with friends you get oreos

I’m housesitting. It seems in the recent past I’ve become the single girl who house and baby-sits. I knew a girl like me when I was 25, she was 32, I didn’t like the look of her life- working to be a teacher and paying her debts by housesitting and babysitting. Even if she did housesit for some famously rich people, I didn’t like the look of that aspect of her life. And yet…

My friend L. and her husband live -in my mind- in Egypt. It takes 30 minutes, $1.25 in tolls and a lot of gas to get to their house. And my life- is in the city. (I’ve told L. this so if she reads it she’ll know I still love her). It is soul sucking to drive this far away from humanity. And yet, humanity is creeping toward them. They have everything you’re cheesed out, chain store heart could want. You name it (TGIFridays) they’ve (Barnes and Noble) got (Babies R Us) it (Outback).

I hate the one main road aspect of suburbs, the endless traffic, the siding, the siding, the siding, the Wal-Mart, the siding and the utter uncityness of it all. In my perfect world, there would be city and there were be country and suburbs would not exist. My perfect world does not exist- yet.

What’s strange about house-sitting for your friends is that you know this person very well, might have even slept over before, but now, their house is yours. You pretend that the deer head in the living room is your deer head. Wait, no, actually you don’t. You watch TV nonstop because their 42-inch TV with surround sound seems better than your 32 inch TV with surround sound. Plus they have On Demand and so you have to watch like 10 movies before they get back.

And you eat their food. As a food lover, this part is fun. Except L. does not really “cook” and therefore there is nothing to “work” with in her kitchen. Even though I’m single, my fridge is packed with things, ready at any moment to host a dinner party (even though I never do). L.’s fridge on the other hand has a cheese drawer with a Costco amount of processed cheese (for the dog), pre-shredded cheese and some deli meat (ham I believe). There is also some flat ginger ale, yogurt, pudding cups, applesauce cups, beer, a few potatoes, half a red pepper, a bag a carrots, a questionable cucumber and a door of condiments. (Did I mention that I love L. because I do, I love her). What can I do with this stuff? I could make something. I could, but that would require opening things that have not been opened and using all of something that there is only one of. That is the thing about housesitting, you get to eat the food, but there are rules about it. So, I’ve feasted on eggs and toast (forgot the eggs in the fridge list) and Oreos. The one good thing L. does is stock Oreos in a cookie jar (because she doesn’t really bake either) and I am now addicted to Oreos.

It’s strange to have a friend whom you adore and with whom you’ve shared many a meal and yet their kitchen essentials look nothing like your kitchen essentials. And so I wonder how it is that we are friends at all. Maybe it’s that I feed her, literally, and she feeds me, emotionally. Somehow, somewhere there is balance. There always is, or at least there’s Oreos.

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