This summer seems to be slipping away into the horizon all too quickly. Since the house fire temporarily transplanted us we have been on a fast track schedule to get our new house ready for the arrival of all of the crap we don’t really need that’s currently residing in my parent’s garage. I’ve been wearing the same three shirts for the last month because I don’t have the energy to dig through the giant plastic Tupperwear bins that are currently serving as my drawers. I’ve also been feeling a bit too comfortable in the only pair of cutoff shorts I can find. I’m not sure when I officially became a rag-muffin (does anyone else say that or is that just something my Pops made up?), but apparently I don’t seem to mind that my shorts are covered in paint and grout and sweat and Lord knows what else. At the end of the week I just throw them in the wash with my pink socks and black tank top and I am ready for Monday.
It’s funny when all of your things are packed away how quickly you realize how little you actually need to get by. Apparently I’m pretty low maintenance.
And apparently, between the grouting, painting, scrubbing, sawing and cleaning I should consider bathing a little more frequently.
What I have become?!
Before my eyes I’m turning into a woman who leaves the house donning pink socks, hiking shoes, stubbly armpits, not a shred of makeup and paint in her ponytail.
A ponytail that hasn’t been washed for days.
Since the realization that I am on the verge of ‘crazy cat/bag/stinky/wilderness lady’ I have tried to pinpoint what has gotten into me. I try to blame it on being in the moment, or being frazzled with deadlines and things scattered in all corners of the ranch. I try to make excuses for myself that include little phrases like “Oh, I was laying tile and I have to do it again in twelve hours so what’s the point of scrubbing the mortar off of my legs.”
Or, “Oh, the paint will just wash right out of this shirt. But I have to paint some more in twelve hours so what’s the point of changing”
And my favorite “It’s hot. I was sweaty. Now I’m tired. I’ll shower tomorrow.”
And then I find myself alone in a room, crinkling my nose and wondering what stinks.
Now I know it’s me.
I need to get it together. So after much consideration, contemplation, analyzation, self-deprecation and meditation I have come to the conclusion.
It’s my parents’ fault.
Hear me out here as I explain myself.
See, since we have been essentially homeless, my parents have done everything they can to make us feel comfortable. They are lovely people who are very aware of their actions and very good at taking care of the people they love. They felt bad for us and didn’t want to see us living in a tent on their lawn, so they gave us a room like any parent would. Then they made us a hearty meal full of every vegetable, listened while we complained, handed us a cocktail and never once have mentioned that perhaps I should consider using their shower more frequently.
I haven’t lived with my parents since I was seventeen, and now, more than ever, I am grateful I hadn’t come back until now.
I would have never left.
Because something shifts when you find yourself as an adult living between your parents’ familiar walls. I’ve often wondered about this when hearing about those bachelors who never get married, who stay in their mom’s basement for years, whittling wood or playing computer games in their free time.
Why? Why do they stay?
Now I know.
Because your momma makes banana bread and Rice Krispy bars on Sundays and then leaves you home alone with them all week as you find the sweet tooth you have repressed since childhood.
When you go to the fridge to try to locate the ketchup or the ice cream topping, all it takes is one call out to your momma and she is at your side, showing you exactly where it is.
She also knows where you set your cell phone, keys, missing boot and sunglasses.
When you live with your parents there is always someone there to worry about you, so you don’t have to take the time to worry about yourself. If your momma walks into the kitchen to catch you with a big knife in your hand, prepped and ready to cut into a giant watermelon, she will quickly locate your father to remove that knife from your hand and take over the job himself.
See, your momma knows you, and knows that giant knives could mean a disaster.
You will protest for a moment, explaining that you are an adult and have cut up many watermelons in your life thank-you-very-much, but you will start that adult conversation with something that sounds like “Moammmaaa, geeezzzeeaa” before you hand over the knife to your father, secretly grateful that you won’t have to struggle with the task.
When you live with your parents, despite your best efforts, the laundry gets done more often. You have a never-neverending stack of clean towels and, while she’s at it, cheese and crackers on a tray waiting for you on the counter at any given moment.
Right next to those blasted Rice Krispy bars that are quickly going to your ass.
But Rice Krispy bars won’t be the only thing you have a hankering for. No, when you find yourself living with your parents you will also find yourself searching the cupboards for Honey Nut Cheerios and Lucky Charms. You will ask if they have fruit roll-ups.
Your mom will buy you popsicles and tell you you look skinny.
You will believe her.
You will have another Rice Krispy bar and curl up on the couch with her while she watches “The Real Housewives of Wherever.”
She will make you one of her signature vodka tonics and you will fall asleep under the fluffy blanket with your head on the arm rest of the couch and your mouth wide open as you drool on her throw pillow.
Your husband will see this. He will be horrified.
He will order you to go to bed.
You will oblige, wipe the drool from your mouth and wish your momma and pops good night only to crawl into a bed that you haven’t made for a month…
because you’re living in your parents house…
and the way you’ve been behaving, you might as well give up adult status.
If you need me I’ll be painting something, tiling something, taking a shower and scheduling a hair-cut.
If I don’t move out soon, I am afraid I never will.