My roommate's parents are lovely people. But given that their main residence is in Liechtenstein, I wasn't expecting to see them on the deck right outside my bedroom window when I arrived home from work yesterday. My roommate forgot to mention that his parents are coming to stay for a month. Surprise! As I mentioned, his parents are pretty cool as far as parents go, but they aren't exactly unobtrusive. They headed to bed early last night, which meant that I woke up at the stroke of 4:45 this morning to the sounds of footsteps on hardwood floors and general morning busy-ness. And then I woke up again approximately every half hour after between 4:45 and 8:00 a.m. Clomp! Cough! Toilet flushing! Sink running! Toilet again!
This afternoon I returned home after a five-hour respite at work to find every window in the house open to the cool, gray skies, and the wind whistling menacingly through every room. Hammering noises sounded from the basement. The lawn was mowed, and the house was turned upside down. Dishes lined the counter tops, the sideboard in the dining room had disappeared completely, and new end tables had sprouted like awkwardly placed mushrooms. I went into the kitchen to wash my tupperware from lunch. The sponge had been replaced with a dishrag, and the dish soap had disappeared--returned to its rightful place under the sink, I discovered after some digging. And, I can't complain too much; after all, I should be used to it by now. They were here for what turned out to be six weeks back in September and October, and for another month in December and January. But that's just the thing. They are always here. I see them more than I see my parents--and my parents live on this continent! And I got absolutely zero warning this time, as my roommate apparently deemed it not important enough to mention. And honestly, he's been getting on my last nerve. Andrew was right--I don't trust that guy! But since he's moving out in August, it hardly seemed worth it to say something. After all, his parents can't come to visit again before August (can they???) But, for the sake of my own sanity, I sent off a quick e-mail letting him know that in the future it would be appreciated if he could apprise me of things like his parents coming to stay for a month.
He came home shortly after I returned home from work and I saw him head straight to his computer. His mother stood beside him reading over his shoulder. Whispered consultation in German. A few minutes later, his mother found me in the kitchen. "Oh, you know," she mentioned casually, "it's going to be a full house. Alex's girlfriend is back in the country, and she's coming to stay here for three weeks." Well, it's a party then! Like a month-long friends and family reunion. How fun for you! Because, oh, did I mention that his brother is here too? His brother is here too! But at least I sent him that e-mail, right, or else I wouldn't have known about the girlfriend coming to stay. Good thing he sent his mom in to tell me. Just like a big boy!
An hour and a half later, and there is still hammering coming from the basement. I'm pretty sure they're building an exact replica of their village in Liechtenstein down there, so they'll never have to leave.