I'm Sorry. I Hate Me Too. I'm Sorry.

I have started three entirely different recap posts of The Conference, and none of them are making me happy. So they can wait.

Also, I am going to try to blog EVERY DAY for a month! Let's see how THAT goes, huh?

Right now I am sitting in the lobby of my building. There is no wifi here, so I'm writing this in a text editor. I don't know why I think you care about either of those things, but whatever. This is what happens when your blogging mojo gets rusty.

Anyway, I should re-phrase. There IS wifi in the lobby, except all of the connections are password protected. There's like 12 of them, and none of them are from our apartment. I don't know why this is. One of the connections is from the apartment above ours, where the assohole/douchebag lives, so I did totally try to use his account. Unfortunately, none of his passwords are DOUCHE, douchebag, douchebaggery, ISUCK or duuuuuuche. I feel good for making the effort to try those, though.

At this point, you might be wondering why I'm sitting on my laptop in the lobby of my building, what with my apartment being two flights away, and that would not be an unreasonable thing to wonder. The truth of the matter is, Ish and I made the leap of all dual-income-no-kids, urbanite, god-we're-getting-old leaps: we hired a cleaning service.

Now might also be a good time to mention that I am very very not good at having service people come to my residence. When someone comes to my door -- repairman, exterminator, landlord, UPS, super -- I find myself wishing I was six years old so I could hide in my room until the scary stranger leaves my house. I don't know why this is, exactly, except that my natural tendency when someone comes to my place is to want to entertain them. Like I should be a good hostess.

Do you know how piano tuners react when you offer them a cocktail? That's right. They think YOU ARE CRAZY. I'M SORRY, DID YOU SAY YOU LIVE WITH FOUR CATS?

And while I have never offered to make dinner for any repairman, that is simply because I am afraid I wouldn't do a good enough job.

Beeteedubs, Douche just walked by wearing sunglasses, because apparently there is a glare inside our building I was unaware of. See how cool he is?

The point is, I feel terribly awkward about having anyone over to my home to do anything. (Well, anything other than eat and drink and maybe play American Idol Karaoke on the Wii. Her name is Rio and she dances in the saaaaaaand...) Paying people to come to my home to clean? Oh, how the awkward is compounded.

Please know that I am fully aware that this makes me the worst human being in the entire world. Woe is me, complaining about how having cleaning people makes me feel too awkward to be in my own home. Feel free to hate. Just know that it is true.

And is why I am sitting in the lobby of my own building.

Because -- right -- when I got home from work, I walked to my apartment door and heard them still inside and so I did the only reasonable thing I could think of: I fled, full speed, back down the hall again so that they wouldn't see me.

I don't know what I think they would do if they DID see me, but it goes something along the lines of being perfectly kind and polite while secretly hating my spoiled ways and disapproving of all my dust and cat hair and unopened mail. It makes perfect sense to me that I should hide.

Well, and but now things have changed yet again. (Aren't you grateful for running commentary? La la la...) After 20 minutes of sitting on the industrial concrete lobby "bench," I decided I wanted a chair and also maybe wine. There is only one cafe within comfortable walking distance of my building, though, so I had to debate whether to go there or wait out the cleaning people. Ultimately, my desire for creature comforts (chair, table, wifi, wine, warmth) won, and I decided to make the trek.

Again, the distance isn't long, but my neighborhood is...how do you say..."unsavory"?

Yeah, "unsavory" works. Also "colorful." Or, if I want to be totally SF about it, I'd call it "up and coming." In all cases the translation is SO MANY CRACKHEADS OHMYGOD.

I don't usually come here for lots of reasons, all of which I have been reminded of since I staked out my place in the corner.

For one, the place is very window-y, which would be nice except they are always open, along with the door, and I don't know if you know this, but July in San Francisco is basically winter. The fog is blowing through and it's got to be 49 degrees outside. I do not have my coat with me (my coat is is busy laughing at me while it hangs in my warm, clean apartment). So yes. It is cold and windy INSIDE the cafe.

Also, the clientele here is so overly hip I feel like Lois Griffin at a KISS concert. I don't know the music. I don't understand anyone's t-shirt. I thought the counterperson was a boy. (She isn't.)

I was able to access the free wifi, but it took me like four really involved tries.

But the worst, worst was that I ordered wine. No one orders wine here, but I did because if I order beer -- which I love, seriously -- I have to pee more than I already always do, and so it's just not a feasible proposition. So I ordered my favorite summer wine (pinot grigio) and sat down and wrestled with logins and got up and running, goosebumps and all, and held my non-hip-head high, and took a sip of the wine and almost spit it out.

It had turned.

On principle, I was going to have to bring it back to the counter. Not because I had paid a whopping three dollars for it (happy hour), but because it was, quite literally, undrinkable. And, well, I wanted wine. I really, really didn't want to be the girl it was going to make me, though: the tragically unhip, white, chubby yuppie hiding in the cafe from her cleaning people who shouldn't have ordered a glass of wine in the first place but who did and then had to return it because it wasn't good enough.

Oh good lord. Now the acoustic band has arrived.

Ultimately, I did what I had to do. I waited until everyone else in line had placed and gotten their orders before quietly going up to the now-that-you-mention-it-kinda-cute counter girl and began apologizing for having bad wine. She graciously opened a new bottle and told me it wasn't my fault, but I know the truth. Of course it's my fault.

Next thing you know, I'll be wearing sunglasses in my lobby.

* * * * * *
Addendum: this actually was written in real time. I'm sorry. Also, Ish just texted me that he'll be here in 8 minutes to pick me up (YAY! SO COLD!) but when I went to reply to him, I hit the wrong buttons. I meant to write "I am in THE window" but accidentally started punching "I am in RHE..." at which point my phone auto-completed the word. It thought I was trying to text the word "RHETORIC."


Seriously, I love language as much as the next English major, but does anyone out there really use the word "rhetoric" in TEXTS? Like, enough to warrant it being an auto-complete word? What sort of secret literary texting is going on out there, anyway?


  1. ohmygod, i thought i was the only person who ordered wine in venues where everyone else is ordering beer.

    and i'm hesitant to hire a cleaning service because i'll actually have to pick up all my piles of crap...right? can't really ask them to clean around them, can i??

  2. I feel the same way about people in my house--nothing like chatting it up with the carpet cleaners to make you feel like a bad hostess.

  3. I always try to go into the other room and make myself as small as possible, hoping they don't notice me. I have not yet crawled into a closet to hide, but it's been very, very tempting.

  4. the worst for me used to be the pest control guy. He'd always show up at 9 when I was working from home and still in (skimpy) pjs and unshowered.

    I text the word "rhetoric" from time to time, but it's what my PhD is in. I don't know why anyone else would.

  5. Oh mah GAWD!

    1. So, so, so glad you're back (I typed "black" first - haha). Will be holding you to the "blogging every day for a month" thing, too.

    2. I do not have a real cleaning person but I do have my mother who still comes over to do my laundry every two weeks (and yes, I'm a full grown ass married mother).

    3. I hate taking things back when they're yucky or wrong. That's what husbands (and Ish, I assume) are for.

    4. Did I mention that I'm glad your back - I'm not cool enough to attend BlogHer but I want to hear all about the lube.

  6. Sophia, really, I am the most not-cool person on planet Earth and I rock BlogHer like it's my birthday. Go. Find me. We'll drink and talk about blogs and life.

    K- "I don't understand anyone's t-shirt" is a t-shirt. This post was beauty ("four really involved tries"...lol, dear lord why do we live on opposite coasts????. ;)

    Hope vacation was good, but selfishly glad you're back and writing.

  7. Je ne comprende pas

    No matter never mind

  8. Bwahahaha! This was hilarious, and caused me to giggle like a little girl the entire way through the post. Also, maybe to make me want to visit somewhere where it's 49 degrees, rather than 99. Welcome back, and what a funny kickoff post that was!

  9. OMG, I thought I was the only one to react the way you described. I almost always come home for lunch, but not every other Tuesday when the cleaning people might be there because they come in the morning but not always at exactly the same time. The absolute worst was the day I had to stay home with my son because he was sick, ON CLEANING DAY. I huddled in the family room with him and told the cleaning people to stay out of the family room and just do the rest of the house. I'm sure they thought I was nuts.

  10. I so feel the same way about having anyone I don't know (or those that I do, for that matter) in my house. I don't know what it is but I suddenly just want to go run and hide or make myself really busy! I've toyed with the idea of getting a cleaning person, but I just can't get past having people I don't know clean my house and being around my stuff...

  11. Oh, yes, back in our pre-kid two-income days we had a cleaning service.

    And if I ever happened to be at home (usually because I was sick) when they were there I would hide in the basement.

    I am so with you on the I-don't-know-how-to-interact-with-someone-I-am-paying-to-be-at-my-house.

  12. You crack me up, lady. I always feel like I'm sneaking a decadent snack when I'm reading your blog. So super-glad you are back! It was great meeting you at the conference...

  13. first: I loooooove you.
    ( just had 5 glasses of wine, but that is ok, because it is nighttime here - admittedly, wednesday night, but pft! wine is good)
    2nd: I once texted a friend who was complaining about her multiple jobs. I said "Oh! How horrible! I complain endlessly about my life, but at least I'm not juggling three LOBSTERS." The phone filled it in and I couldn't bare to change it. WHO WRITES ABOUT LOBSTERS?!?

    and welcome back, gorgeous!
    - Maddy

  14. That was awesome. Loved the real time posting. I only like people in my house who are invited as guests, not service people. I feel that strange mix of obligation and guilt. I've never had a cleaning service though even the maids at the hotels invoke that feeling in me.

  15. Yay! Glad you're back! Great post!

  16. So glad you are back! I can't wait to read your blog EVERYDAY for a month. No pressure or anything

  17. Hey! I'm in SFO this week (don't worry, not a crazed stalker that things we should hang out in real life or anything) and it totally is reminding me of your post about the parking situation. I was not allowed to get a rental car because I'm working and staying downtown and parking is incredibly high...but then also, I'm from Dallas and hello, the temperature there is already in the 70s or above by 6 am. I was shivering outside the office building I'm working in this morning at 6:30 (uh, building doesn't open until 7 am - would have been nice to know) thinking, "Where the hell am I? Siberia?"

  18. Yeah, i'm sitting at home right now waiting for the gas man to show up and fix the hot water heater. I'm actually hoping that he doesn't have time to come today. You know, because having no hot water is so much better than having to deal with a service guy in my house. Though he's going to the basement and the basement is SUPPOSED to be a mess, right? RIGHT? Ugh.

  19. Last time my phone spelled for me it changed, "I'm having a fat day" to "I'm having a eat day."

    I did not appreciate the humor.

  20. I loved this post - welcome back! I am so like you with the entertaining of the service people. It makes TheBoy shake his head at me when I go about offering a cold glass of iced tea to the cable guy, or the alarm guy or... Well you get the picture.

    Of course my crazy also extends to being afraid of "strangers". One day I'll post about the time I sat in my car, for an HOUR, because I was too afraid to walk up these steps onto a tennis court to take a lesson (with my friends who were already up there) because I was too self-conscious to walk ALONE into a large group of strangers.

    Wow. On second thought maybe I shouldn't admit that ever.

    Also, I recently thought about the whole blogging every day for 30 days thing but then was disappointed to learn that NaBloPoMo wasn't until November. Maybe I'll be a rebel like you and do my own month!

  21. Glad to see your back! Can't wait to read blogs every day for a month from you. Your blog cracks me up!

  22. Kristy really missed your blog but know you had seventyjillion distractions w/BlogHer, etc. I will also look forward to 30 days of Kristy's sense-o-humor.

    I actually have a friend make a fake emergency call on my cell when The Cleaning Nazi is in da house. Warped, right?

  23. My text messaging not only has auto complete, but it tries to "guess" what your next word will be without even a letter entered. My friend had messaged me that she had fed my daughter without a bib and I was trying to let her know it was no big deal... I never use one either. I put in:

    That's ok... and they "predicted" my next word to be "poppy".... so I went with it. Confused the heck out of my friend. Told her it was her knew nickname... as per the sage text prediction.


  24. Oh my God, I SO would have thought the same thing about the rhetoric thing. Also, I HATE it when service people come to my house. I feel like I'm being a bad host if I leave the room they're in, but I go hide anyway.

  25. Ha ha! This post is sooooo hilarious! I am STILL laughing. Mainly because I do all of these same things.

  26. 1. I feel similarly uncomfortable with people in my house. I always find myself offering them water.. it's so WEIRD

    2. I have actually typed rhetoric in an email. *blush*... though I am more likely to type rhetorical than rhetoric.

  27. I really hate it when I forget the day I scheduled the house cleaner, and the house is a mess. Do you pre-clean for the cleaners also?

    I love the live blogging...so hilarious! You must be in the Tenderloin with wine that bad, though.

    Rhetoric as a text? I'm still laughing over that one.

  28. There's a monthly NABLOPOMO, arranged by Eden Kennedy herself (who clearly does not sleep, just sits around all day and has great ideas and acts on them.)


    (Also, my captcha - CAPTCHA! - word below is "vefuavly", which I find very mellifluous and somehow amusing and a little how I sound when drunk.)

  29. Oh yes... I have the same problem with "the help"... (painters, plumbers, heating guy)I feel like I should get them blankets, bake them cookies... make them comfortable. What's up with that?

  30. This could have been me. Seriously. Well, except I can't afford a cleaning service. But, if I did, and they were still there when I got home, I would immediately run the other way before they saw me. (I don't even feel comfortable letting my friends see my mess. Strangers? Shudder.) The unsavory neighborhood is very familiar, too. Though my problem is that if I am walking about at night, people assume I am a hooker. So wish I was kidding. Anyway, this long ramble is here because I wanted to tell you that I also think you are awesome. I had an amazing time at BlogHer and I can't wait for next year.

  31. omg that was a so funny post and it was just the thing to start a Monday. I sort of got over the whole strangers in the house thing when we remodeled and there were people here all the time. I was working then and just left people I didn't know alone in my home. When I think about it now it sort of freaks me out. We had a cleaning service once, but I had problems leaving them alone in my house with my stuff. After the remodel I just couldn't have them back. They used Fabulosa cleaning product and I would bristle when I got out of my car in the garage. I could smell it out there...and well, let's say I don't use that cleaning product at all ever.


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