This past weekend my parents went on a well-deserved vacation. My Grammie, my mom’s mom, has been living with us for a year now and her needs, combined with the nonstop schedule my family already maintains, has added a little bit of an edge in my household. There are good days and bad days, easier days and harder days, but we make it work.
This vacation just so happened to fall on the same weekend as my sister’s mini getaway with the some close family friends. This meant that the house consisted of me, my brother, and my Grammie, so it was sure to hold some adventures.
At work on Friday I received a call from my brother around 1 o’clock. By this time my parents were long into their drive and Troy was calling with the first Grammie conundrum of the weekend: the air conditioning dilemma.
The temperatures in the valley this summer have maintained a relatively high average. 90s, 100s, nothing we haven’t dealt with before. In summers past we worked out a system to save money which essentially consisted of waiting until the temperature hit a few notches below sweat stains, and then flipping on the AC. However, this system does not work when you have an 80 year old woman living with you. To give you an idea, our DWP bills could be made into a horror movie series. The main character’s name would be Dave and this would be the synopsis:
Dave was just your average man trying to survive the summer. He ate popsicles, he drank ice water, he even walked around the house in his underwear in order to fend off the heat. But one month, it just wasn’t enough. With 3 digit temperatures beating through the window panes, Dave sought comfort in the buttons of his air conditioner. But as the vents released the cool air, something inside Dave changed. He completely abandoned his money saving ways to live a life of 75 degree bliss. Then one day, a simple knock on the door changed everything. A man dressed in blue stood on the porch with an envelope stamped with 3 letters in the upper left corner. DWP. Sweat—the nervous kind, not the overheated kind (obviously)—began to pool up on Dave’s forehead. What had he done? How did he get here? What will he do now?
Look for that in theaters in a few years. It will most likely star Ryan Reynolds.
Troy was calling about the air conditioning. My mom keeps it set between 80-82 degrees which for the most part has been acceptable for all parties. Today, it wasn’t enough. Grammie wanted the temp gage moved lower and Troy was hesitant to do so. This may seem like a non-issue, but failing to resolve it could’ve resulted in starting off the weekend with an overheated, unhappy grandmother, which could have been the catalyst for many other issues.
My brother, being the sweet human that he is, presented the problem to me like this: “Grammie wants the air conditioning on, which is understandable because it is hot in her room, but mom left it at this temperature and I’m not sure if I should move it. I don’t want to call her though, because she’s on vacation and deserves to relax.” (A.k.a Troy has everyone’s back.)
In short, we solved the problem with a portable fan, all parties were happy.
Upon arriving home from work I was met with a pair of anxious eyes and the question I knew was coming.
“So Kim, what are we going to do this weekend?”
Whenever my parents are away, whether it’s for the night, the weekend, or the week, my brother has these visions of the epic times to be had. Video games. Movie marathons. Junk Food. Ordinary days become goldmines of opportunity. That’s why the anxious eyes on the other side of the front door didn’t surprise me.
After some deliberation and a pot roast, we decided that this Friday night would be one for the books. A tournament would take place and only one victor would emerge. The tournament would be a board game-video game hybrid and the winner would have the sole vote in the movie selection for the next night. A prestigious honor.
The first game was Life, I won. Here’s what I learned:
- My husband’s name (as told by my brother) will be Benson, but everyone will call him Benny, obviously.
- One can receive $50,000 for recycling
- Being able to say, “I win at Life!” never gets old.
The second game was Jenga, I lost. My demise came when I was in the middle of choosing a block, consumed by nerves, when my brother said, “You think this is bad, we have Candy Land coming up next.” I could say that I actually lost the game to the giggle attack that overtook me, but I can’t undermine my brother’s impressively steady hands.
The third game, as you already know, was Candy Land. I won. Let’s just say that the Jenga gods of karma dealt Troy a bad card (with a gum drop on it) and I double purpled my face off to the finish line.
The fourth game was Yahtzee, I lost. I was betrayed by the 3’s and I don’t want to talk about it.
This concluded the board game portion of the tournament. We took a few deep breaths, I refilled my Nalgene bottle (because I’m a freaking animal and I know how to party) and we moved our competitive spirits into the living room.
Just Dance was first on the list of our virtual trials. I don’t want to come off arrogant, but I destroy people in Just Dance. Call it rhythm, call it talent, call it the ability to twitch in the right direction, whatever it is, I. Am. Your. Father. What? Moving on.
Mario Sports Mix was second on the list. I lost, pretty badly. There were two major factors:
- Troy is extremely well practiced and quite simply, played like a champion.
- My partner, Waluigi, was obviously hungover from a night of drinking and promiscuous behavior and could not get his s*** together.
The third game in the virtual round and the final game in the tournament was Mario Party 7. Neither of us won. No, we were taken down by the likes of bratty princess in a long pink gown that probably went home to tell her Italian plumber of a boyfriend what a bunch of losers we were. That’s her business though. I’m not one to talk trash. I’m not the kind of person that would say that her gloves look more dishwasher than debutant. That would be low, and I’m not going to sink to her level.
So, as the tally sheets you have obviously been keeping clearly indicate, our tournament ended in a tie.
Nothing like a story with non-stop action ending in a stalemate, huh?
When they make the events of this weekend into a series on Fox, the tie will be the big shocker of Season 1’s fall finale.
The next couple days of the weekend are when things started to get a little crazy. I was fully aware now that my parents were out of town and I decided to really let loose. There were still chores that needed to be done, there was still a Grammie to take care of, but in between those moments, I wanted to do a few things while I finally had the chance.
First things first, I cleaned my cheese slicer.
I could really stop the story there, I mean, I think we can all agree that there are few things more satisfying. But I didn’t stop there. I then proceeded to do all of my laundry, and I’m not just talking clothes suited for the washing machine, I even did the hand wash, because the gloves were off and I could not be tamed. To top it all off (with Nilla Wafers to be exact) I made pudding, and before I knew it, the parents were walking through the door. I smiled and greeted humans that raised me. I asked the questions about their weekend, all while knowing of the madness that ensued in their absence. How I kept my composure, I’ll never know.