Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Survivor: Parental edition

The parents are gone. As are their dogs. Darren's on the couch watching the Sox, with our (newly groomed and oh-so-cute) pooches. And I'm finally back at my computer, complete with a glass of Chardonnay and some crisp-tender green beans from the farm.

So, a quick recap of the last week's challenges:
~A note stuck in the door from the neighbor not one, not two, but three houses down informing us that the "highest pitched dog" (aka my parents' neurotic poodle) "has been barking nonstop since you left this morning. And last night while you were out for dinner, too."
Strategy: Close windows whenever we leave the house. Forget to install the air conditioner, so that the house is absolutely baking hot and stinky whenever we return.

~A dinner with my in-laws, complete with tedious tour of remodeling project.
Strategy: Patience.

~A 7:15 a.m. departure time for my race on Saturday. With passengers including my father, who rarely gets up before 10 a.m. on days off and is, in the best of times, typically 30 minutes later than requested.
Strategy: Firmness. And I quote: "If you are not in the car at 7:15, we will leave without you." Actual departure time, with entire family in tow: 7:14. Astonishing.

~A trip to the emergency room for the aforementioned father, who managed to give himself a fairly scary electrical shock while helping my sister's fiance install an exhaust fan in the bathroom of their new house.
Strategy: Uhh, some back copies of Rolling Stone to entertain us in the hospital? He is fine, but it was frightening. And the man who's always proclaimed his healthy fear of electricity now knows exactly what he was afraid of.

~Massive gardening effort initiated by my mother, very early in the morning.
Strategy: Obey. Dig holes, divide hostas, buy Pee Gee Hydrangeas (as my soon-to-be brother-in-law remarked, they're not too racy, and their language isn't that foul). After a few hours of work, the yard (front and back) looks about a million times better. It's not clear why we waited until the 4th summer of owning the house to figure this out...

~Trip to outlet hell.
Strategy: Whine like a 10-year-old. Pout because everyone else needs to buy something but you just have to sit and wait. Kvetch, moan, grumble. Then remember that you actually like these people and don't get to spend very much time with them. And act like the frickin' grownup you actually are.

Strategy: Hug. Kiss. Wave on the doorstep. After the car pulls out of sight, stand in the blessedly empty house with husband for 12 seconds. Discuss dinner plans, and home equity loan closing, and dogs' groomer schedule, and the mounds of laundry that need to be done. Head directly to work, where one days' absence means 50+ emails (and those are the legitimate ones) and many hours of angst.

Finale (12 hours later)
Learn that, as suspected, you're not pregnant this month either. Head directly to fridge, pour more Chardonnay.