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10:18:2005 Entry: "Ann : Hell part 3: Sleeping Situations"

Hell part 3: Sleeping Situations

I am sleeping long and hard, now that I'm back in Madison. My king-sized waveless fiber-fill waterbed (WHY did they discontinue those?) is so comfortable that I could stay in bed forever if it wasn't for a little thing called having to urinate and feed the animals in the morning.

Unfortunately, sleeping situations on the road aren't quite as accommodating.

The first night in the hotel was your typical banging doors and noisy diesel trucks running forever outside. I can handle that, but what was really annoying were the teenagers in the parking lot at 11 pm. Seems like Little Miss Desk Clerk brought along all her high school friends to accompany her on the job. Grrr. Stan usually isn't a complainer, but he complained. Either it wasn't her shift working on the day we came back through, or she lost or quit her job while we were in Colorado, because it was quiet that night.

We brought Caligula the cat with us. He's a fairly good traveller, keeps quiet more than not, unlike Persephone who cries loud the whole time driving. We couldn't keep the cats together at home due to Persephone being on special medication and food due to her old age problems. It's a long and complicated epxlanation that I won't go into, but the only way to get around the problem of them not eating eachothers' food was to take a cat with us. Caligula was the perfect choice so we could monitor his overeating habits too. This meant that a cat would be sleeping with us in our room. Fortunately, Stan's mom has two rooms one can use, so since Stan felt he was the more allergic one, I would get stuck with the cat in the bigger room with lots of windows. Cats need windows.

This is a room with a view of the San Juans to die for. I love that room; we can roll down the blinds at night and stare up at the starry skies. Unfortunately, the bed is a supposed Queen that thinks it's a Double. And although the mattress is new and more comfortable than the old one she had there, the size is still a problem for us. Once you go King, you really can't go back, especially when you're sleeping with an Elbow Monster. So as much as I'd love to sleep there WITH Stan, we simply can't do it without killing eachother. In the past, Stan would end up sleeping on the floor, so he would bring along a sleeping bag and foam padding for the express purpose of sleeping in that room. I wonder what his mom thought when she'd discover a sleeping bag in our room. That we'd smuggled in a 3rd person? Marital problems? No, just small bed problems. So a King has spoiled me. Just don't call me a Princess...it's the only luxury I have.

So this time Stan got the small bedroom, usually given to his niece when visiting with her mother and father. It's full of niece-y things, like dolls. Lots of dolls. I hate dolls. Stan hates dolls. And the niece, who is now 12 going on 13, will soon start to hate these dolls if she is at all normal. Some of these dolls are gigantic, life-sized toddler-sized, but with hideous heads and bad haircuts. I call them Frankendolls. I was going to shoot a picture of them just to document their hideousness but in all our busy-ness, I forgot. I actually hope I will have a chance to do this next year before Stan's mom suddenly wakes up and realizes "those dolls are really ugly! better throw them out!" I was fearing that the dolls would give Stan nightmares, but fortunately they didn't.

The first night we decided that I too, was equally allergic to having a cat confined in a bedroom with me (we didn't want to let him out in the rest of the house for fear of him disappearng and not being able to find him again), so we decided to swap rooms every other night so one night one person would have the nice big room with a sneeze-making cat that walked on your head all night, and the other night one would have the tiny room with the uncomfortable twin bed with dolls. Joy.

The 2nd night that I slept in the doll room I had the stiffest, sorest neck in the world. I also realized my allergies were seasonal and not cat related, while Stan really is more affected by Caligula than I. So I got the big cat room for the rest of the stay.

And then there's my parents accommodations (evil maniacal laughter and screams with horror-show sound effects).

Here's how it went a long time ago when we first started vising: I would get the tiny bedroom that used to be my bedroom when I was a teenager (before my grandmother moved in and I was sent to the basement before I said "screw this shit" and moved in with Stan and into an even shittier basement). Stan would get a rollaway bed/cot in the living room. But my bed now had a new mattress that was as hard as walnut wood. But I managed. What I couldn't manage was the sound of my parents in the other room snoring. The ranch-style house, built in 1962, not only sported the most boring floorplan ever, but also paper thin walls. I couldn't take it anymore...

Then Stan got the bedroom, and I got to sleep on the rollaway cot in the living room. Can we say NO PRIVACY? And this was before my dad retired, so he was always clunking around there in the morning. And I don't sleep in jammies...just undies and tank tops, so, well, it was difficult. And even after he retired he would still clunk around there in the morning. I really really hated it. My parents have no concept on how to accommodate guests. Of course they had no concept on how to raise a kid in conteporary middle-class society in the 60s and 70s either (we're not still in the Depression!*), yet I digress, again.

It was around 2002 that the metal spring rollaway cot just got way too wonky, so I chucked it and put the cot mattress directly on the floor. At that point, Stan had decided to sleep on the couch in the living room, either my parents snoring had gotten to him too, or the mattress was too damn hard or my mom had decided to make the "guest" bedroom her permanent bedroom away from my dad (I hope we never get that way), or a combination of all those things. Perhaps it was the sight of me sleeping on a mattress on the floor that got to my parents. Perhaps it's because Stan's mom paid us a visit there while there was a mattress on the floor in the living room. Perhaps it was because Stan had his sleeping bag and all our suitcases layed out in the living room because there was no guest room to put them anymore. Perhaps it was because we decided not to visit them in 2003. But something changed. They decided to fix up the room downstairs and make it a guestroom...something they should've done many, many years before. They consulted me about futons. I told them that Stan and I really can't sleep in anything but a King (Yes, it's sad, we're King addicts, once an addict, always an addict. Pathetic, I know.). They claimed they couldn't find a King-size futon anywhere, so they got two Singles. How very I Love Lucy and Dick Van Dyke. I shouldn't complain, at least it's something. But what is aggravating is that when the futons are in the upright or "chair" position, they have wooden arms. Which means when it's flat, it still has arms. Which means my knees and legs are bruised a lot. And I can't put my hand over the edge because of the arms.

There was a bathroom downstairs, but one could really only use it for, well, you know. You couldn't bathe in the bathroom. Fortunately, they took care of that too. They fixed the shower stall so it doesn't look like something from Auschwitz anymore. And they put in a better working sink with cabinets. But when we went there, my mom literally had rags for us to step on outisde the shower. She claimed they were small towels. Maybe they were small towels in 1965, but now they are RAGS. We had to buy bath towels for their bathroom before I could take a shower there.

It's unbelievable how clueless my parents are sometimes. Oddly, my dad even agreed with me that the towels were too small to use to step on. That really says something, when my dad, King Miser, Lord Frugal, Master PennyPincher, says something is inadequate.

Somebody help me.

*but give Bush enough rope...


When your parents kick off and you inherit everything, you'll be glad they were cheap.

Posted by greenthumb @ 10:18:2005:12:43 PM CST

LOL! More like inherit their nursing home bills! But seriously, for a kid, generosity can get you a long ways. Extreme miserliness and inhospitability can get you even further, except on the wrong side of the road.

Posted by Ann @ 10:18:2005:12:55 PM CST

Ann is very fortunate that her parents have some resources to care for their needs as elderly people. She isn't brudened with the worries some children end up with when their parents have to decide between medicin and food.

However, it is foolish to assuem that part or any portion of their resources will be left to inherit. This is true for all of us and I think speculating about our parents in their twilite years and dealing with issues of how we were raised are two different matters.

It's seems to be deeply rooted in our culture that making sacrifices brings better things to ourselves later in life. This may just be a story in may cases, and sometimes matters are spoiled instead of helped by expectations of sacrifice.

I think parents need to help us with 2 things... Getting started and then giving support. Then, making sacrifices is part of this structure - rather than actually sacrificing the 'getting started' & 'giving support'.

If 'getting started' and 'giving support' are going on the altar of 'making sacrifices' it all becomes a little like Abraham actually being allowed to sacrifice his child rather than being stopped at the last second.

What is the point of even having a child if it is going to be - in some way - sacrificed? Things like food, water and clothing mean very little if an intelectual life is going to be squeezed through the eye of a needle for the sake of 'making sacrifices'.

Posted by Stan @ 10:18:2005:02:58 PM CST

If they were killed instantly in a car crash today, yes, I'd probably be able to pay off my house. However, that is extremely unlikely. Like most elderly people they will expend all their resources on medical and nursing home bills. Then what's left to inherit? Not a lot, that's for sure. It's really silly to expect anyone is in for a windfall when their parents die, especially when you don't personally know the circumstances.

Posted by Ann @ 10:18:2005:03:04 PM CST

The conditions of staying at your parents has improved greatly though....

Posted by Stan @ 10:18:2005:07:36 PM CST

I'm glad you think so, Stan. Especially in the bathroom department. But the windowlessness of the basement was a little stiffling, especially for Caligula. Poor kitty. At least we have privacy now, though. And can shower when we want.

Damn, those are such basic things, you know? Privacy and showering? Is it so much to ask for?

Posted by Ann @ 10:18:2005:07:40 PM CST

My comment was written "tongue in cheek" and not ment to be taken literally/seriously. Obviously, that did not come across over the computer.

I don't think your parent's basement is literally "windowless". I don't actually remember much about your parent's basement -except the pingpong table and the 2 feral cats - the only reason I say this is that I remember you saying (years ago) that if you ever had your way, the first thing you'd do was take the bars off the basement windows. So there must have been windows.

(Which brings to mind something else, which is probably "off subject" but a while back I was looking at houses and I was surprised at how many houses had some or all of the basement windows sealed or painted shut, or some rinky dink remodeling done where you couldn't open the windows more than a crack. Ugh!!! Windows are ment to be opened!)

Posted by greenthumb @ 10:19:2005:10:52 AM CST

Yeah, the limitation of print does have its drawbacks in the voice inflection and tone department.

Master Miser removed the windowgrates under enough pressure from the Missus. But instead, they put these "bubbles" over the basement windows...something about keeping rain out? So one cannot see anything outside and it only gets VERY minimal and filtered light in. Plus, they're very high up. So, in a sense, it's windowless, even though there are windows, they don't visually lead to anything, if that makes sense.

I love windows (not the OS, I'm Macintosh all the way). I'm so glad I found a house with a lot of them. Long ones, too, on the old unaltered parts. So many people are into Central Air and Climate Control that they really don't use windows. I'd prefer to just open all the windows when it's hot and turn on the ceiling fan. There's nothing like real air, even if you do get smells from the street that aren't that great, or neighbor's BBQ. Climate Control can't replicate a nice, warm breeze or let you hear crickets chirping at night.

Posted by Ann @ 10:19:2005:11:05 AM CST

I'm with you 1000% on the issue of windows! It's a subject that I could go on endlessly about. Unfortunately, as I get older, I seem to have developed mild clastrphobia and am becoming increasingly obsessed with being outdoors or at least having a window open, if possible. It really is a curse in our climate controlled word. 5 years ago we (the Print Shop) moved from the Oval where we had windows that opened to behind the Old Ft. Collins H.S. (where the shops were) and it is all sealed (entombed is more like it) here. Fortunately, my boss lets us keep the doors open if it does not trigger the AC or the heat coming on. That is a life saver to me. Or at least a sanity saver.

Even out here in Colorado - where people move to because of the nice weather! - AC is becoming the norm. All the new consturction has AC in homes. All the new commercial buildings are sealed. Many of the older homes have AC now ...

Today it is raining here. So on the unlikely chance that I go to Whole Foods for something I'll be real careful! In the meantime, back to the grindstone. Taxpayers are actually paying me to do something. (We're kinda slow right now, which you can probably tell.)

Posted by greenthumb @ 10:19:2005:12:01 PM CST

Heh...I left a job because of their climate control. It was always cold. I wore 2 sets of sweaters and leggings under jeans in the summer (I'd go to work and change, sort of like a fast food job, except it was desktop publishing, then I'd put on my tank top and shorts before I left work). Then in the winter, they let me have a space heater up to a point, and then they took it away because they felt it interfered with the computers. So I quit. Yes, it was scary, especially since Stan's job was being elminated simultaneously, but I figured we either sink or swim. I guess we figured out how to float. Haven't regretted it, especially since last spring (about a decade after I quit) they eliminated jobs big time "to save the company."

Posted by Ann @ 10:19:2005:12:15 PM CST

A HUGE decision that turned out for the best. We all need a few of those in our life!

Posted by greenthumb @ 10:20:2005:09:25 AM CST

By Ann @ 12:16 PM CST:10:18:05 ..::Link::..

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