Other People's Houses

I haven't slept in my own bed in almost two weeks. Something is happening to my bathroom floor which requires some men coming in to take my bathtub out and put it in the kitchen, then do some general smashing around with power tools, then go away and not show up for a while. I left them a tupperware container of homemade cookies this morning in a desperate bid to bribe them into showing up more frequently and taking my tub out of the kitchen and removing their weird Big Gulp containers from my coffee table and, you know, resuming the job they started ten days ago, so we'll see. They seem like nice guys, and I'm sure they're not going through my underwear drawer or anything when I'm not there, but there isn't a room in the apartment that's inhabitable. There is so much damn dust.
So for the last couple of weeks I've been relying on the kindness of strangers---or rather, the kindness of friends who go on long vacations and trust you to stay in their lovely houses and use their fancy kitchen appliances and shower in their wonderful marble showers which are about the size of your bedroom. I believe it's called housesitting. And let me tell you, it's surprising how quickly you can settle into someone else's home. At first you're sort of weirded out that maybe they're secretly videotaping you to see if you'll drink their orange juice straight from the carton, and when you're opening drawers to look for, say, a pen, you make sure to say very loudly "oh, where would I find a pen? I do need a pen!" so they'll know that you're not snooping around for their Valium or their love letters or anything. You wash your dishes up straight away in case they decide to come home early, and you cuddle their cat a lot in case they've somehow instructed it to report back to them on your behavior. And then after, like, a day, it starts to feel like your own home, and it's not weird AT ALL to have a television built into the bathroom wall and to be able to watch the E! True Hollywood Story of Nicole Richie while you're in the shower. You start baking cookies and planning dinner parties and waving hello to the neighbors---things you can never be bothered to do at home---and you learn the exact angle at which to approach the narrow driveway so you can open the car door properly on both sides when you've parked. It's sort of like a vacation, and there are STAIRS, which are a novelty, and way more rooms than you're used to, and sometimes you actually lose each other in the house, because you're not used to having so many different places to go. And there are other people's books to read and other people's espresso machines to experiment with, and oh, it's glorious, though you're still sort of worried that you're going to leave a pair of knickers behind by mistake, because how embarassing would that be?
Really, I am so not kidding about the television in the bathroom. I think I may leave a note for the contractors tomorrow and see if they can add that to their list. You know, since they're there anyway.

Oct 20, 2005

Let's not forget that the first thing I did after walking into the house was rename their cat. I hope they don't mind that he's called Frank now.

Oct 20, 2005

I bet Laurie Rectum has a pair of my knickers secretly stashed in her bedside table...

Oct 20, 2005

I sold your panties on eBay yesterday along with your address and directions to your house.

Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 20, 2005

Ew! I have a rule. No-one is ever allowed to use the word PANTIES. I don't care how American you are. They're knickers.

Oct 28, 2005

house-sitting for friends in November who are going to Italy for a month, and although I haven't done the house-sitting yet, I can eriely already totally relate.

Nov 04, 2005

The Loews Hotel in Montreal has a television built-in to the bathroom wall.... so you can soak in the enormous jacuzzi tub while surfing the cable channels.

Nov 04, 2005

I love your style of writing and you have some very witty posts. I think this one is my favourite. Will pop by again, glad to have found your Blog.