This might be a bit odd, but after having spent the past several years living with my parents, my brother, my grandmother and occasionally my grandfather, the things that intrigue me the most about home ownership are:
- Being able to take naps whenever I want without feeling the need to explain myself.
- Being able to have sex anywhere I like with whomever I like. Also being able to entertain gentleman callers without my grandmother asking “Are you behaving yourself?” The European looked a bit terrified when she pulled him aside on my birthday and started her usual interrogations but as soon as we were out of earshot, I reminded him that she has Alzheimer’s and asks this of everyone, gentleman caller or not.
- Being able to leave the house without inviting my grandfather’s scrutiny.
My grandfather is the worst. My grandmother is hardly a peach herself—she always want to know where you’re going and if she can come along, then she gets pouty when you tell her “no”—but my grandfather inspires a certain brand of terror that I am only beginning to understand.
A few weeks ago, I decided to go jogging. I didn’t announce my intent because my grandfather feels that the entire point of life is to sit on a recliner. If you are doing anything else—going to work say, or exercising—you’re one of those “crazy young people who is always doing too much and this is why we have people shooting up the schools.”
So I went for a good long run, returned approximately seven minutes later and slid my key into the lock. There, seated on the toilet about four feet from the front door was my grandfather.
Now, I don’t know about you but if I going to relieve myself four feet from the front door—a door that opens and closes on a regular basis and faces the street—I might chose to you know, put some distance between myself and the general public.
If only there was some sort of device, some sort of magical invention that could ensure one’s privacy… Wait! I know! A bathroom door!
I would SHUT the bathroom door.
But oh no. My grandfather couldn’t shut the bathroom door because he was waiting for the bus that comes every morning to take my grandmother to Senior Center. They call on the phone when they arrive, mind you. They are used to waiting, mind you. They drive around old people all day who are always forgetting their jackets, mind you. But no. Better to leave the door open.
And somehow it’s my fault, as if I wanted to come back from my morning run to see my grandfather taking a dump… No thank you. I’m still having trouble sleeping at night.