Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Leader

The most astute among you probably had some kind of bet going, even if it was only with yourselves. Maybe something along the lines of, "How Long Until SuperFantabulous Looses Her Shit Over Something Completely Stupid!?"

It was bound to happen. How long could a clean freak like me live in a house full of people who consider it perfectly reasonable to spill beans and rice all over the counter and just leave it there?

People who consider a dog chewing a rawhide on the floor, getting goo and gelatin chunks all over to be a 'form of expression', protected by the first amendment?

After I threw the rawhide bone out the door, I was admonished with this first amendment non-sense.

Truth be told, I might have had a few caninicide daydreams. It's a stain on my vegan heritage.

The point is, I, SuperFantabulous, the maker of SuperFantabulous color coded chore lists, complete with inspirational messages for each choree, lost it a little bit. It took exactly seven days.

The family was super the first few days. The newness of it all got them enthusiastic about earning their gold stars.

I encouraged them to look at their chore list every day. With gentle suggestions (Hey, there's cat puke on the floor, someone should probably clean that up!) they completed their tasks. The house stayed reasonably clean.

Then . . . it happened.

It all started with that Devil Jello. I should not have internalized my 'Jello and whipped cream are co-devils' lecture. Little-Awesome and my sister, made the jello for bedridden Grandma. During the making of, they spilled it all over the inside of the fridge and just left it there!

It dried into a gooey, sticky mess. I tried to ignore it, hoping against hope that someone would see that having jello all over a shelf in the fridge was a problem. Alas, the drunk, criminally insane kitten crowd is shockingly unaware of basic hygienic principals.

You might be asking, "If jello in the fridge is such a huge problem for you and no one else cares, why not just clean it up yourself?"

And in answer to that, I would say, "What a completely stupid question."

A few hours later, I discovered that not only were they not cleaning it up, they were shoving food and storage containers into it.

Side note: If you're going to lose it, timing is everything. I timed my freak out perfectly. Just as three husky guys came in to put in the new wood stove, there I was, yelling at everyone in the kitchen.

I yelled at Grandpa because he never puts his dishes in the dishwasher!

I yelled at my sister for not cleaning up the jello!

I yelled at Auntie, just because she happened to be there!

I yelled at my Cousin, because I'm almost certain it was he who spilled the beans and rice on the counter, but I couldn't prove it!

I yelled at all of them at the same time because if they would all just fucking clean up after themselves, the kitchen would not be a chore in the first place!

The only people who didn't get yelled at were Little-Awesome, because she was at school, and Grandma because she was fortunate enough to be bedridden in the other room.

I realized I was completely losing it so I left the room.

Then I heard whispering and laughter coming from the kitchen.

They obviously were not taking the importance of a clean kitchen seriously!!

I went back in and started it all over again from the top! This cycle continued until I had left and returned for a new bout of yelling three times.

The wood stove guys kept their heads down and kept their distance. Grandpa escaped to the living room. My sister started crying. Auntie went on a manic cleaning spree. My cousin lacks the gene that causes most people to give a shit if people are mad at them. He found the whole episode resplendently amusing.

Then the wood stove guy had a problem with one of his tools. Everyone else had left. Rather than ask me about the power, he took his tool apart, assuming it was broken.

What he didn't know was that our heat pump had gone out the night before. And we weren't using the fire place so that it would be clean and ready for the wood stove guys to shove a stove in it.

That morning, to add to my jello woes, we had no heat. Grandpa rounded up every electric heater he could find. After about a minute of running them all, the power went out.

Three people went down to find out which breaker had flipped, but thanks to the oldness of this house, the thing was inscrutable. Random breakers were flipped which only lead to more and more rooms without power.

We gave up.

Once alerted to the problem, the wood stove guy offered to go look at it. He found the breaker immediately and flipped it. Hallelujah! Power was back! To make him even more dreamy, he let us know that he had spent 30 years installing and fixing heat pumps and he would take a look at ours!

Then today I saw him at the hardware store. Our heat pump will be ready tomorrow, our wood stove is a warm, iron goddess, belching heat into every corner of the house, my sister eventually forgave me, and thanks to my display, the chore lists are being followed in earnest!

Not only that, but thanks to a vague awareness of North Korea, I have now been given (asked for) an appropriate new title, because, really, all the drunk kitten crowd wants is someone to boss them around and go bat shit crazy every once in a while to keep them on their toes.

Moral: Yelling at your family in front of strangers usually turns out with everyone happy in the end.

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