Sunday, January 02, 2011

Christmas Cleanup

All this holiday season I was congratulating myself on not watering the Christmas tree. No more tree water slopped all over the floor when we take it down. Today, I confidently turned the tree, still in the stand, on its side in order to drag it out the door. What happened? Tree water, slopped all over the floor. Apparently, some asshole Jon decided to get all officious and water the tree. Doesn't he read my blog? It never in a million years occurred to me that if I never bothered to water the tree myself, someone else would. In the driveway, I wrestled the tree out of the stand and dragged the it to the curb. Tree pick-up isn't until January 10, but Jon has plans to make a bonfire out of it, and so I put it as far away from the house as possible as a deterrent to yet another of his daft adolescent plans. Then I tossed the tree stand onto the back deck where it will stay until I have worked up the courage to go down to the basement—September or thereabouts.

Speaking of cleanup, my kitchen this morning, which was more or less clean when I went to bed last night, was almost as messy as it was the morning after the moonshine mash experiment. My party cheese plate was out, with bits of crumbled cheese and crackers, there was a fruitcake out on the counter, plus a cookbook. The source of the mess was certainly Ian. Middle-of-the-night kitchen messes have always proved to be Ian's fault and so it turned out to be today. It looked like he had attempted to host a cocktail party--he told me later that the cheese plate and fruitcake were for his friends who were here very late. These things didn't bother me, but the cookie sheet coated with a thick film of bacon grease was most disturbing. There was an equally thick coating of bacon grease all over the bottom of my oven. Ian actually tried to cook bacon, in the oven, on a cookie sheet. OH MY GOD. My oven may actually be ruined, depending on how much bacon fat got down into the space where the gas flame is. You may well ask what possessed him to cook bacon in such a novel way, considering I have always modeled the frying pan method of bacon cooking. The answer involves a boring story about Ian and bacon and getting into trouble for waking us up at 02:00 with the smell of frying bacon, so his plan to cook bacon in such a way that involves "no cleanup" (his words) was to do it in the oven on a flat cookie sheet that allowed grease to run everywhere.
I realize that parents of college kids are supposed to love it when they visit, but can we just be honest for a moment and say that having your college kid back in your house can also be a real pain? I love Ian dearly, and I miss him when he's away, but a semester away from parental authority has taught him that he can smoke or drink or stay out until 3:00am and not have to answer to anybody. His physical presence in the house is huge, despite his actual person being fifteen pounds lighter. He is the tallest person in the house; he has the biggest shoes and the most dominant intellect. His personality, like the tobacco flecks from his hand-rolled cigarettes, occupies every corner.


  1. Comment #1 - I worked in a restaurant that cooked it's bacon in the oven on jelly roll trays. Every piece was perfect every time. I've never tried it at home though.

    Comment #2a - I'm still enjoying have my college freshman home. I have tripped over his size 13 shoes a lot, but other than that no problems. He doesn't cook bacon at two am so maybe that's the difference.
    #2b - How did he lose 15lbs his first semester away? Obviously he is not eating at the Award Winning University of Georgia dining halls which serve you all you can eat from 5am on Monday morning until 5pm the following Sunday afternoon. They call the freshman 15 'the freshman 30' at UGA and my boy has almost gained the whole thing in one brief semester.

  2. Cat, the school assigned him to a meal plan that allows one meal per day plus several "bonus" meals. I had been told by several people that this is the best value because no one eats all three meals in the dining hall and it's cheaper to just buy food. Plus, Ian's dorm comes with a complete kitchen (for the floor to share.) So I stocked him up with cold cereal and spaghettios and made sure he had grocery money but he chose to spend his money on entertainment.

  3. My 18-year-old goes back to college on Wednesday. I love the kid, but can hardly wait.

  4. I've heard other parents say the same thing about their kids coming home for the holidays--it seems common.
    NO! Tree FAIL! I quit watering our tree after reading your blog post in the hope of making the takedown go easier.