John is here from Florida. He’s here to help me with his grandma. To give me some relief so I can go out to lunch or to the grocery without getting an elderly-lady-sitter. Also to provide back up when I have cataract surgery.
And I’m grateful, really I am. On the other hand, John being here is like inserting a rambunctious tiger kitten into a family consisting of two fat, old, placid house cats. For one thing, you have to understand that, even though John has been married for 10 years, he never actually moved out. His bedroom is still as it always was – books, chair, computer, bed and stereo. He still claims one of the primo closets for his own and it is filled with an entire secondary wardrobe – pants, shirts, shoes, jackets. He still has deodorants, tooth brush, razors, mouthwash in the medicine chest. When he comes here, he doesn’t even have to pack a bag. Have iPod, will travel.
The first thing that happened the day after he arrived was that he decided all his clothes had to be washed. Of course, they were all clean but they’d been hanging in his closet for a few months so they were like, you know, stale or something.
So he washed and washed. The washer and dryer ran morning, noon and night. When he was done with his clothes, he washed his sheets and bed spread and blankets. I’ll probably be getting a phone call from the water company – “you need to check for leaks, you’ve had a huge spike in usage.”
John runs up and down the stairs 25 times a day. Literally, he runs. Running makes a lot more noise than walking. “CLOMP, CLOMP, CLOMP!” The dog isn’t used to it so she barks her head off every time. The cats run and hide. Mom asks, startled, “What’s that? What’s that?”