inauguration: does “Be prepared?” mean anything to you?
So it’s time for another attack on my clutter. This is the harder round since these are going to be either items that survived a prior purge, or are new and in current use, but need a better place to reside. In that box to the right, I only saved past photographs, letters, and scripts/programs. In the back of that Dragon Con booklet is an autograph to me from Gary Gygax. Underneath that mess of papers was a first edition Vertigo Tarot deck, still in its original sealed shrinkwrap. So it’s not like this is all junk, just a lot of it.
The desire to get started was brought on not only by the fact that it’s winter, it’s cold, a weekend is coming up where the last thing I’m going to want to do is go outside in the city, but also that this Friday is when Battlestar Galactica returns* and I was hoping to have some people over to watch it. My friends are very familiar with my “I can’t invite anyone over, my place is too messy!” clutter issues, so while I don’t have to clean to White Glove standards, it would be nice if they could move around my place without sidestepping anything.
Then the monkey wrench arrived and I am not pleased about it at all. In the middle of a very busy day, I get a call/message from my father. After calling him back, he says that he and my mother have gotten Inauguration tickets from their Congressman. That they’ll now be coming up for Inauguration and need a place to stay. After a bit of back and forth, I said that their best bet is try flying in on Monday and leaving Tuesday, there are still seats available on flights for those days. I have a one-bedroom apartment, it’s not huge, but most importantly, it’s my space and while it could be suited for entertaining, it’s not designed for 3 people to live and sleep there for more than a night or two.
That put me off-balance for the rest of the day, but I was planning to clean for Friday anyway, I hit Target to get more Rubbermaid bins** and get home for some tidying. After a few hours when the place is getting more clean, but it’s also in that state of everything being in the middle of the floor so I’m treading lightly, the phone rings and from across the room I can see it’s my brother calling. I nearly kill myself tripping over crap to get to the phone, somehow already knowing what he wants. You guessed it: a place to stay for Inauguration. I reiterate that there is no space for people to stay, that the parents are already trying to come and just like with my father, it’s like talking to a brick wall.
I now know how Charles Brown felt when dealing with Patricia Reichardt for Thanksgiving.
So now I’ve moved from off-balance to pissed off. They’ve had nearly two months to plan ahead, make preparations, sort all of this out, book lodging, etc. But no, they barely mention coming here, then say they’re not going to bother, over Christmas there wasn’t a single word about it uttered and now, one week before the event, when they know that I am not doing anything for it, they decide that the family member they never visit unless they’re here on business or to see someone else must have space available for them to crash. And let’s face it, when you’re in your late 40s or late 60s, you don’t crash, you need an actual place to sleep–I can’t stick them in sleeping bags on the floor.***
I suppose that I should be pleased that they didn’t just “drop in” although they know that doing that gets a very curt, “I’m busy” response. But one week’s notice for the biggest event DC will host this year? That just doesn’t show a lot of respect for me, nor is it ever the kind of thing I’d do to them. Just like the phone calls from my family for computer support first, “how are you” second, or advice on electronics, or directions in the city, it makes me feel more like a resource and less like a person. And I really don’t want to hear the “once in a lifetime” or “such an historic event” bullshit because if it was so important, you would have made your plans in advance and not tried to run around at the last minute to make things happen.
To quote Hyacinth: Is there anyone anywhere who can pass me a drink? 😐
* I have Sci-Fi channel in HD now, this is gonna be good.
** After dealing with a supposed rat infestation in the storage room, the condo board has decided that residents are no longer allowed to store anything in cardboard boxes. As a result, I’ve had all of my still-packed boxes in my apartment as I slowly repack items into Rubbermaid bins or toss them out.
*** Especially since I don’t even have sleeping bags.