Letter To My Hosts
to go: 798.39
want to take a moment
to thank the two of you, in advance, for letting me stay with you guys
I'm in town this weekend.
know it's probably
going to be a little weird for everybody at first. You're not
accustomed to having *Mom* as a houseguest ... and *Mom* is definitely
not accustomed to being
a houseguest. (She is especially not accustomed to being a houseguest
in the home of someone she once carried around in a little wicker
going to be a new
experience for all of us.
I promise I'll be on
my very best behavior, OK? I won't brush my teeth in your car. I won't
answer your phone ("Helen's
Whorehouse, Helen speaking"). I
won't photograph the inside of your laundry hamper for my website, or
bathe with your cats, or insist that we all enjoy Family
*Finger-Puppet-Fun* Night together. If I make a mess, I'll clean it up.
If I break something, I'll glue it back together. If I accidentally dig
around in your bottom bureau drawer while you're at work and uncover
your padlocked diary and read the past six or seven months' worth of
entries ... I won't correct your spelling.
good news is that
you won't even know I'm there, half the time. (That's because I won't
be there, half the time. I'll be frantically running from one end of
TicTac to the other, trying to cram fourteen months' worth of overdue
daughterly/sisterly/ex-wifely/motherly visit into four days.) While I'm
living under your roof, however, I promise to respect your privacy and
abide by your house rules 100%. Whatever you
say goes. Of course, if I happen to look around your apartment and I
see something that could use the deft touch of my superior
organizational skills -- say, your new computer, for instance -- I
might surprise you by rearranging your desktop icons according to file
name/file size/expiration date/antioxidant level, or by changing all
of your system event sounds (you still like Michael Bolton, right?), or
by downloading the latest version of CallYourMomDammitPro for your
maybe I'll just set a
great big photo of *me* as your desktop wallpaper.
for the "grocery
list" you requested ... this has taken a little more thought than I'd
anticipated, I must confess. I'm so accustomed to walking into the
Alameda Safeway store, 2.7 times per week, and loading up the shopping
cart with the exact same eleven items, over and over again, that it's
been a real challenge trying to come up with some viable snack ideas.
Since I'm not planning on totally blowing off The Eating Plan while I'm
visiting, I'm limiting the list to just the most critical items:
Coke. I'm talking
about OLD New Coke ... OK? Not new
New Coke. If you can't find Old New Coke, then I'll take New Diet Coke.
Just make sure it's the NEW New Diet Coke, though, and not Old New Diet
Coke. If you can't find Old New Coke or New New Diet Coke, Pepsi Lite
will work. Not Pepsi Light -- and not Pepsi Twist Light -- but Pepsi
Lite. It comes in a sky-blue can, I think. If you can't find Old New
Coke or New New Diet Coke or Pepsi Lite ... just grab me a six-pack of
Tab. I'm not picky.
TV Dinners (in the aluminum foil tray, please).
and Bows, one box of each.
couple of 7-Up Candy
1-2-3 ... cherry,
if you can find it. If you can't find Jell-O 1-2-3, a couple boxes of
Whip-n-Chill will be fine.
box of Chocolate
really don't have to
load up on groceries, though: I'm looking forward to eating out as much
as possible while I'm in TicTac. I might even spring for the tip, once
us a reservation
at Canlis, OK?)
historically, I haven't always been the easiest person to live with ...
especially during the years I was pickling my kidneys in a marinade of
cheap chablis. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, though, by how
mellow and low-maintenance I have become in my sober old age. I am
perfectly happy sleeping on your couch, for instance. I slept on a
couch for the last fifteen years of a sixteen-year marriage, after all:
it's not like I'm unaccustomed to incredible inconvenience and hideous
discomfort. As long as I have a minimum of three pillows (one large
extra-firm, one medium-large/medium-firm for under my neck, and one
soft floppy "Boyfriend Pillow" to hug all night) -- as long as my
blankets aren't scratchy and the sofa cushions aren't lumpy and my feet
aren't sticking out at the bottom -- as long as the lights go out
promptly at 9:15 p.m. every night, and the alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m.
every morning, nice and loud -- then I'm sure I'll be just fine.
if you catch me sleepwalking around the neighborhood again, just help
me back into my pajamas and sing me a few bars of "The Ash Grove" until
I fall asleep. That usually does the trick.)
*bathroom needs* are
similarly uncomplex. Toss a fresh new bottle of Tame Creme Rinse
(lemon-scented please) into the shower stall ... make sure I have
plenty of fluffy white towels for my face, extra-absorbent dark brown
towels for my hair and a couple of oversized bath towels (green or
light blue: no pink or red) for the the rest of me ... and I'll be a
and could you
make sure the toilet paper unrolls from the bottom, and not from the
think we're going to
have a wonderful time together, you guys. I really do. The main point
of this trip isn't sight-seeing or picture-taking or blowing ridiculous
amounts of money at local shopping malls: it's spending quality time
with people I love. I'm
especially looking forward to those quiet evenings spent hanging around
your apartment together ... just the three of us. (Plus your brother
and your sister, if we can
convince them to join us.) We can all listen to Michael Bolton albums
and eat Jiffy Pop and paint happy faces on our finger puppets.
then I'll go
upstairs and take a bubble bath with your cats.
throw a rock