That's What She Said: A Home of Dawn’s Own
- Dawn Dumont | November 01, 2014
For the last couple of years I lived in my sister’s basement, like a troll or a secret family. Living down there was dark and cold but I never felt lonely as I could hear people’s footsteps above which reminded me that people existed and that if I chose, I could skulk up the stairs and stare at them through a crack in the door.
While being one of the “downstairs people,” I enjoyed cheap rent, lease-free living and access to all the spiders I wanted (I tried teaching them to write things in their webs but these were all moron-arachnids). One of the downsides was that when it came to family events I could not host any of the dinners because my sister-landlord refused to let me have a hotplate down there.
The family dinner host/hostess position is a hot ticket item amongst the lady-folk, with the exception of myself. As someone who dodges all responsibility, I don’t understand why anyone would choose to invite our entire family over, never mind attempting to satisfy their prodigious appetites. In our family, a ten year old child can eat as much as a fully grown adult. And an adult in our family could probably eat a ten year old child – two, if they were coated in chocolate and had a peanut butter filling. You may think I’m exaggerating – if so, then please invite us over and we will blow your mind – and your food budget.
My sister and my sister in law currently compete over the rights to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and whatever other holidays/excuses-to-pig-out are out there. I stay out of the controversy because I don’t care where I’ll be stuffing my face. Also no matter where I go, my offerings of a can of corn and a bag of chips will be accepted with the same rolled eyes and exasperated sigh.
Then things changed. I moved out of my sister’s house. Or rather was tricked out of it. She pulled the ole, “Hey I’m thinking of selling my house, and my realtor thinks that your shoe and empty wine bottle collection will bring the value down.”
So I moved on. (Actually I just continued drinking wine and watching Netflix, until one of my friends found me a place to live.) My new apartment is modern, sleek and full of glass. There’s a metal staircase that leads to a loft where I have an amazing view of the city’s power lines. My apartment looks like the kind of place where a Miami drug lord would get gunned down. I love it!
However, having my own place means that I now have no excuse
for not hosting family events. So I
forced to decided to host a barbecue.
I bought a selection of things that can be grilled and even made a foray
into the meat section at the grocery store.
Normally I’m intimidated by this section as I’m pretty sure I’m the type
of person to cross-contaminate meats and create a Listeria/Ebola hybrid.
My guests arrived in groups, each one louder than the next. My family has large, boisterous litters and they soon filled up the cavernous concrete building with their voices, laughter and farts.
The parents congregated in the living room to see if I had any fancy channels as their young dispersed throughout the building. The more independent kids (and the ones with opposable thumbs) headed out the door into the hallway to play "hide and seek,” or so they told me. From the sounds I heard, I suspected that it was a violent game of shoving one another and screaming like banshees. The younger kids headed up the stairs to the loft bedroom where the smallest one kept jumping at the glass dividing him from safety and finding out that he could not fly.
I ran up and down the metal stairs more times than I could count, each time, growing more sweaty and haggard as the parental laughter in the living room grew more gleeful and abandoned. I began to get the sense that the laughter was directed at me.
A child began crying as she had been cut somewhere in the apartment but as the apartment is 90% glass, it was impossible to tell how it happened. One guest commented airily, "y'know it’s probably a good idea to make your place more child-friendly."
Nobody would dare say such a thing to a Miami drug lord.
As my guests left, I murmured something about, “I’ll have to have you guys over again soon…” but I carefully avoided eye contact while saying it.