House sitting is fun, but it did bring a few unwelcome surprises. I detest folksy decorations, particularly snowmen; but when I walked through the door, there they were. Dozens of them, grinning at me from the tables, the corners, the window sills, the kitchen towels, the plates and pillows and coffee mugs. Talk about infuriating!
But that wasn't the biggest surprise. I discovered there were no bowls in the house. No bowls! Does the lady have something personal against bowls? Bowls are part of every china set; yet she has no bowls even in her fancy collections. How on earth does she serve cereal or soup?
Trying to be flexible, I ladled my oatmeal into the most bowl-like object I could fine, a squarish white dish that was probably marketed as a bowl but is too small to bear the name. When I attempted to stir in milk and granola, the oatmeal slopped over the sides. How could I keep myself properly fed with that going on?
So the next morning, while the oatmeal bubbled, I scoured the cupboards and cabinets for bowls as thoroughly as an addict searching for misplaced pills. I even climbed on chairs to check the upper shelves. The search was fruitless. Not a single bowl.
Disgusted and incredulous (how can someone hate bowls that much?) I dug through the Tupperware and came up with a glass Pyrex dish which will serve as my bowl for the time being. It's a little big, but I can deal with that. At least I can stir my cereal without slopping.
I did gain one thing from my search. I discovered some nice white plates on the shelf above the ugly snowman plates. Goodbye, ugly snowman plates... I really didn't want to eat off of you every day until April.
This piece is an excerpt from a February journal entry which I recently condensed so I could share it with my writer's guild. My intent is not to complain, but to find humor in the difficulties that invariably crop up anytime a person tries to live in someone else's home. I truly appreciate these people for letting me house sit for six weeks; it was a blessing. And the snowmen? After I threatened to host a snowman eradication party, they got scared and stopped taunting me. We parted on tolerable terms.