The relatives -- my rather eccentric aunt and uncle --left this morning after eating enough breakfast to sustain six ordinary people for at least two days. My mom said feeding the two of them enough that they didn't have to eat again at their own expense for the rest of the day was a very small price to pay to have them gone. She said by the time they finally got out the door and into their car, she would have gladly opened the pantry and refrigerator doors and told them to take whatever they could carry out in five minutes if they would just LEAVE. Even though they don't particularly like us, they always bid their farewells and head for the door roughly twenty times before they make their bona fide departure.This time it was to the point that my dad whispered under his breath that if they weren't on their way within thirty minutes, he was passing out benzos to us and taking a handful himself. My dad may drink like a fish when the occasion merits it, and he may medicate me as though i'm a lab rat, but in terms of medicating himself with anything other than booze, whether over-the counter, prescription, or from your friendly street-corner dealer, he rarely takes as much as a Tylenol. the visit stressed him even more than it di me or my mom.
The second the relatives' car began forward motion, the inspection to calculate our losses began. We typically store extra supplies of anything that's normally kept in a bathroom in our bathrooms, and anything related to laundry in our laundry room, etc., but past practice was a clear indicator that our bathrooms and laundry rooms were the easiest targets for theft. My parents piled scads of food and paper products into their closet. My mom couldn't get to most of her clothing, so she had to wear jeans covered with dirt from when she was working in the yard yesterday along with one of my dad's shirts. Even so, she was only the third most tackily dressed person in the house this morning. Both my aunt and uncle appear to have forgotten somewhere around19 71 that fashion trends tend to shift over time.My Aunt Heather, who is an extreme couponer, gave my parents a case of bath soap that irritated the skin of both my dad and my brother. In a more sane world, my mom would have just offered the soap to my aunt and uncle. My uncle, however, operates on some sort of system where he can't go to sleep at night until he has helped himself to a given quantity of someone else's belongings. The soap would not have counted in his quota had it been handed to him. Thus, we minimized our losses by hiding the soap where he would find it. Enabling a person in theft is morally questionable, but there was a need to be practical. Likewise, the sub-standard quality laundry detergent of which my Aunt Heather had a surplus and passed along to us we stored in a spot in the laundry room that Helen Keller wouldn't have missed. The final inventory check showed that we lost a few jars of jam and all of the open tissue boxes placed in bathrooms and living areas, in addition to the soap and laundry detergent. This was probably one of the least costly visits from my aunt and uncle that we've ever suffered.
Right now I'm at my pseudorelatives' house. I've been invited to spend the weekend with them. It would have been even nicer had the visit started a day earlier, but I shouldn't look inside the mouth of the proverbial gift horse.
On a totally unrelated note, it is fast approaching the time when mitt Romney and the Republican party must decide upon a vice-presidential candidate. Will they make as bizarre a selection as they did four years ago? i certainly hope so.