She knocked almost imperceptibly — did she hope I wouldn’t hear and she could say it was my fault for not being home? But I did hear, went straight to the door, and she was already down to the next apartment. It was 8:30 am, and she hadn’t called to say “the guy will be over at …” she was just there. With him, thank goodness. The first thing she said to me was not “hi” or “we’re here” or even “let’s do the best we can” or even some comment about how our couches had not magically disappeared so she could do the entire carpet. She took one look inside and said, “how many kids have you got in there?!?!?”
I had three. Today was a holiday so Little Red was home and we had one of his classmates over. Apparently having a playdate is akin to running a daycare? Did she think I collect children? (Good thing Aiden was with his mother today.) I calmly explained the situation, not allowing her to see how her lack of tact was once again grating. She retorted with “but the carpet will be wet!” because I clearly hadn’t thought that’s what would happen after the carpet cleaner came. I told her I’d already planned for us to spend the day at the museum, and wasn’t it a perfect day for such a trip?
For the record, because Paul went next door to help out, our landlord being laid-up with something or other, our furniture stacked into the corner took up less square-footage than did that of the girls next door. I guess it’s just that because we have bookshelves, with books, we are the ones that make things difficult with all our stuff. Excuse me for reading.
We went to the museum, and had a lovely day. When it was time for Boy Blue to take a nap Little Red and his friend played play-doh, puzzles, and painted on our tiled kitchen floor, off the drying carpet. I didn’t get a break, but the pain relievers did their job and I was able to rally through the day. The floor is drying, and we can see the end of this tunnel. We are getting back to normal. And I just can’t wait.
This morning when Eva was leaving, the carpets cleaned, I popped my head out the door to say goodbye. “By the way,” I started. “I know you like art. I thought you’d like to know that on the Monday holidays the admission to LACMA is free.” She doesn’t have to know how much she drives me crazy. She just has to know that I do everything I can to keep the peace.