Someone to Watch Over

When Sister #2 and Ben made the decision to sell their house here in Minnesota I immediately offered my 20-year-old Maxwell, my guest bedroom for the summer. I didn’t wait for them to ask. I offered up my house without thinking or weighing the pros and cons, which astonished them.

I’m an introvert and the last time I lived with someone it didn’t go well. Though, Sister #4 recently said I wasn’t as bad to live with as I thought I was. That comes as a delightful surprise because I really did not enjoy the six or so months we lived together at all.

Super Extrovert + Angry Hermit = 0 Fun (for me).

However, I wanted Maxwell to know he was welcome and wanted and always had a home base. I’ve had precarious housing and even homeless situations throughout my forty-seven years on Earth and I did not what my nephew to feel that for one second.

Max has been here for three weeks now and so far it’s going really well. I love having someone to cook for and someone to help eat up the leftovers. It’s blowing my mind that there’s another person here to help with really stupid shit like taking out the garbage and putting away groceries. Granted, there’s more groceries and more garbage, but still . . . when you’re used to doing every single thing it takes to keep a house functioning it’s really weird and nice to have someone to help.

The other day he vacuumed while I picked up the living room. Amazing!

For the past two nights he’s done the dishes after I cooked dinner (chicken alfredo one night and cheeseburgers* the next). This has brought me unending delight. Nothing makes me saltier than having to do the dishes after I spent a bunch of time cooking a good meal. Yes, this even happens when I’m only cooking for me. I want a dish-doing fairy godperson to clean up after me. Or cook for me. I don’t mind doing one thing, but having to do both in one night is some kind of bullshit.

While I’ve adjusted, I think, pretty well to having a 20-year-old boy at Supergenius HQ, which is pretty much a spinster’s den, I worry about him. First, I’m convinced that I’m annoying him all the time with my badgering.

Are you hungry?
Did you sleep well?
Do you want to turn on the TV?
Are you hungry?
Do you like potato salad?
Are you cold?
Are you hungry?
You can watch TV if you want.
Are you too hot?
Are you hungry?
Do you like curry?
Do you like baked potatoes?
How about barbecue chicken?
Do you want a snack?
Can I get you anything?
Are you hungry?
Did you eat enough?

Second, I just worry about him. Is he bored? Depressed? Hungry? Is he sleeping too much? Too little? Does he miss his mom and dad? His sister? Are his teeth going to fall out because he drinks so much Coke? Will his organs fail if he doesn’t eat any fruits and vegetables?

Maybe these are questions all caretakers of 20-year-old boys ask themselves. I kinda hope so.

*After something like 18 years I have invited beef back into my life. I missed cheeseburgers like a motherfucker and since the world is ending I thought, why not?

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