The Loudshoes family is going to a cottage for a few days, and we are lucky enough to have a house sitter for the duration. (One of the nice things about working with so many young people who make very little money is that lots of them live with their parents, so there is no shortage of people who are dying to get out of the house and stay at our place for a while.) Our lovely assistant, Summer, has agreed to look after the Loudshoes estate for the week. She normally lives in a small town about 45 minutes away, and I think she is just excited at the novelty of living in the big city, as well as being able to sleep in until 7:30 on a work day.
Anyway, she came by this morning to get a key and a tour and all. And it struck me as all kinds of strange to try and explain your life and your house to someone else. (And weirder still to try and have it all explained to you.) There's all kinds of things that you live with every day, and don't think anything of, and then when someone else comes into your house, you find yourself realizing what a Dr. Seuss existence you really have.
For instance, there's the dishwasher that works much better if you give it a good thumping with your left knee when you close it. The window in the dining room that the handle comes right off if your use it even slightly the wrong way. (The handle goes right back on, but you will need superhuman strength to open the window then.) We never close the kitchen window, because it is awkward and stiff and doesn't open much more than 6 inches, and even though it presents a perfect opportunity for a thief to get in the house, I'm willing to take the chance because he would have to be about 89 pounds to fit through that thing.
Our television set-up is ridiculous in the extreme, and I am going to have to type up a tutorial for the poor girl if she is ever to get all the systems aligned. We have no less than FIVE remotes for the tv/DVD/Wii/PVR set up in the family room, and you practically need a PhD in engineering to get a movie playing. It would be easier to negotiate peace in the Middle East than to organize all the bits and pieces required to record "Canada's Next Top Model" on the PVR. I don't even bother trying to watch that thing, most of the time.
We have a keyless entry on the back door, but a traditional lock on the front door, with a key. But you have to make sure that the lock underneath the deadbolt isn't locked, or else your key will do you no good at all. The shower in the girl's bathroom leaks at the one corner, so you have to put down a towel, lest you create Lake Loudshoes in there. The tv in the kitchen is operated by the same remote as the one in our bedroom, so you have to stand at the dining room door and point the remote at the bedroom if you want to change the channel.
You get the idea.
I'm sure everyone's house is like that; full of idiosyncracies and foibles that slowly accumulate, so that the occupants don't even realize what they deal with every day. When you have to account for them to someone else, however, you begin to think you live in a bad sit-com.
I did mention to Summer that Toby will be off on holidays of his own; my mother and father will be looking after him while we are away, since Toby does NOT like being left alone in the house for extended lengths of time, and punishes the furniture severely. She was very happy not to have to deal with the Tuna Seeking Feline of Six A.M. Sleeping in until 7:30 may be the only upside to her staying here.