When we show up at the door of a kind relative who asked us to come stay with them for the weekend (or the door of an even kinder relative who didn’t mind when we invited ourselves over for the weekend) I cringe.
Five people and an indeterminate amount of animals pile out of our truck and head to the house with smiles and hugs and an inordinate capacity to cause havoc. I don’t think my family is extraordinarily messy or unruly, but neither are we neat and calm. We rush the house while cheerfully saying hello and unload our mountain of “stuff” that we’ve brought with us.
This weekend in our almost-annual winter trip to Michigan to visit my aunt and uncle we brought the five of us, one dog, and 22 pairs of footwear for all our winter related activities.
When you have unloaded 22 pairs of footwear from your vehicle and moved them into your kind and unsuspecting relatives home, I’m pretty sure that’s when the scale tilts to weekend invasion.
We invade and we try to use manners but we eat lots, leave a trail of jackets, hats, mittens, lost toys and markers wherever we land and that’s not even the worst of it.
The worst of it is the toilet paper. No, we don’t bring our own toilet paper (We probably should but since I can’t keep it in stock at home I’m not about to start traveling with it). We use other people’s toilet paper just like normal people. Except that we use lots of it because four of us are girls and three of us have no concept of the amount of paper necessary to use the necessary and all four of us are befuddled by the thick pillowy sheets that others use as toilet paper. You see, at home we are a one ply family. That’s right, we use toilet paper that most would only deem fit for a government institution or a sketchy gas station bathroom because septic tanks and little girls. I am sure it is possible to teach young girls to regulate the amount of toilet paper they use but I’ve always just been so relieved that they actually USE it and the accompanying toilet that I haven’t bothered. Instead, to prevent things like this happening we buy terrible one ply toilet paper so that even ridiculous wads of it won’t clog up the pipes and the septic. Now this is all very fine for our own home, but please remember, we just invaded a relative’s home. My relatives, being my relatives, either have septic systems of their own, old plumbing or both. Now imagine, you are used to using toilet paper that comes off the roll in see through sheets, you reach over and yank a big handful off to use. But, joy of all joys, it’s soft and thick and pillowy and now you have a giant armful of it and oh… this is why nobody’s been able to flush the toilet all weekend.
If septic systems could cringe I wouldn’t be the only one internally quivering as we all pile out of the truck on the next visit to the relatives.