My Sister-in-law (my wife’s sister) just called and sadly told my wife that she, her husband, and her two stepchildren would not be making the trip up from Mississippi Sunday. They’d been planning to stay with us for a few days while driving back and forth to Munice, IN to visit my in-laws.
Now, my SIL (my wife’s sister) is a very nice person and I like her a lot, but let me explain why this was a really bad idea at this time:
(1) My wife and I just moved back to the Indianapolis area from Seattle. We just got in ourselves two weeks ago this coming Sunday, and our furniture and other goods didn’t arrive until Saturday morning (the 21st). Both of us are telecommuting to our jobs back in Seattle, and had to be back at work this past Monday morning (the 23rd). As a result, we’re far from being completely settled in. There are heaps of boxes in the basement, piles of kitchen items stacked high in the kitchen, etc. We’re making progress, but we’re far from ‘guest-ready’, even if it’s family.
(2) This is the first time telecommuting for both of us, and we’re trying to readjust to this new form of working. Having houseguests during this time isn’t a good plan - we need to work during the day, not play host.
(3) We have five cats who are still dealing with the stresses from the move, which included being loaded into cages and driven cross-country for 4 days. In fact, one of the cats was so stressed the day the moving van was being loaded that he freaked out; biting and clawing my wife and I badly enough to draw blood in multiple places. In fact, he bit me so badly that he broke two fangs off in my forearm. He’s now sulking in our guest bathroom on a regimen of painkillers and antibiotics that our Indianapolis vet prescribed. So since they’re still unstressing from the move, having guests would just re-stress them.
(4) My SIL wanted to bring one of their dogs, said dog requiring medication twice a day. She wanted/expected to be able to bring this dog - a very large dog, some sort of labrador mix - INTO A HOUSE WITH FIVE CATS!!.
“It’s no problem”, she said. “The cats can just run away from the dog”. Um, no. Not only do we have five cats still dealing with a cross-country move, one of these cats is still recovering from having a leg amputated in March and doesn’t run well, and another (see point #3) is recovering from breaking teeth off in me. Besides, this dog apparently managed to destroy one of their couches, so he isn’t the best-behaved dog in the world. Our yard doesn’t have any fences, so he can’t stay outside.
I must say, it takes a certain amount of self-centeredness to expect to bring your dog to someone else’s house where you’re going to be a guest - especially in this situation. My wife and I had decided that if they absolutely had to bring the dog, then they’d have to bring a cage and he’d be staying in the garage the whole time. He wan’t coming into our house, that was certain.
So when she called this morning and said they wouldn’t be able to make the trip after all (her husband is a plant manager and is currently putting in 14 hour days due to short staffing), neither my wife or I were terrible upset. In fact, both of us whispered “YES!” and did a happy dance.