Tuesday, June 02, 2020

2020. And 1985. All At Once.

I was standing in our upstairs hallway today, looking at the closed doors of the other 3 bedrooms, each with a grown or almost-grown person behind it and thought, What does this remind me of?

Let's see...people living in their own rooms, kitchen cabinets stuffed with everyone's favorite snack foods (don't touch!), arguments about whose turn it is to take out the trash or whose dish is in the sink, established quiet hours, and semi-frequent communal meals around the kitchen table...

Roommates - that's what it is. Somehow, in the year of our Lord 2020, at the ripe old age of (almost) 57, I have ended up living in a situation that reminds me of nothing so much as a house full of college roommates. WHY?

Oh, yes, 2020. But of course. We're in the upside-down now.

Korean beef, cooked by one of my roommates
You know, that empty nest was so close, I could almost taste it. But now, if I want privacy, I shut myself in my bedroom, which is crammed with not only a bed and dresser but also a desk (I had to give up my office when Brian came home last month) and most of my personal possessions (um, that would be yarn - a lot of yarn). I venture out only to clean the bathrooms (because I am NOT going to let those be like the ones I lived with in college) and to dump strange-smelling items out of the fridge

[Okay, that last item isn't new - I've always done that]

and bitch at my roommates over who clogged the toilet and didn't take care of it. It's the 1980s all over again for me, complete with living in leggings and having really unruly hair. And hearing about Donald Trump in the news all the time, actually...

So! Brian came home mid-May from college, which forced me to clean out my yarn room/office and move everything into mine and Larry's bedroom. I left Brian the pretty glass desk my friend gave me (too big for my bedroom, anyway) and wasn't sure what I would do for a new one, because - as it turns out - every cheap small desk online is SOLD OUT.

Because 2020. Of course. Everyone is working from home.

Susie and I came up with a solution:

Yes, the chair is excellent. Get one.
It's perfect and cute and I can look out of the window as I work. So there I was, all set up to continue working from home, and then...

Remember, it's 2020...

my entire team was told we will all be laid off mid-June. Which means I will soon have no excuse to shut myself in my bedroom upwards of 6 hours a day in blessed privacy.

But I am going to do it anyway, for my sanity, because I am not 22 anymore and this roommate thing is utterly insane, even if I did birth most of them. And I'm keeping the desk. Who knows? Maybe I'll even blog at you more than once a month now.

I'll miss that money, though. Money's nice.

Mother's Day was the best ever, even though I had just lost my office/yarn room that weekend (oh, have I mentioned that already?), because Brian brought home a very special gift for me:

Still can't find these in the store
These were all the Lysol wipes I had sent him to school with, freshman AND sophomore years. I was torn between motherly joy at receiving such a useful, much-wanted gift (because, all together now, 2020) and utter disgust that he apparently hadn't cleaned his bathroom all year.

Brian says he did so clean it. Twice. Okay, then.

Anna made me a gorgeous flower arrangement:

And she also spearheaded a project where the kids put together some photos of their younger days on foam poster board with funny captions. I almost cried with joy. Only, they don't know that even better than the gift itself was listening to them the day before, behind Susie's locked bedroom door, laughing and working on the project together.

Like I said, best Mother's Day ever.

Brian also brought home with him the dorm fridge another friend had gifted us his freshman year. I took one look at it and decided it was the answer to my dreams. You see, the condiment situation around here - which has always bordered on insane - had become completely unmanageable, what with 2 different types of BBQ sauce, 2 types of mustard, assorted hot sauce, the soy sauce that my kids insist we refrigerate or we'll die, and I don't know what all.

So I now, finally, have a separate refrigerator just for condiments, which is utterly ridiculous, but there we are.



  1. Listening to the kids work on the mother's day project the day before is, I agree, the best part of the gift.

    And the roommate thing --- yes. 2020 is weird.

  2. Nothing describes this year like being truly delighted at a gift of disinfecting wipes! (Though, yeah, pretty gross that he hadn't used them.)

    What kind of chair is it? I need a new one; my back is pretty bad these days.

    1. Here it is! Wait until it is on sale to buy it - happens regularly!

  3. I hear you on fridge space. Lad has decided to eat vegetarian (although he did dive into my Sloppy Joe's the other day), so all the food he wants now has to get jammed into the fridge with all the meat-eating food. My fridges are all packed - I guess it is because the growing kids are now eating more like full-size adults. Even/especially the 14 year old boy.

    Sorry about your job. So unfortunate. Selfishly, I will look forward to the possibility of more posts.

    I hide in my walk in closet for Zoom conferences and lock the bedroom door AND turn on the noise maker in my bedroom. I need layers for my privacy, apparently.

    We have a list of jobs posted, but waiting for teenagers to wake up and get the dishwasher unleaded before noon is too much to expect. I would have asked for a roomate transfer at this point, if I was a freshman.

  4. I hope you land a better job--or perhaps your situation will change. That's got to feel distressing.
    A condiment fridge! Extra wipes! Korean beef! Those are definite perks, but yes, extra roommates can be a pain in the neck.

  5. I'm one of those people...life hasn't changed much for me at all. I'm retired and my son has been living with me for the past 10 years. Other than not seeing my daughter and grandson as frequently (and not at all for nearly 8 weeks) and no knitting group at the library, my life is pretty much as it was. But I did go through the return of the adult children 10 years ago, after nearly four years of an empty nest. It was a shock to the system.
    Sorry to hear you're being laid off. Hopefully it is just temporary.

  6. Listening to them giggle while plotting your gifts is priceless - as are those wipes! There are still none to be found here either. Although, I imagine Man-Child might have a container or two that I bought when he moved into his apartment - hmmmm....

    I'm sorry about your job. I hope it's short term.

  7. Awesome Mother's Day gifts! I tried to find wipes recently and was surprised it isn't yet available. And I so hear you on the empty nest stuff.
    Sorry about the job loss. Keep using the hideaway!

  8. Sorry to hear you're getting laid off. The 2 gals that share my job are also going to get laid off so I'll be super busy once that happens. Hopefully I won't have to go into the office every day though!

    I can't keep enough food in my friend to get a 2nd. I can spend $400 on groceries and 3 days later we have nothing to eat (besides frozen meat) how does that happen?

  9. 1. There was some way you ditched the post-college roommates for a different bunch of roommates, but I really can't say that I've been told all the details of the difference from point A to point B.

    2. I'm very sorry to hear about your lay-off. You have a talent. TALENT. And sometimes expressing a talent requires a client to walk into the office - and you write something for the client. And sometimes expressing that talent requires long nights at the kitchen table writing a novel after a long day at work. I'm talking about someone else who did this - that lead to 2 movies - who had the grace to say hello to me in the hallway. Maybe this is the time to turn this epistolary novel of a blog into a novel. Remember the movie rights will hinge on the more spectacular or gory details.

    3. We have also had re-arrangements and students returning home. And now we have a graduate who has been told he will not be hired because of a hiring freeze. So basically he is the dog walker and dinner cook (if you text him early enough).

    4. Refrigerator space. If you can have a fridge for wine, or one fridge for red wine and another for white wine, it is perfectly acceptable to have a fridge for condiments. Where did the mayochup disappear to !?!?!?!?!?

  10. I haven't checked you out in forever and you are just as funny. We downsized last August since our older kids had moved out, and yes they are all back now. We are barely fitting. Oh well. There are some lovely moments like your mother's day.