Friday, June 19, 2015

The Cost of Friendship Is Seventy-Five Dollars

I'm sorry, toilet. For what we did, and also because the former owners put you in a blue bathroom that looks like a faded pair of Wranglers.

Afternoon Readers,

I speak often of my penchant for hermitude. Part of me really enjoys hanging out in a public setting, while the other, greater, part of me gravitates towards closing the doors, retreating to my bedroom, and making a tent out of my comforter. After which, I crawl under said blanket for three hundred years and read until the one missing person's report filed on behalf is crumbled up and put in the recycle bin.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a homebody, but, occasionally, solitude can turn into its own special sort of isolation, and the rogue call from a friend is embraced by my untoned arms.

Last week's message read as thus:

Hey Paige!

I'll be in town next week and want to stop by. Will bring coffee.

Sincerely,

Old College Friend

Noting the coffee pledge, I quickly added this friend I hadn't seen in ten years to my living will, accepted the offer, and made plans to make it look like I cleaned my house more than once a fortnight. Things were slow around Kellerman house, and I needed someone to chat with. Pregnancy had curbed whatever appetite I had for social situations, and there was a very distinct possibility I'd gotten tired of my own voice shouting, "For the love of all that's good and holy, stop opening the refrigerator."

By the time the knock came on the door, I was so cooped up with little people's requests, I simultaneously hugged my friend and tried to give her two or three children to take home. This was a bad plan because she has four of her own and was enjoying her own special brand of escape.

I played the gracious hostess. "Come in! Sit down! Never leave me!"

Making good on her promise, I enjoyed a gifted iced coffee as big as Volkswagen while we waxed nostalgic about when we were single and didn't where pants with panels. The great thing about visiting with mom friends is their inability to register the dumb things your kids are doing while you two carve out adult conversation. Any parent worth their salt who's been left in charge of kids but decides to have a visitor over anyway, knows it goes something like this...

"So, like I was saying, I only shop at ni... Hey, did you hear that noise?"

"Yeah, it's fine."

"You sure?"

"Yep. It's probably just the kids doing something extremely destructive in another part of the house. But tell me more about that new app you found that locates the nearest donut shop."

"Right, so it's called Tasty Tracker."

It's the time old cost of social interaction for those of us constantly watching children. You may have friends, but unless you want to fork over money for a babysitter and head out the door, you're going to end up staying home and paying in one or more of your worldly possessions. This is especially true for the parent who stays home. You're habitually the built-in babysitter for the other person's work, errands after work, or last minute social calls because you're already there. That doesn't really ease the blow when they get home though.

Before he got back, Husband hadn't been adequately prepared for the scenario. He walked and and looked unsettled. "Hey there. What's going on?"

I waved and smiled, hours of conversation having wiped the stress lines that inhabit the area between the bridge of my nose and my hairline away. "Hey, honey. This is my friend from college."

He nodded. "Nice to meet you. What are the kids doing?"

Shrugging, I pointed up the stairs. "Plaaaaying... I think."

I felt a small twinge of guilt, but that's the price of friend time, guilt and not knowing what the hell your kids have been doing. Screaming in a way which suggests someone has been stabbed hadn't occurred, so that was good. Although, the baby had brought me my toothbrush, deodorant, and leave-in conditioner, so, upon reflection, that should've been some sort of red flag.

His shoulders tensed and he headed upstairs. I continued my visit while I made dinner, served said dinner, and emotionally saw my guest back out the door. For the first time in weeks, I was happy.

"Um, why is all my stuff missing?"

Shit. Time to pay the piper.

I looked away from the door and innocently back at Husband. "What stuff would that be?"

"My toothbrush, deodorant, shaving cream, toothpaste. Pretty much everything I keep in our bathroom."

"I might have all that stuff down here."

He sighed. "Were you watching them this afternoon?"

"More or less."

As it turns out, it was a little more than I thought. The baby had taken it upon himself to not only sneak in the bathroom, but flush some unknown objects down the toilet. A quick call to the plumber, seventy-five dollars later, and the additional news that water is also leaking into our garage from that same toilet, and we were back in business. (Sort of. More on that as it develops.)

So, would I do it again? Of course. I'll simply be locking my bedroom door next time. Moms have to find sanity somewhere. I just hope the total comes in under seventy-five dollars next time.

Until Next Time, Readers!



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