View from my window in Boston - December 16, 2007
View from my window in France - April 21, 2009Yes my pretties, go ahead and gorge yourselves on our wholesome prairie grasses, and while you're at it, would you mind straightening up that overgrown hedge? Thanks a mil.
But by this morning, all lawn maintenance worries were over. When I woke up, everything was different: the lawn shorn, hedges trimmed, the house turned upside down and vacuumed and scrubbed and everything returned to a different place. Dish soap? Look under the sink. Remote control? On top of the tv. (What, you thought the purpose of a remote control was so that you didn't have to walk over to the tv to change the channel? Think again.) It appears that the magical cleaning fairies, otherwise known as my roommate's parents, flew in from their castle last night for a month-long stay. (No, seriously, they're from Lichtenstein, and the two facts I've been able to glean about Lichtenstein are that their women finally won the right to vote in 1989, and everyone there lives in their very own castle. I am only semi-bullshitting one of these facts. Try to guess which one. The answer may surprise you!)
I stood in the kitchen in confusion this morning after finally having located the dish soap, my newly washed cereal bowl dripping in my hand. Where is the...thing? The thing you put the dishes on after you wash them...but before you put them away? That...thing? "Oh, hello!" my roommate's mother burbled in her adorable accent. She then indicated to me that a build-up of moisture under the dish rack had over time caused some damage to the wooden countertop. "So I threw it away!" she said cheerily. Well, ok, but...I don't know, something about a baby, re: not throwing it out with the bathwater? In a house where four (and now six) people share a kitchen, with no dishwasher, a dish drying rack is all that separates us from complete and utter chaos. And, really, for the cleaning I have nothing but gratitude. With roommates that tend to turn conveniently deaf, blind, and dumb when it comes to things like overflowing trash cans, rotting food left in the fridge, and dust bunnies so big they've developed their own gravitational fields, it's nice to have such a meticulously tidy ally. But something tells me that when people can barely be enticed to do their dishes under the best of circumstances, making it more difficult for them may not be the best option. And yes, I know that as soon as they leave, I will go out and buy a new dish rack, and return the soap to its rightful place on the counter, and I will leave my toaster plugged in, and I will turn off all the lights left blazing throughout the house during the daylight hours, and I won't find myself suddenly and unexpectedly locked out after becoming accustomed to our usual open door policy, and everything will go back to the way it was.
Until then, I'll keep repeating to myself, It's only a month. It's only a month. It's only... dear lord, it's still twenty-nine more days. Help.