My sister and I are personifications of the word “neurotic.” I think one of our parents had a recessive gene that hit our generation hard.
Today, my sister will take a 6-hour flight to arrive at my house and will stay for two weeks. I am elated that I’ll get to see her again. It’s been far too long.
However, she is wigging out because of the long flight and the millions of possibilities that something will go wrong and she will find herself falling out of the sky without a parachute.
I am wigging out because my towels don’t match, we need new carpeting, and my upstairs bathroom has suddenly started to reek for no reason at all. Compared to falling out of the sky, these concerns are pretty minor, but for someone like me, they seem huge.
Three days ago my sister called to ask if I minded if she sent a package which contained her shampoo and conditioner. She needed more than the 3oz. that the airport authorities would allow. Having your own shampoo and conditioner when you are out of town is like eating comfort food when you are depressed. I totally understood.
“As long as it doesn’t contain packing peanuts or shredded paper,” I said. “I just vacuumed the hall. By the way, what’s your favorite color?” I figured if I was going to buy matching towels, I might as well buy a color she liked. It’s the least I can do.
She has allergies to dust mites and my carpets hadn’t been cleaned since I loaned my carpet cleaner to someone. I can’t remember who; that’s how long ago it was. Surely my carpets would be harboring dust mites by the bazillions.
Plus, she would have to put up with that foul odor in the bathroom until I determined the origin and eradicated it. My bathroom had been cleaned and disinfected dozens of times in the past week. There is no way that anything stinky could live in there. Still, there was that smell. I was considering sand-blasting.
Yes, at the very least, I had to have matching towels.
She called two days ago and told me not to go shopping until she got there because she and her kids have special eating requirements; allergies, again.
I went shopping anyway and bought matching towels and enough cleaning supplies to disinfect the Empire State Building. I hoped that one of these products would somehow either find the offensive stink-maker, or mask it with the smell of lavender… or clean linen… or rain.
Rain? What does rain smell like? To me, it smells wet… and kind of… worm-ish. Maybe not ideal for my bathroom, but certainly better than what it smelled like then.
Today she called and said her flight was delayed two hours. She fretted about what could be wrong with the plane.
“I mean if a plane is delayed two hours, something is terribly wrong, right?”
“It’s more likely that your pilot slept through his alarm and got stuck behind a jack-knifed tractor trailer on the freeway. It would take at least 2 hours to airlift him out, I think.”
“You think so?” she asked skeptically.
“Oh yeah. Happens all the time.” I said to reassure her.
In fact, I was thinking that the delay gives me two more hours to vacuum those carpets again and find that god-forsaken stench.
She asked me, “Am I being neurotic again?”
If she was being neurotic, then I needed therapy. I can’t afford therapy.
“Of course not,” I said. “It’s a perfectly valid concern.”
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more info.
Laura is a syndicated columnist, author, & speaker. You can reach Laura at email@example.com Or visit her website <a
for more info.