were in bed (while my husband and friend and BIL and gf went to the second game of the day).
They all showed up on Thursday while I was still working (from home). And at 4:30, the questions about when they could go to dinner started. Seriously people, I’m working. The more you bug me about when you can go out to eat, the longer it’s going to take me to finish what I need to do. Just go without me, and I’ll meet up with you later. I’m totally good with that. Nope, had to wait for me.
Then I saw my FIL with his shoes on. In my house, we don’t wear shoes. It keeps the floors and the carpeting much cleaner, and there are a lot of things we all step in that I just don’t want in my house. My in-laws, on the other hand, wear their shoes everywhere.
When we visit their house, our feet and/or socks are literally black within a half hour of arriving. And our feet stick to the kitchen floor. We’ve asked my FIL multiple times on previous visits to please take off his shoes in our house. We even bought him a pair of nice slippers to wear if he didn’t want just his socks.
Nope. He won’t do it. And my husband wouldn’t ask him yet again to take off his shoes. In exchange, my husband promised to steam clean all our carpets after his parents left. It has yet to be done. Ten bucks says he doesn’t do it before I call out a carpet cleaning company. But really. Have respect for the way people live their lives in their home when you’re a visitor.
On Friday night after they got home from the baseball game, just as I was putting the wee ones to bed mind you, they had to turn the tv on. Except our flipper is a bit complex. You have to hit tv in the upper left then power that doesn’t actually say power, then input twice, then the cable button and then you can change channels. Me, I see a flipper with 50 (I did just count btw) buttons, I’ll wait for my host to turn it on for me.
Not the FIL. He pressed buttons until it was a screen I’d never seen before. When I came down from putting the wee ones to bed, he was still standing there pushing buttons. I gently took it from him and tried to figure out what he’d done. He commenced in providing me with suggestions of what to do. Thanks, I can handle it. I fixed the tv (yay me!) and handed him back the remote while I went upstairs to tend to a wee one asking for water.
And the tv blasted on. And I do mean blasted. As I was giving Mister Man his drink of water, he told me unsolicited that it was too loud for him to sleep. I trooped down the stairs and asked if they could possible turn the tv down a little bit (we have the same issue when we stay in their house with paper thin walls and their tv blasts 24 hours a day and the wee ones can’t sleep). He told me that if he turned it down he wouldn’t be able to hear anything, so they huffed off into the basement. I then turned it down from 23 down to my normal listening pleasure of 4 so that I wouldn’t forget when I turned the tv on the next time.
I also spent the entire weekend walking around the house putting down toilet lids. I never realized how often people go to the bathroom until this weekend. We put the toilet lids down for two reasons. Ok, three. First, we have small children, and I don’t want them to have access to potty water. Second, we have cats, and I’ve seen them access potty water when the lids are left up. Third, I grew up with them down and to me it just looks nicer.
We’ve also asked people to put them down. I get that it’s hard sometimes to remember and change a habit, but don’t you eventually notice that the lids are always down when you come into a bathroom? Really, we even got the self closing lids on our toilets so they won’t slam when you close them, I swear.
We also recycle in our house. I eventually got tired of picking through the garbage after people and gave up. Apparently southern Illinois doesn’t recycle. We both repeatedly asked our guests to just put recycling items on the island and we’d take care of it later, but no such luck. That’s just more educational to me than really annoying because I just can’t conceive of not recycling, but it makes sense when I think about how hard it is even now for my husband to remember to put things in the recycling bin.
Oh, and if you really want to tick me off, when you visit, be sure to bring lots of your own pop and snacks because we don’t have enough in our house. Granted, we don’t generally eat or drink those things and so never have them in our house, but I buy them when I know you’re coming. You don’t have to insult my hostessing buy bringing your own goodies.
But you can really send me over the top if you open up my fridge to put your 38 (I counted when they were gone on Friday) cans of pop in my fridge and promptly announce that I need to buy a second fridge for when I have so many people visiting. I’m sorry, what? I need to spend how much money on an appliance that will never be used except the one or maybe two times a year you retired people deign to visit us? And you really have to put all your pop in the fridge at one time? Can’t you put more in as you drink some of it?
Really, I’m happy to make room in my fridge for your stuff. Just ask me. But don’t announce (and mean it) that I need to buy a new fridge. And for the record, it took me three minutes to rearrange and then get all their cans into the “full” fridge. Ha!
The best part was Friday afternoon when my husband called me to let me know that my SIL had decided to drive up on Saturday with our neice, too. Wait, what? Because having five people visiting at once in my house wasn’t enough? Now you want to add two more uninvited (but still family) guests? Who need places to sleep and food to eat? Okie-dokie! At least that SIL and neice interact with the wee ones and have fun with them, although Little Miss is the shameless favorite, which is sort of hard on Mister Man who can recognize it now.
Fortunately, we had two birthday parties to go to on Saturday, so I had to leave the house at 10am and didn’t get home until almost 3:30 with the wee ones. My in-laws declined Arlington because “we’ve been to the race track once before.” Good to know we can’t repeat tourist attractions! Instead, they all trooped to Costco and oohed and ahhed over the items in the store and ate them out of samples. And bought the blueberry pomegranate jelly I have that they apparently really liked.
The good news though is that this is the first visit where my FIL hasn’t plopped himself down in front of my computer within five minutes of arriving. He’s convinced that it needs fixing, and he adds programs and “cleans things up” without asking every time. And every time after he leaves, I have to reinstall Excel because something he does deletes it. This time, my husband must have said something because he showed up with two CDs of programs but so far as I know never turned on the computer!
I felt bad because by 9:45am on Sunday, they were on the road. I did and said nothing to encourage this. But my FIL is someone who hates to get home late. He wants to be on the road and where he’s going, so it wasn’t me. This, by the way, is why we didn’t plan Little Miss’s birthday party for last weekend. My in-laws have literally left to go back home a half hour into her birthday party before. As in walking up to me and hugging me good-bye as I’m trying to entertain 30 two year olds. When they had planned to leave the next morning.
I’m going to get up from my couch now. My therapy session is over, and I feel much better. I almost don’t even want to post this, but I put so much effort into it, I may as well, right? And I’ll be good until the family reunion somewhere down near St Louis on October 6.