08 May 2015

You're Frightening the Neighbors

My house is dirty, the yard is a mess, and my cat needs to be brushed. My hair is piled atop my head with clamps, and I think that I forgot to brush my teeth this morning. So is it any wonder that I have a reputation for visitor rules?

At one time I had a no drop-in rule. It was originally established for a specific individual but gradually grew to encompass most everyone I know. And the rule wasn't intended solely to keep people at bay . . . one simply never knows what I might be doing (or not doing) when the doorbell rings unexpectedly. Anyway, that was years ago. While living in Pô, no one understood a no drop-in rule. In fact, a drop-in is arguably the highest compliment one can receive in West African culture. The drop-in is a barometer of how well integrated one has become. So I learned to accept, if not embrace, the drop-in. These days I could count on one-hand the people I know who still must follow the no drop-in rule . . . and no, Sally, you are not one of ‘em.

I was born in the age of the calling card, though they were passé even for my generation. I suspect that today’s youth don’t even recognize the term calling card. Here in the U.S. I’m all for bringing back the days of receiving. My friends know this. Becky, jokingly, still calls to ask whether I am receiving today. For Becky, I am always receiving.

Why are we talking about receiving and drop-ins?
Because as we attempt to sell or ship every worldly possession, I get numerous drop-ins, daily. Drop-ins from our wonderful home buyers, from their agent, from our agent, from neighbors, from Craig’s List buyers . . . the list goes on. Until a few days ago I had a stock greeting for visitors. It was like a little well-rehearsed recorded message that tumbled out each time I opened the door. And that greeting was: Pardon the way I look, I’m in the middle of cleaning/moving/packing [insert action verb here] – I’m certain that you understand and will forgive my appearance. I tried to sound sincere with a small measure of surprise and embarrassment . . . but the reality is, I look this way every single day. Even (and this is embarrassing for a child of the 1960s) when I’m binge-watching Mad Men, admiring that tidy 60s style . . . and even when I'm without a care in the world about moving and packing. 

So who am I kidding? I'm such an unholy mess of a girl! I look like a hobo while ranting about the downfall of American culture and about the poor grammar of the Amica Insurance commercials [it's "I haven't got this" -- NOT "I don't got this."]. What is wrong with today's advertising world? Can Amica get a copywriter who made it past fifth grade English? Perhaps the better question is: Kathy, can you take time for a shower and a haircut? You're frightening the neighbors. Anyone see a bit of irony here? Anyone catch the movie line in this paragraph?

Rusty folded some laundry the other day . . . which tells you how busy (read: lazy) I’ve become and how desperate he’s become. He handed me a small (really small) stack of folded clothes and stated, Here’s your uniform. Whoa, Rusty! Was that sarcasm? These days I have three ensembles: Rusty’s robe (when the other two ensembles are in the laundry), my black jeans and red waffle-knit T shirt, or Rusty’s tattered cargo shorts and his whoops-I-accidentally-bleached-it, formerly-green T shirt. I should simply answer the door and proudly state: Welcome, this is how I live these days, and it’s not getting better until I board an airplane for San Jose. 

This morning Rusty completed the shrink-wrap of the final two pallets. They are enormous; and if all five (5) pallets somehow arrive at our Samara driveway at the same time, we are in big trouble. I'm presently awaiting a representative of our moving company. Yes, at the front door, with me in Uniform 2. Yesterday I packed my suitcases, just to get an idea of how much room I had . . . and to determine what I should keep near the top to wear in the event the house catches fire and I must appear in public. Oh snap . . . who am I kidding? I’m not getting out of my uniforms until we leave for the title company to close on this home. My daily uniforms are as good as it gets, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t love it. It’s comforting to know what one is going to wear each day. It’s one less stressful event. Why, even my lipsticks are packed . . . leaving me with only one lip gloss selection. Freedom? Or denial?

Yes, Tom. That's the highly anticipated welder. And it comes with a special helmet and two (2) spare sets of on-looker goggles. What you men plan to weld is a mystery to me. Lo que hay.