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Hey Auntie B!

How ya’ doing dollface? Since I gather you are as OCD as me, I wondered what you do to de-clutter the house when the sheer amount of shit you have makes it look filthy? (Of course, I already know the throw-away-one-thing-for-a-year thing, but hubster out-voted me on doing that.)

Hey, did you get that monkey butler yet? If so, I SO want him to deal with my shit! Can I borrow him?

Thanks for the advice! I’ll let you get back to cussing out your whore pants!

Love always,

Buried under a mountain of shit (not literally)

Hi Prankster!

If you were to visit my home – especially today – you’d say to yourself, “Now THERE is someone who needs to watch Hoarders more often,” and you’d be right. Except there are no more episodes on Netflix which means that I switched to a show called “Obsessed” where (in different episodes) someone was:

a) afraid of an El Camino, yelling, “Oh FUCK! An El Camino” whenever he sees one. This has caused The Guy On My Couch, The Daver and I to randomly scream “El Camino” while the other two cower in “terror.”

b) afraid of eating her own poo*. THIS has lead to The Guy On My Couch, The Daver and I to randomly step out of the bathroom and say, “WHEW, thank GOD I didn’t eat it. It was a close call, though.”

Mental illness, who says it can’t be entertaining?

(not me, and I’ve got a doozy of a case of PTSD)

This is how I clean my house:

Step One: Cut A Hole In The Box

Step One: Look around the house angrily and wonder how three children plus three grownups can amass so much crap.

Step Two: Watch a video about snails.

Step Three: Grab 2 garbage bags and begin to either throw away or donate the shit on the floor and/or anywhere else it’s not supposed to be.

Step Four: Wait for someone to notice.

Step Five: Keep waiting.

Step Six: Continue waiting.

Step Seven: *hum the Jeopardy song*

Step Eight: Watch a video about dancing frogs and/or hamsters (time depending)

Step Nine: Realize no one, in fact, cares about the shit I’m dumping, so begin a massive purging of the home, until I have at least two garbage bags full of stuff to donate.

Step Ten: Allow sufficient bags to accumulate in the garage until Daver drives them over to Goodwill, where they remark, “HOLY FUCK” as he unloads the bags.

And when I’m trying to decide whether or not I should keep an item, I go through these Choose Your Own Adventure Style Questions:

Is it useful? If yes, go on to Question 2.

Is it useful to ME? If yes, go on to Question 3.

Is it REALLY useful?  If yes, go on to Question 4.

You’re not crafty. If still yes, go on to Quest 5.

Place item in DONATE bag.

Or this:

What IS this? If you know the answer, go on to Question 2.

Will they notice if I dump it? If yes, place passive-aggressively on pillow. If no, go on to Question 3.

Do I care if they notice it? If no, go on to Question 4. If yes, place passive aggressively on toilet seat.

Place item at BOTTOM of DONATE bag, then feign ignorance and/or discuss the whereabouts of robot monkey butler Mr. Pinchey until person whose item is now gone is so annoyed that he stalks off, ready to leave the toilet seat up in retaliation.

Plus, I try to get rid of ONE thing each day. It doesn’t always work when short people bring home rocks and sticks that they claim to love, adore, and cherish…until Max and Ruby is on. Then I wander off singing “Max and Poopy” under my breath, while I figure out a way in which I can murder a cartoon bunny rabbit for being so. fucking. annoying.

Also, Prankster, I’m planning to get a Roomba and label him (with my label maker!) Mr. Pinchey. It’s not as awesome as my imaginary camel named Mr. Stompy and it’s not as cool as a REAL monkey butler, but Daver tells me that PETA will throw fake dead fetuses** at my door if I get, then train, a monkey to be my butler. EVEN IF, I was sad to note, I bought him a wee tux.

Damn PETA, holding me back from living mah life.

*Coprophobia, I think.

**probably.

I’ve been on a fondue kick.

I do this pretty often – I’ll eat one thing for like six months straight until the sight of it makes me vomit. What, ME (with) food issues?

Lately, rather than spaghetti and meatballs, it’s been fondue. I’ve been on fondue like it’s my job.

I was feeling kinda mopey on Saturday, what with a week full of sick kids who decided that staying home to torture me while whining and coating my home in a nice glistening pile of germs – rather than going to school and infecting all of their classmates – was the way to handle it. By Saturday, I had a 101 degree fever, a cough that would make a TB sanatorium proud, and a case of the Mondays.

The only answer?

(not more cowbell)

(also not more vodka, but only barely)

FONDUE.

I bribed The Guy on the Couch to go to fondue with me, and when I say “bribed,” I mean that it went like this:

The Guy on my Couch (mowing lawn and singing loudly off-key)

Aunt Becky: (standing on driveway waving frantically)

The Guy On My Couch: “Shit are you okay?”

Aunt Becky: “Yeah, why?”

The Guy On My Couch: “You looked like you were having a seizure.”

Aunt Becky: “Nope, just hungry. HEY, Fondue Reso in an hour and a half. BE READY.”

The Guy On My Couch: “You sure you’re not seizing?”

Aunt Becky (mysteriously) “Can one EVER be sure of such a thing?”

———

Upstairs, trying to find something to wear. Have forgotten that I’ve thrown all my clothes down to be a) washed or 2) given to Goodwill. Have no clean pants that I can find and do not feel like wearing a dress as the fondue restaurant tends to be cold.

Ah-HA I say to myself as I pick up a pair of jeans - this is PERFECT!

I slip into the jeans and change out of my Shut Your Whore Mouth shirt and into something slightly more dressy. Contemplate making dressy Shut Your Whore Mouth shirts as I slap on some makeup and perfume before heading downstairs.

The Daver: “You look nice.”

Aunt Becky: “Thanks!”

The Guy On My Couch: “Ouch, Daver. You didn’t tell me that *I* looked nice.”

The Daver: *laughs*

(a few minutes pass so I pick up my crabby daughter and whirl her around until she’s laughing so hard she can barely breathe)

The Daver: “Are you…”

Aunt Becky: “…?”

The Daver: “Are you wearing MATERNITY pants?”

Aunt Becky: “Thems be mah EATIN’ pants.”

The Daver and The Guy On My Couch begin to laugh uproariously. Unsure of why the grown-ups are laughing, all three children join in.

———-

An hour and a half later we’re sitting down on what we’d both forgotten was “date night,” so the restaurant is packed. Our server shuffles by us at least ten times before finally making his way to our table, by which time I am ready to gnaw off his arm. Uncooked, even.

A Server Named Dennis: “So sorry about the wait. It’s been crazy.”

Aunt Becky: “I heard that table behind us (an 8-top of a particularly annoying family) hound you for decaf. It’s all good.”

(sidebar: decaf coffee and hot tea are the banes of every server’s existence)

A Server Named Dennis: (laughs) “What can I get for you?”

The Guy On My Couch: “We’re weird.”

Aunt Becky: “You can say THAT again.”

The Guy On My Couch: “We’re weird. We don’t want meat. We just want cheese, then chocolate.”

A Server Named Dennis: “So it’s like a Festival of Cheese? Cool.”

The Guy On My Couch: “BRING ON THE CHEESE. Okay, we’ll start with the Swiss.”

A Server Named Dennis: “For two or…”

The Guy On My Couch (decisively): “For four.”

A Server Named Dennis: (laughs): “We shall begin the parade of cheese.”

The Guy On My Couch: “WINNING.”

Aunt Becky (on iPad) : “Fucking Tiny Tower – I need a fucking new elevator.”

Both stare at me.

Aunt Becky (mysteriously turns on her Slack-Jawed Yokel voice): “I got mah eatin’ pants on, y’all.”

Both stare at me.

Aunt Becky: “I done hurted mah elbey-bone.”

The Guy On My Couch: “Go back to Tiny Tower.”

Aunt Becky: “YOU GOT IT.”

Three cheese later, we get to the chocolate. The battle of the forks ensues.

Aunt Becky: “MAH MARSHMALLOW, BACK OFF FUCKSTICK!”

The Guy On My Couch: “You don’t get ALL the marshmallows, Miss Greedy-Pants.”

Aunt Becky (narrows eyes): “I can take you.”

The Guy On My Couch: “This IS a business dinner, yes?”

Aunt Becky: “Yes.”

The Guy On My Couch: “You probably shouldn’t kill off one of your board members. I’m guessing that’ll reflect badly on our non-profit status.”

Aunt Becky: “…”

The Guy On My Couch (smugly): “Pass the marshmallows.”

Aunt Becky (narrows eyes): “You’re fired.”

The Guy On My Couch: “You can’t fire me, Miss President. You’re a non-voting member.”

Aunt Becky: (begrudgingly passes a marshmallow)

The Guy On My Couch: (pops it into his mouth)

Aunt Becky: “I licked that while you weren’t looking.”

The Guy On My Couch: “I hate you.”

Aunt Becky: “Don’t FUCK with my marshmallows.”

————–

How was YOUR weekend, Pranksters?

I have a problem with windows.

Now you’re probably thinking:

a) AB is being neurotic about inanimate objects again

2) Another weird phobia? I thought the MAYO was bad enough.

But you’d be wrong.

When we bought our condo in Oak (no) Park (ing) (that’d be HiLARious if you knew what I was talking about), we were warned that our condo needed “new windows.” Now, after being told that the bedroom our son was sleeping in had high levels of lead paint, and the porch out back was being replaced as a part of a “special assessment” fee of 5 grand per unit, and that the walls of the living room were painted a color and texture best described as “cat pee on plasterboard,” learning that we needed new windows seemed almost…easy to rectify.

The windows were all, “how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” After the rest of the shitstorm, getting new windows was about as likely as being able to get central air, learn to fly, and be able to murder people with my mind.

And we moved before it turned into any problem. Considering our third floor walkup was directly under the gigantic (ancient) radiator, we spent our only winter there walking around in shorts and tank-tops, all windows open. We played “summer condo.”

We moved to our new house in um *counts on fingers* *recounts* *counts again* A LOT OF YEARS AGO. Or, back in 2006. When we did, we reveled in the lead-paint free walls. Sure, they were painted colors of green that made me want to lob things at small adorable animals, but they HAD NO LEAD PAINT. Also? Central air? After living with 4 window units that blew hot air into the already-hellishly hot condo, I nearly humped the real estate agent after learning we could get a house with CENTRAL (motherfucking) AIR.

Yeah, sure it had ugly white carpeting, that appeared to beg my children to want to upend grape juice and vomit on it, and yeah, okay, the backyard had fake flowers planted in it, and okay, the color of yellow our siding is tends to require sunglasses to look at it, but CENTRAL (motherfucking) AIR.

We bought our house in February, the inspector didn’t even note that a) the bathroom upstairs doesn’t work or 2) the windows were falling apart.

Whatever, I shrugged, imagining my Midwestern Summers spent lounging about the house in a parka and hat. CENTRAL (motherfucking) AIR, MOTHERFUCKERS!

Once spring hit, and I decided to open up the house, I realized that our windows? They could’ve been imported from the condo we’d just moved from. The condo that was built in like 1901. The windows appeared to have fallen off the back of some truck at some point during the Lincoln Administration.

Half the screens were ripped. The half that weren’t had storm windows that were rusted so tightly that I broke three fingers trying to pry them open. Most of the windows let in more air closed than they did while opened. Windows were constantly slamming shut, mere moments after they’d been opened.

The icing on the proverbial cake came when I opened the windows in my bedroom this spring, ready to air that motherfucker out. I have those light-blocking shades and the window in question, well, I didn’t open it often.

When I finally managed to draw the shade, I saw it.

Mold.

Motherfucking mold on this motherfucking window.

I bleached the fucker as quickly as you could say, “dumbass” and began wondering if this, in fact, was the reason I’d been sick since 1980.

Figuring it was time to draw a cross-breeze, after much work, that involved both sweating, breaking fingernails, and trying to navigate those stupid fucking cords, I began to draw back the blind from that window. Thank the Good Lord of Butter that I was somewhat slow on the uptake.

Because that window? The window on the FRONT of my house?

Got a nice crack in it. While other people might feel mortified that their neighbors would see that they’d improperly cared for their windows, I feel it adds a certain…something to my house. Like a creepy homeless tribe vibe.

But the mold? That’s problematic.

So I had The Daver Feldco, which is a window place out here. It’s probably a nation-wide chain, but I’m too lazy to Google it. The window guy came out on Saturday.

Window Guy: “Blah blah blah, here’s a quote if you do it today. Here’s another quote. Here’s another one.”

Aunt Becky (to herself): “I hate companies that pull that “if you sign today,” bullshit.”

As he was wrapping up, he asked The Daver if he wanted to sign today. We’d gotten a quote from a local guy and the quote from Feldco, well, it was substantially higher. Knowing Daver can’t say no to anything or anyone (see also: my Kirby vacuum), I piped in:

Aunt Becky: “We’re still looking around at other quotes.”

Window Guy: (rolls eyes)

The Daver: “Can I have a copy of the quote?”

Window Guy: “WHY? You already said you’re going with another place.”

The Daver: “…”

Aunt Becky (now annoyed): “I *said* I was gathering other quotes.”

Window Guy: “FINE. I’ll mail you a copy.”

Aunt Becky: (rolls eyes) thinks, “you just lost yourself a sale, fuckwad.”

Three days later, the local guy shows up and gives us a quote on replacing windows. He didn’t offer any special deals or bargains, he was no-nonsense. Also: probably part of the mob. But I didn’t care.

We signed the papers THAT DAY and by next Saturday? We should have new windows.

I haven’t reached such heights of orgasmic potential since I threw my serving apron on the floor and stomped off.

Oh wait. That was Jennifer Aniston in Office Space.

Same fucking difference.

I may have a window party. You’re all invited – IF you promise to admire the new grass growing on my lawn. (no, that’s not a euphemism for “admire my vagina.”).

I’m totally NOT inviting the douche from Feldco.

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