Congested, crowded, over-capacity are words that currently describe my situation.
So far this week I have learned that extending the bubble is an act of courage, there is a mysterious pain in my jaw, and for reasons unknown, I’m channeling Oscar Wilde.
Here’s the deal, we’re all living in quarantine, but some of us are choosing to scan for the positive, I don’t know who these people are, but I believe they’re dangerous, keep your social distance!
If it’s true, what you see and hear depends on where you are standing, and what sort of person you are, then I’m off my game, landed in hot lava, and feeling a little flustered.
Don’t click off, it’s poor etiquette, stay the course.
My son-in-law Nic, and daughter Julie, recently sold their house in Willow Glen, and their family of five are now residing with us until they finish remodeling their new home, conveniently located across the street. They’ve taken over the guest quarters, family room, and half the kitchen.
We have discovered that our internet is not sufficient to allow for five people on conference calls at the same time, not to mention access to one’s blog, or publicizing on twitter. In addition to this requirement, writers need quiet, Bahaha.
Kelley, my younger daughter, arrived yesterday from Boston, her fiance is covering the NBA games in Florida, and Kelley has decided to hang out with us while Tim is away. She’s taken over the mermaid room, her stay is indefinite, and her special power is the ability to spread herself evenly throughout the house. It’s an art.
I was bullied into doing a ten-minute ab workout with Kelley, I can’t describe the agony that was enacted on my body in 600 seconds, there will be no belly laughing in the near future, or smiling.
My son Tony is stuck in Portugal due to COVID travel restrictions, he scored a cool job with a start-up in Lisbon, and it’s our hope he’ll be able to jump over to the states for a visit soon. We have the living room reserved for him and Thalita, with a plush couch, and big-screen television. What’s not to like?
Dante, my youngest, has a permanent room in the front of the house, it’s decked out with a dozen or so high-end speakers (not great for my nerves), he’s converted his walk-in closet to a bar, managed to fit two lounge chairs into the tight space, a queen bed, a gaming station, and large oak desk from Mom’s estate. It’s what we call an eclectic look, but he only stays here about six days out of the month, as he travels for work, so when he’s out of town we keep the door closed, and this is calming for everyone.
I still have my sanctuary in the back of the house, a room with a view of the patio, and luxurious bath, praise be to God, although it’s become a popular hangout for the relatives. Yesterday the twins decided to host a tea party in my bed, things went south rather quickly, and somehow an entire pot of water spilled on Nono’s side of the bed. He was not pleased. He made an overarching dictum that no one but Grammie is allowed in his bed.
At least Nono has an entire office to himself with a sofa sleeper when necessary!
There’s this new program on Netflix called Floor is Lava. It’s become an overnight sensation for millions of Americans sheltering in place. It’s a simple concept, they set up an obstacle course, and participates are challenged to cross the hot lava field using recklessly placed stools, ledges, and pyramids without falling in the “hot” lava. Yes, let your imagination go wild. I have no idea why Julie and Nic introduced this concept to the children? They have taken to crossing from one end of the house to the other without stepping on the floor. It’s mayhem. They recruited Dante and I found him balancing precariously on the hallway shelf, while Audrey yells, “Grammie you just died.”
And ended up in hell!
When things get crazy I send everyone to their assigned spaces, which doesn’t really help as they tend to overlap, and no one listens to me anyway.
There are eight cars currently in need of parking spaces, the garage is stuffed with Julies’ belongings, we were able to create a path to the beer refrigerator, so calm the hell down. The cars have been situated on the driveway in a complicated matrix and now it takes an engineer for me to get my car out. God forbid we run out of milk or toilet paper!
I posted a no vacancy sign on the front porch and pray the COVID patrol doesn’t think we’re hosting a rager.
The first order of business is setting up beds for the littles. I put three twin mattresses in the family room for the grandchildren. It looks like a jigsaw puzzle, add in 50 pairs of miniature shoes, shorts, shirts, dresses, bathing suits, books, stuffed animals, and “special” blankets, and I think you get the picture.
My calamity Janes have landed.
I think it’s fair to ban scooters from the house even though Cora claims, “the halls are very long Grammie.” We’ll have to paint when this is all over.
The kitchen has become a hot spot, as one would imagine, I can’t seem to keep the refrigerator full, or the sink empty, and besides no one is hungry at the same time, so it’s become a pandemonia express around here. Mangiamo!
We’re still pretty buttoned-down in California (a COVID hot spot), and I’ve been managing with wine, but there are limits to that sort of therapy.
What I need is retail therapy, a real store with things I can touch things, clothes I can try on, and trinkets to tempt me. I want to browse, grab a coffee, carry bags to my car! Is that asking too much?
I didn’t think so.
Here’s my current philosophy, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. Thankfully I was able to convince Jeff to restore my Amazon priveledges or God knows what I’d resort to. Etsy?
I want to be totally transparent, my name is Cheryl, and I’m an Amazon addict.
I need parental controls!
The other day I learned that Spanx makes swimsuits. I know, Spanx, the tummy flattening line. Who knew?
I got so excited, I immediately checked my Amazon account (even though I was stretching the internet, no bun intended), and yes indeed they carry the swimsuits. Not that I wear swimsuits all that often, it’s more about the idea of a Spanx bathing suit hanging in my closet, but let’s not muddle the issue with endless details.
After putting three very stylish suits in my cart, you’ll be happy to know I did not proceed to checkout, I’ve enacted a self-imposed 24-hour hold on all purchases. We’ll see how long that lasts?
It’s the intention that counts.
This morning I returned to my blissfully full Amazon cart, and decided on one style of bathing suit, which I believe will complement my mature figure, and had it sent to the lake house. When I have things sent to Lake County I save a ton on interest. Well, not a ton, but like two percent. It’s something, I saved $1.16, and now I can put my guilt to rest. Of course, I put the rest of the suits in the “save for later” file, with the 300 other must-have items I have stashed there.
I don’t know about you, but there is always something to clean out in my life, now it’s my “save for later” cart. I’m such a Kondo fail.
But let’s not dwell on the negative. Oscar Wilde says anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. He also said I can resist anything except temptation. Bahaha, I think I’m his reincarnation.
Let’s talk about Looney’s shopping fails, shall we?
It all started with a silk pillowcase I received for my birthday from my age phobic children who now all happen to live with me. They claim this one pillowcase will keep me cooler at night (a plus for postmenopausal women), my hair will stay cleaner (interesting), and it prevents wrinkles (no one has explained this phenomenon but let’s assume it’s a cogent claim).
One damn pillowcase and let me quote my Dad here, “when it seems to good to be true, it’s too good to be true,” but Oscar adds the truth is rarely pure and never simple.
Anyway, this got Larry thinking about the current state of our pillows, subpar is a good description. They are atrocious, overly loved, flat, and lacking any discernable appeal. I can’t explain why ALL our pillows have collapsed at the same time, it’s like the stock market, only I’m not losing any sleep over it.
So we’re watching Ozarks one night, and in between episodes this ad comes on claiming to have “the best pillows in the world,” or your money back (too good to be true?)
Larry says, “I going to order those pillows right now.”
“Honey, I like to squish my pillow before I buy one, what if it’s too hard.”
“We’ll never know until we give it a try.”
“It does have a money-back guarantee?”
He places an order without the 24-hour waiting period, do you see how the rule applies to only a select few?
After weeks of anticipation (pillows being a non-essential commodity), and endless shipping delays, the pillows finally arrive. We’re giddy with excitement, Larry rips open the packaging, and out pops a bushel of new pillows. I squish one. They’re bigger then they appeared on television and lumpy as no-knead bread. I’m not convinced.
I gently unwrap my silk pillowcase and reverently slip it over one of the new pillows.
That night I slept for a total of three minutes. I have a kink in my neck, and my jaw is sore, but I’m willing to give the new pillows some time to settle down. It might be the death of me but as you know I already died in the hot lava.
Days go by, my jaw continues to deteriorate, I think I’m clenching my teeth all night because I’m so uncomfortable? I can hardly chew or talk (Larry’s chalking that up as a win), and I haven’t slept since these lumpy monstrosities arrived. Irritable might be a good word to describe my current mood.
I’ll give it one more night because I’m an optimist under normal circumstances.
Night three, it’s 2:00 am, I’m wide awake, and tired of playing solitaire on my iPhone. I get up, tiptoe down the hall as not to wake anyone, and rummage through Larry’s office in search of my old pillow. I find the blessed, flat, overly loved headrest, the one I’ve dreamed upon, and slobbered on, the one I was about to throw away. Unforgiveable, I toss the “best pillow in the world” across the room, slip the silk cover gently over the old one, and fall into bed.
Bliss, miraculously the pain in my jaw has eased, I can speak again, and the kink in my neck is yesterday’s news.
I hear Larry on the phone the next morning, “yes, I ordered four pillows and want to return them all.” There is a pause.
“No, I do not want to try the condensed version.” Another pause.
“We prefer feathers. Thank you.” I love a man who knows what he wants and sticks with it.
More news about the new roommates, snakes, spiders, and fireworks coming soon, but for now we’re congested, crowded, over-capacity, staying loyal to our middle-aged pillows, and looking forward to celebrating the 4th at the lake with the extended Oreglia clan and my swanky new Spanx bathing suit.
Here’s to our lady, and the beauty of independence, let’s hope the irony is not missed on my children!
I’m Living in the Gap, catching up on my sleep while not wrinkling, one-word silk.
What words currently describe your one precious life?
- “When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.” Elayne Boosler
- “Buy what you don’t have yet or what you really want, which can be mixed with what you already own. Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping.” Karl Lagerfeld
- Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. Oscar Wilde