My dad had open heart surgery, and then my kids started puking. Of course they did. Of course they did. Because illness waits for no one, as parents everywhere know, and I did not have the time or energy for pukers this week. Nope; illness waits for no one, and it’s certainly not going to book a time on the calendar that’s convenient.
My friend Valerie started texting me things like, “You have a puker AGAIN?” and “SERIOUSLY? AGAIN?” and then, because she’s a registered nurse who’s medically trained and knows how to combat things like viruses and bacteria, she suggested we purchase an isolation bubble for our backyard, or invest in a decontamination unit, or, and this is the most medically sound suggestion of all, “light a match and walk away.”
I thought about it, but I can’t find the matches because our house is buried under mountains of socks who’ve given up ever finding their soulmates, and All the Papers that come home from All the Schools, and That One Stack of Stuff I Was Going to Take Care Of two years ago that has reproduced and multiplied and is now Seventeen Stacks of Stuff I Was Going to Take Care Of But Probably Never Will.
So, instead of cleaning my own house (because UGH and ARE YOU KIDDING?), I headed to my parents’ house to clean theirs. After all, my dad is recovering from OPEN HEART SURGERY. They NEED ME. (Read: They didn’t actually need me.) And also, I can AVOID CLEANING MY HOUSE by being altruistic and SELFLESS and stuff, and no one — NOT ONE PERSON — can blame me for it. WIN/WIN, friends.
I asked my parents where I could start — what all they neeeeeeeded me to do– and, after my dad finished sighing the I-wish-you’d-go-away-because-I’d-really-rather-nap sigh, they said I could clean the floors because, and I quote, “Our floors DO indicate we’ve been living in sloth and squalor.”
FYI, for those of you who Weren’t Raised by Marines, the picture below shows everything — every single thing — I could find to sweep in their kitchen along with a penny for scale.
THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is Sloth and Squalor to a Marine.
Let’s just take a moment to think about my childhood, shall we?
In addition, I found a dust bunny under my parents’ couch.
This dust bunny:
That dust bunny.
That teeny, tiny, adorable dust bunny.
Which I found after looking diligently for it because my dad had said, “There are dust bunnies everywhere.”
Everywhere = one spot under the couch.
One wittle baby dust bunny whose eyes hadn’t opened yet.
Under the couch where my dad couldn’t even SEE it.
It’s like the Princess and the Pea, except it’s the Marine and the Mess.
For comparison, when I got home, I picked up the first dust mammal I came across.
And, you guys, this isn’t even the biggest of my dust rodents.
Just the most available.
Cootchy cootchy coo:
And you know what I did with that dust rodent of unusual size?
I put it back where I found it. Yes I did.
Because I LOVE you, and, if your house is messy, I don’t want you to feel lonely.
I know. I give, and I give.