I think I need to bitch and get head-slapped as well?
For starters, joyously: My S.U. and I had a wonderful vacation at WDW! We had a blast!
Because I've been stressed out before when my step-daughter, M, has stayed with my animals, I was in a real panic about who would care for my animals. I asked around and prices for people just coming in once a day were really high. I'm sorry, but $30 for a 30 minute let-out?
I was super-anxious and extraordinarily stressed about this whole thing. Finally, I got through prayer (thank you, MH) and a "I Think I Know Someone" miracle, a nice gal (MK) about 10 years younger than us who has a son (P.) with Asperger's. No worries! Thank you, God and Angels!
They live in the neighborhood and so could come and go to care for the dogs and the best news was MY CAT, Rufus the Magnificent, Lord (Doofus) of the Universe LIKED them! (No small feat as he really does not like M...which is strange as most cats love her.) Best of all: so reasonable!
Now, I must preface this with the last time M stayed with us, about a month ago, I came home to 12 loads of stinky (cat piss and moldy) laundry, my house smelled like cheap cigarettes (and for you smokers, you KNOW the difference), the beds were unmade, sheets not cleaned, dirty dishes in the sink and my den (where the dogs are) was a total mess. Mind you, she has just turned 29 so she's not some teenager. All this chaos was accomplished in 48 hours, which takes some doing. Add on to that she has very nervous (almost frantic), unrestful, unfocused yet lazy energy; is a monologue-chatter-box and is always in a hurry. She has two modes: Dead-Asleep and The I'm Late, I'm Late! Tornado.
Rufus was so freaked out by that stinky laundry he never went in the basement where his litter box and food was. We came home that evening from an idyllic weekend by the lake. He came out from hiding, mewing and crying, and promptly shat on our stairs.
So after this debacle in July, I vowed that Never Again could she stay in my house overnight.
Famous last words, right?
I make ALL the arrangements for MK and P. to take care of the critters. I'm feeling pretty good about all of this. Then M does the beg/plead thing. "I'll do it! I can take care of the animals!! A. (her boyfriend) and I need to get out of our house; it's so stressful there, we hate our roommates. Can't we please spend some nights there; we just need to get out of our house. Plus I have a lot of laundry I need to do...."
Well, call me a softie. I certainly have been in a similar situation in my lifetime.
Better yet: call me an idiot. I suppose a real wo/man would have said, "No."
I said yes, she could spend a few nights (not all six) here BUT her laundry could never come in the house. It had to stay in the garage and be brought in one load at a time. And no smoking of course. I did tell MK that if she came and there was more than one load of laundry in the basement, would she please bag it and put it on the front porch? I even told her where the disposable gloves are. I firmly told M. I wanted my house to stay clean. I didn't want her dad coming home to a dirty house and being stressed out after a vacation! It's stressful enough that his blood sugar was just diagnosed as too high....he is NOT thrilled.
In retrospect, I should have nixed the whole M&A being able to crash here the night before we left. A while back I had lent M. my old netbook to look for jobs. I did need it back for the trip as a photo back-up. Late and last minute as usual, she tripped up the porch stairs, overloaded as is her wont. (Two trips from the car? Unthinkable.) The netbook took flight and since netbooks don't have wings, it crashed landed, breaking the screen. Poor little Elf.
Now I am hardly a Home and Garden or Architectural Digest house-keeper. I leave that to my siblings! :-) But I'd like things to stay basically the way I left them. When I stay at someone's house I do try to leave things tidy and nice. If I pet-sit, I do their laundry, vacuum etc. I did ask MK to keep an eye on stuff for me and asked my other friend, ML, as well. (All these Ms!) I also told M that MK and P. would be spending a few nights here and that THEY got priority over where to sleep.
Nothing like having some Moms On The Job, so to speak because I got the 411 on how things were really being left. Ashtrays in my den and the house was starting to stink. And this is from Moms With Teenage Boys.
Instead of calling M and going through the whole ya-da-ya on the phone, I resorted to Text Messaging. (I know. Call me a Coward.)
Sunday: A friend of mine stopped by the check on dogs. Saw ashtrays in den. There is no smoking in our house. Your last night there is tonight. MK will need Monday & Tuesday to tidy up the house.
Now (of course) I get this somewhat frantic phone call at WDW from a justifying M. "I just brought the ashtrays in from the back yard. I know not to smoke in the house."
I ask you: why would anyone DO that? I'm still trying to wrap my head around this. There is a trash can right there. I smoked two packs a day. I know the drill. Empty the damn ashtrays, let them sit outside upside down in case it rains. There is no earthly reason to bring your full-of-butts ashtrays indoors. Unless you figure the house windows are open....hmmmm?....so no harm, no foul?
I guess I should have been more specific. No ashtrays in the house. No nothing that has anything to DO with smoking in the house.
We did come home to a lovely peaceful house, thanks to MK.
Of course I did get the whole skinny on the incredible mess that M. left everywhere (but did take with her) and oh, there was the fast food they ate and threw the wrappers in the trash in the den. Which the dogs got into (of course) and made a huge mess of, thank you very much. (Not.) And oh, boy was she pissed when she got your text and thank you very much for not specifying exactly which one of us Moms squealed on her. And when she and A. were here, Rufus hid. We could only get him to come out when they were gone. Etc.
Here's the kicker, and very weird too. We came home Tuesday evening and the water heater had broken. Not surprising (it's 12 years old) just very inconvenient! We buy a water heater and an installation at Lowe's for the next day (Wed.) All goes well; the plumbing guy is finishing up.
The phone rings.
Thinking it's Marty, I don't check caller-ID and answer it. It's M. While I'm on the phone with her, the spigot going into the cold water hose to the new tank springs a huge, spraying leak which causes another huge leak in another pipe. What was a one hour job turned into four hours.
I think I need a serious protection spell and lots of prayers.
Having MK here, knowing she and P. were caring for the dogs and Rufus made our vacation stress-free. We could enjoy ourselves, knowing that all was well. She was truly a gift from (the) god(s)!
I guess what I'm afraid of is this: if I put my big girl pants on and say No Way to M. ever spending the night here again (pet-sitting or not)...will Karma get me for being "mean?"
And MK, you're hired!