A few years back we had a visit from one of my lady’s former friends. My lady knew this girl when she was fifteen, and we realized at that time how much a person can change in just a little while. Her friend, who I will call Wendy, married a nutcase who I will call Richard. This is not their real names, but changing names will protect their children from embarrassment if they ever read this…
Anyway, Wendy and Richard arrive on our doorstep unannounced, carrying suitcases, and holding two little girls under their arms. The weather outside (this was at 7:30 on a Saturday evening) was wet and raining, and our son was in the house in his PJ’s, getting ready for bed. While they moved their things into our house (still without even asking whether they could stay overnight or if we had other plans), they allowed their two small children (6 and 4 years old), to go play in the sandbox (which was now flooded with rain puddles). Mind you, despite the ages of the children, both are still in diapers, and that is all the clothing they wore that damp, rainy weekend.
We had just finished supper a while before they arrived. My lady made enough home-made spaghetti so that she could bring the leftovers to work for the next few weeks. When Wendy seen the pot of spaghetti on the stove, she took the entire pot over to the table, and using the ladle, she proceeded to eat the entire pot of pasta. This girl is only 5 foot, but she is thick, and apparently she hadn’t ate in a month or so, at least that is what we figured while we watched her devour all that food.
My lady also had a cheesecake in the fridge. Mom had made it for her, and she planned on having a piece and putting the rest in the freezer for later. Wendy flattened that as well, not one piece, but the entire cheesecake. Speaking of flattening things, when she let herself drop while sitting of our dining room chairs, the thing collapsed under her. Now we have our entire pot of pasta ate, the cheesecake gone, and now one of our chairs demolished.
Richard is the type of guy that talks endlessly, mostly total silliness. He told us a story of how he was once working as a roofer on a four story building. He claims that he fell from the roof, nearly got tangled up in high voltage power lines, barely missed a barb wire fence, and landed on solid pavement some 40 feet from the roof. He then says that a hearse nearly backed over him by accident, and to make matters worst, while he struggled to get to his feet, he was chased by two angry dobermans. Either this guy is the world’s unluckiest person, or (like we both figured) he is totally insane.
While she was busy wrecking our home, her husband Richard sat on our front deck smoking a joint. We are both anti-drug people and really didn’t appreciate him bringing drugs on our property. The guy is also a chain smoker, and although he is the only person who works in their family, he feels that he is allowed to purchase drugs and tobacco before even thinking of buying food and clothing for his kids. I promptly inform him of our thoughts concerning drug use and ask him to refrain from using on our property. He says that it was alright, and if he needs a high, he will just pop a few pills instead. Wow, right? As for the working thing, he doesn’t feel that his wife should work. She needs to stay home and raise his kids and have a hot meal on the table when he comes home from work. MY lady would kill me for even thinking such a thing!
Anyway, they stay the night (uninvited), and by morning our towel rack is pulled from the washroom wall, the toilet is plugged twice, the kids are using OUR bed as a trampoline, and Richard chooses to have a cigarette in OUR bathroom.
Next morning we devise a plan to pretend we have to leave. Using my cellphone, I call my home number, and then rush to answer. Apparently my uncle needs us both out of town so we have to leave. This should work, right? Wrong.
They offered to ‘house sit’ while we are away. The ‘right neighborly thing to do’ they say. NOT! They stay on for lunch, where they knock off eight steaks I had thawing for our neighborhood bbq that evening, he drinks all my beer, and then says that since he doesn’t allow her to drive, they can’t leave due to the fact that he is the only one with a licence. Another night of house wrecking, we cannot go to our party, and I am nearly drove nuts; did I mention that their kids were savage? No bedtime. The kids were awake and rambunctious all night.
The next morning it was either them or me. I get my dad to come by and ‘remind me’ of our appointment in the city. He also adds that the painter is coming to redo the house, and that he might need someone to volunteer to help. That sends Richard in a hurry to pack and leave. Thank heavens. That was 2009.
This evening, we hear a knock at the door. Completely unsuspecting, I answer the door. There standing in front me was…I had no clue. At first I guessed Jehovah’s Witness or someone collecting for some kind of cause, but nope, not that lucky. It was Wendy. She had doubled in size since the last time she visited in ’09. She just stood there, not saying anything, and then that annoying voice, I recognized her immediately. It’s not like they live close by. Their home is some three hours away from where we live, but they just ‘casually’ show up? I wanted to run, but had nowhere to go. She gives a loud ” Hi” and then comes right in. She just looks at my lady and I and when I ask if everything is alright, she says “No, not right at all” and proceeds to sit in the dining room. My lady and I just finished renovating the dining room, complete with a seven foot glass table top and very stylish chairs, which the both of us covet, and she plops down (plop is a good description here and all I can think of is the last time she plopped down and wrecked a perfectly good dining room chair) on our new chair. The legs seemed to wobble under the pressure, but did not break. I thought for a minute I might have to dig up the warranty card, but we were lucky this time.
The entire time she is telling us this story, Richard is standing the doorstep smoking multiple cigarettes.
Anyway she goes on to tell us about Richard and how after dozens of warnings by his doctor concerning his four pack a day habit, X-rays now show several spots on his lungs. Just then Richard and the kids join us, and the both of them are now in laughter.
“She is gonna burn all my stuff!” he laughs. She agrees. When he dies (not ‘If’ he dies), she plans to burn all his things because she won’t be able to look at them without missing the guy. She also starts talking about how she already has the funeral planned, and how she plans to marry him right now (before his divorce from his first wife is final) so that they won’t take their home from them if he dies. We bring up a little word called ‘bigamy’, but the two of them are laughing so hard, they don’t hear anything.
So I ask a question. “What did the doctor say?” Wendy replies that the doctor said that they noticed four small spots on the X-Ray, so now they have poor old Richard wrote off. “Did you get a second opinion?” I ask, and again, laughter. “He’s finished, he knows it” she laughs. Richard is laughing as well. I have to wonder how many joints he had before coming into the house. This is all being spoken about in front of their kids, who are obviously the smarter of the four. “Daddy’s a goner” says one of the kids, who is also laughing.
So they get news about possible cancer, and instead of finding out how they can fix the problem, they have the guy written off. Its like going from step one to step five without doing steps two to four. When I was told I had cancer a few years back, my reply was “so what are you going to do about it?”. Their reply is “okay, I am dead” and accepting it. Scary. I try to tell him not to give up so easy, but he seems convinced that he will soon be a goner. While lighting up yet another cigarette, he relays his story of how tough he is (the story of him falling off a 4 story building again…my lady and I almost burst into laughter)
Anyway, after the two of them nearly drive my dog insane by constantly picking on him, and driving the two of us insane with their crazy funeral plans, they finally decide to leave. This is, mind you, at eight p.m. on a Sunday evening. On their way out the door, Wendy casually asks us a question. “When Richard dies, would it be okay if me and the kids move in with you guys while I get on my feet again?”. My answer was quick and to the point. “Not on your life baby!”
I think I offended her, but I also think I found out the reason why they showed up on our doorstep that evening. I imagine they will drop by another friend and ask the same question.
When they finally pull out of the driveway, out two dogs and our cat check to see if the coast is clear before coming out of their hiding places. The wacky family nearly sent our pets packing.