Friday, I actually woke up in a good mood. I was early for work, I was cheery, I laughed a lot all day. I was excited about my plans for the evening, and was looking forward to a night out with friends. I worked from 9 until 5 and didn't bitch about anything. I was really happy.
The unfortunate part of the day came just after work. As I pulled up to my house, I saw that my driveway was full of cars: Three, to be exact. One belonged to the realtor and two belonged prospective buyers for the lovely home I call my own. I hated them instantly. Not only because they may buy "my" house (I say "my" because I do not own it - Joe does - but I like to pretend to claim ownership.), thereby kicking me out of it...But also because they were blocking my spot in the garage. My hatred of them was only compounded when I entered the house to be greeted by five adults (including the realtor) and by not one, not two, but SIX children...
Now, I really like children. I've always wanted to have one or two of my own. But I had been working all day, and the children were not my own (or my adorable Godson, Adrian), and they did nothing but scream from the moment I walked through the door. These were not cries of pain, but rather shrieks of joy, merriment and excitement. Maybe it was because they liked the sounds of their voices, maybe it was because of the suprisingly excellent acoustics in this large house...Or maybe it was just because they knew how much it pissed me off to hear children screaming after a long day at work...But they were relentless.
After introducing me to most of the clan, the realtor suggested I head upstairs while they finished checking out the house. Then, to my horror, down the stairs came the man of the family. He's one of my customers! It freaks me out that my customer now knows not only where I live, but also what my room looks like. I was completely skeeved out. But I said a gracious hello, then joked that the fine print of the sales contract dictates that I come with the house.
"Oh!" The mother of the brood laughed. "Do you babysit?"
I forced a smile. "Uh, ha-ha. That's not in the contract." I gave a halfhearted laugh and excused myself to head upstairs.
I needed to change out of my work clothes and into something more casual, so I picked out an outfit, and started to change. Only I couldn't. Because I was conscious of the eleven strangers wandering around downstairs AND the fact that my bedroom door doesn't have a lock. I just couldn't chance my customer coming upstairs and seeing me naked. So I hustled into the bathroom where, thankfully, there is a lock. Because - wouldn't you know it - as soon as I took off my pants, the doorknob was jiggled. "Is the lady in there?" one of the adults asked. "I think so," replied another.
Yes, obviously the "lady" is in here! I wanted to scream. But, instead, I offered a timid, "Yeah." and they giggled out an apology and moved on through the hallway.
Once my transformation from Work Day to Early Friday Night was complete, I emerged from the bathroom and headed into my room, where I intended to wait out their visit. But they just kept staying. While her kids continued to scream just for the sake of screaming downstairs, I heard the woman of the family choosing rooms. "This will be Nicole's room. And that will be little Bobby's room..." and a territorial anger swelled within me. No! That is NOT Nicole's room! That is the room I use as a closet! And Bobby can't have that other room because it's next to Joe's room! "This," she said, poking her head into my large room, "could be a guest room...Oops, I'm sorry, hon," she said when she saw me. "I didn't realize you were in here." She smiled and went back down the hallway, but I was seething. This is MY room. Not a guest room!
The herd plodded back down the stairs and opened the door to the back yard. I thought that I would be allowed a few moments of silence as they all filed outside. But I was wrong. The parents yelled to one another across the pool. The kids chose the portion of the backyard just beneath my window to continue their screaming match. I cringed. I live for the time spent in my silent house. I love this place so much. It is truly my sanctuary. And the screeching outside was wrecking it. I hated them. I hated them all.
So the good mood of earlier in the day had vanished, giving way to a more worrisome attitude. What will I do if the house sells? I love this house. Where will I go? And so it was no surprise that I cured what ailed me by heading out to the Garden of Eden's Fourth Anniversary Celebration, to lose myself in a night of friends, blues music and vodka.