The Unwanted Guest

Dear Unrealistic Expectations,

Forgive me for being rude, but I do not recall inviting you here. I’m not typically a huge stickler for this sort of thing, and I try to be ready for unexpected guests with a nice cold Fresca and some salted pretzels, but this is one of those times when I think I need to set some limits, because how well you feel at home here is disturbing me just a little.

First, knock off buddying up to my ego. I know the ego seems large and robust, but it’s not. It’s the little kid on the playground and I would appreciate you not convincing it that it’s got some mystery mojo that gives it magical ass-kicking powers. My ego is notoriously susceptible to delusions of grandeur, and you convincing it that it’s bigger than it is only sets everyone up for a bashing of epic proportions. I’m talking Milton’s Paradise Lost here on the scale of things, and that typically results in my family eating cold cans of Pork and Beans for dinner for a week  because I can’t be bothered to leave the floor of my closet.

Secondly, step a way from the cauldron in which you are brewing dissatisfaction. I can smell that stuff a mile off, and I can tell that you’re one eye-of-newt away from a pretty potent concoction. I’ve worked damned hard to get to a place where my life and my home are pretty darned good, and I am in no mood to get slipped a mickey that convinces me that everyone I’ve ever heard of, right down to Octomom and people who think subscriptions to TV guide are stellar Christmas gifts, has got it together better than I do.

Finally, leave my to-do list the hell alone. There’s plenty of stuff on there that actually needs to get done, like pay bills and stop  the kids from bleeding. When you take your sharpie marker and add things to the list like “organize the toilet paper by ply and softness” or “make handmade mini-quilts for the neighbor’s anemic chihuahua,” I get distracted and then I get paralyzed and then nothing gets done other than me wandering up and down the hallway holding the list in my hand mumbling out-loud, “I don’t remember why I wanted to alphabetize the junk drawer…” I, personally, think that even remembering where my damned junk drawer is is an accomplishment some days.

In conclusion, while my good breeding prevents me from bodily throwing you out on your unreasonable arse, I ask you to leave. The holidays are coming, and in mere weeks I will be setting irrational standards for myself all on my own, thank you very much. I don’t need you here lying on my couch, sucking down my Pringles and insulting my TV choices. I happen to like reruns of “Roseanne.” They makes me feel better about myself.



  1. I wish I didn’t understand the pain of unwanted guests, but I do. My MIL showed up on my doorstep & stayed with us for 10 months. Towards the end, I was not only not sleeping but I had serious homocidal thoughts. Not kidding.

  2. So…we’re not getting the handmade mini-quilts for the chihuahuas? Oh. Well, Ok I guess.

    How about this…I’ll send you a lovely color photo of our kitchen table. Or rather the pile of shit with suspicious table-like looking legs under it. It has chairs around it, so I can only assume that there is a table under all the junk.

    Trust me. You will feel much better.

    Altho, I hope you understand that I cannot offer your guest a room at our place. With my knee all hosed like it is, I can’t manage the closet fetal position right now…at least not without narcotics….so if Unrealistic Expectations should show up at my door? It had better be packing vicodin or I’m not even going to hobble to the door….

    1. I recommend not hobbling to get the door.

      Unrealistic expectations NEVER brings vicodin, or even beer.

      Make it sit outside in the rain. That’s my advice.

  3. Pork and beans huh? Bottom of the closet? Roseanne? It is definitely in your best interest to find this interloper disguised as a guest a filthy tacky hotel room. Then she will likely leave town for good. No need to waste your good manners and impeccable upbringing on this kind of back stabbing so called friend. Do not be fooled, it is OK to be rude to some guests. Believe me I know…. because her twin sister just knocked at my door.
    Did I every mention how much I love analogies?

  4. You are taking away my incentive to clean house. Hubby won’t bring friends by because it’s messy.

    Although I have dreams of a clean, spotless, organized house, the thought of all these people in my house for any length of time annoys me. My sister is the perfect hostess. Not me. They’ll be lucky if there is a fresca in the fridge lol.

    So I think you are doing great hiding in the closet :)

    1. No, I’m certain you’ve figured it out.

      Always slipping nasty concoctions into our comforting beverages.

      How else do you explain starting out the day so calmly and openly, and an hour later being hugely annoyed at the condition of the hall bath? Yep. Unrealistic Expectations slipping something into my morning coffee.

      We’ve figured it out. Totally.

  5. Hey, Roseanne’s a good show to help you remember that you’re doing pretty good…by comparison! Who doesn’t need that boost?! (I’m speaking, of course, of before the show was tainted by the winning of the lottery or whatever that change in the show was).

  6. Well put! I have a large gathering coming up at my house and the unwanted guest has paralyzed me, and glued my butt to the desk chair. She’s making it difficult for me to tell which things I want done and which things she wants done. I’m now going to scoot into the family room and find a Roseanne rerun. :)

  7. I am the queen of unrealistic expectations. And then? I am always letting myself down. It’s ridiculous.

    Seriously…every single farking area of my life there lies unrealistic expectations.

    They wait for me. Stupid bee-oches.

  8. Oh, unrealistic expectations. How well I know what you speak of. They are paralyzing, aren’t they? You actually sound a lot like me. Except that I don’t know how to knit mini-quilts. Now did I read that you have Pringles? You gotta stop stocking up on the good stuff if you want to get rid of unwanted guests.

  9. Unrealistic expectations has never been a guest at my house thankfully. The guest room is our current storage room so no place for them to stay. Perhaps a stay with some of those folks on “Hoarders” and they will see your amazing home and hospitality differently.

  10. Amen to that.

    Also, if it makes kicking them to the door easier, inform the expectations that a little bleeding never hurt anyone. I believe they called it “leeching” in the old days. And those kids were HEARTY.

  11. Oh, this post SO needed to be written! And retweeted to women everywhere! So I did. Take that, Unrealistic Expectations.

    Now Lori, you go and sit down with some salty something or other, maybe a glass of vino, and add 150 bonus Martha Points to your tally. You deserve them, even if the doggie doesn’t get the mini-quilts.

  12. Score a BIG bunch o’ points for women’s RL everywhere! I loved reading this so much; I could swear you crawled inside my head and extracted these pearls from the jumble that swirls around in there sometimes. I plan to print this and copy it into my iThings so that I can keep it with me & read it again whenever I feel those Unreasonables beginning to stalk me. You’re my Hero! *gives award for moxie*

  13. You filed this under humor, when it really should be under headaches. Although, your writing did make me spit out my ice cream from laughing- which is quite an amazing accomplishment. I’m not usually one for wasting ice cream.

    I’ve had these types of guests. And I’ve conveniently converted our only spare room into my work room. It’s filled with so many things that there is no way anyone could even suggest we have the space. And our town? No hotels- see ya!

  14. I think you and I may occasionally suffer from the same problem. Only, I typically say “when perfectionism rears its ugly head”. And then I go through a peptalk about how I’m not competing with other people– I don’t need to, and I just need to worry about myself and not about what other people are doing (not in the non-charity way, of course).

    Think I might come back and read this post the next time I’ve got this problem.

  15. I was starting to think you were superwoman so forgive me if I am a little pleased that you are struggling like the rest of us mere motrals. I’m going to go hang out with my junk drawer now and eat pringles.

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