A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chocolate cures everything.

Well, maybe not.

It's been one of those weekends.

Backstory, Part I: I teach middle school. DH mentors adolescents. I have tried to communicate that, if he must have them at the house, I would appreciate it if he would do so on days and at times I am not here (like every other Saturday) because I really have had enough of dealing with kids during my work week and really don't want to see, hear or SMELL them on my days off.

Backstory, Part II: 27 years ago we installed a carpet in the family room. At my BIL's suggestion I chose the best quality carpet I could find on the best quality padding I could find. I also followed the advice of a friend's husband who was a carpet cleaner and contracted yearly for Serv-Pro to do a "showcase" cleaning of said carpet. (Showcase = shampoo first, then steam with a truck-mounted steam cleaner). I was rewarded with a carpet that looks new every year. I have this done right before Thanksgiving so that when I decorate the house for the holidays it's over a clean carpet. Sadly, the local Serv-Pro was sold to a couple who ditched the shampooer and now only steams. I've been very disappointed in the result for the last three or four years and commented on same to the contractor that did the back bedroom rennovation last spring. Turns out, he has a cousin who does just the kind of cleaning I wanted. So, I had arranged for him to drive up from (gulp) Anaheim (about 70 miles) to clean my carpet this morning at 9:00 am.

Last week DH asked me if I wanted to participate in the anti-h8 march in neighboring Ventura, California. Of course I did! Then he reveals that he's taking one of the teens (a loud, self-absorbed 16-year-old). By Saturday morning it turns out that this simple act (drive up, march, drive back) has evolved into a potentially all-day event involving constant presence of one or more young people. I suggested that I take my own car so that I can come home right after the march and prepare the house for the carpet cleaner the next morning. At this point I learn why I was really invited to the march. Said adolescent may not ride with DH unless there is an adult female chaperone in the car with them at all times. I was stuck. As we prepared for the march we checked out the route and were pleased to note that the parking garage where our car rested was on the way back to the staging area for the march, so we agreed that we would peel off and leave early. Once we reached that spot, though, DH had collected several of his gatherlings along the route and didn't feel he could just up and leave since he had talked them into coming, so I was stuck sitting in the car for over a half-hour waiting for him to finish the march and return to the car. If I'd known this would happen I would have brought a book, but as it was all I could do was sit in the hot car hoping to catch a breeze off the ocean.

He finally arrived (teen in tow) and assumed that I would drive us all home. When I protested he assured me that teenybopper would be pleased to drive.

I drove.

I had planned to do the prep for the carpet cleaner as soon as I had rested and rehydrated and, indeed, got a little start when the doorbell rang. Little did I know, he had invited these kids to come to our house - all five of them - after the march. They monopolized the bathroom (leaving it rank), smoked outside (at least he honored my demand that they not sit in my brand new recliner if they'd been smoking) and were so loud that even on the other side of the house with the door closed I could hear them, especially the 30-decible cackle of the star of our attention.

Need I mention I was NOT able to do anything in the family room as far as prepping for the carpet cleaner because the room was pretty full of bodies watching a (yawn) football game?

Finally, they all left for a local college game. (Note: DH did not bother to provide dinner for his wife although same had been promised.) This was at about 6:00 PM. I grabbed a piece of peanut butter toast and a glass of milk for dinner and prepared to get to work. First step was to open up the house (guess there is a benefit to a hot Santa Ana condition) to clear out the stinky feet stench.

The phone rang.

It was my older son with wonderful news. His wife's aunt is treating them to a trip back to her home in Japan for Christmas and - more importantly - New Year. I know my DIL has been missing New Year with her family and yet there is no way they can afford such a trip themselves, so I'm thrilled they get to go.

I wept for myself.

After three hours of cleaning and shoving furniture around I was ready for the carpet cleaner. After a shower I went to bed and finished a book I've been reading, then went to sleep before DH got home. I was still so angry, though, that I did not sleep well.

This morning the phone rang at 8:30 AM (my carpet cleaner was scheduled for 9:00). It was the carpet cleaner. He was trapped in Anaheim because all the freeways were closed because of the fire. Sigh. We set up another appointment for Tuesday (a day I had taken off to grade papers).

So, there I was, angry, frustrated and sad when DH came into the family room this morning. When I shared the news about the Japan trip I lost it and he was patting me and trying to be sympathetic. I was pretty direct that this was a "last straw" kind of a thing after yesterday. I really hope I have done a better job of communicating that I do not welcome these kids on my days off, but DH has a real talent for not hearing what he does not want to hear.

I have plans to just vacate the house from now on if they show up.

In the meantime, I decided my attitude was going to take more adjusting than I could manage with willpower alone, so I headed for Trader Joes' for a chocolate run (I try not to have it in the house). I guess I overdid it: frozen chocolate chunk cookie dough, French truffles, chocolate bon bons, a chocolate torte and chocolate ice cream for dessert.

No, I haven't eaten it all. But I felt better for having brought it home to indulge if I wanted to.

The only "upside" of the weekend so far has been reading the book, Twilight. My students (well, the female half, anyway) have been passing the Meyer books around for a few years now and the debut of the movie next week has them all atwitter. While I was shopping at Costco I saw Twilight for cheap (with Robert Pattinson, et. al., on the cover) so I picked it up. It took almost 200 pages for me to really see what the excitement was about but must say I have loved reading this book and have ordered the other three. I think I'll go see the movie (a late show) next week. The trailers look like they've done a pretty good job with it.

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen. I thought he was terrific as Cedric Diggory. Guess when you die a Hufflepuff you get to come back as a vampire.

I'll have to check to see if DH has teenager plans anytime next week.

Good opportunity to cut out for a movie.

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