Monday, November 10, 2008

Psycho Mama

by Louise

I understand through the Eastern Shore grapevine that some dear souls swear that I went "psycho" just before leaving Virginia and pulled the proverbial welcome mat from under my house-sitter. There's actually some truth to the rumor.

Was I stressed out? You bet. Wouldn't you be if you were leaving your house, packing for a five-month trip, home schooling, juggling clients, and leaving your 11-year-old dog behind? I was plenty stressed. What bothers me about the rumor, though, is the implication that the house-sitter was just an innocent victim caught in the crossfire of my emotions.

To make a long story short, I did have a friend lined up to house sit. I had arranged it months ago. Yet there we were, just days from departure, and my friend had still not come to our house for a get-to-know-you tour. As D-day approached, I left messages that were not returned. My blood pressure started to rise.

I have since learned that my friend felt that moving into our home would be as easy as picking the keys up from under the mat. She ignored my emails and calls because she felt she had everything covered. When you're moving into someone's house for five months, though, I don't think that's fair, no matter how competent you are.

I moved into our house once before, too, and it's no walk in the park. The house is over a hundred years old and some of the systems are eccentric to say the least. We also have a whole bunch of animals here. When all is said and done, though, this is our home, our investment, and we have our entire lives wrapped up in here. Was it too much to expect our house-sitter to understand that?

I thought we had arranged for our friend to come on Saturday, just three days before our departure. Silence. At that point, I still wanted—and expected—her to house sit. Andrew and I had spent days cleaning out all the bedrooms that her family would need. We emptied dressers and closets, bookshelves, and cabinets. We wanted her family to be as comfortable as possible in our home.

By 4 pm on Saturday, I still had heard nothing. At that point, I snapped. I went "psycho" if you like. I called my friend and canceled the whole thing. It may seem like a rash, last-minute decision, but I needed to know that the person staying in our home actually cared about our home. For whatever reason—lack of communication or a simple misunderstanding—I didn't get that feeling.

Thankfully, I have some dear friends who stepped into the breach at the final hour. I have depended on them in the past, and I know I can count on them now. For that, they have my deep thanks and appreciation.

As for my friend, I hope that we can move past this. Somehow our plans went off the rails and neither of us communicated soon enough or clearly enough—and for that we both paid a price. I, for one, am very sorry about what happened.

1 comment: