Directions for a three-showing Saturday

By Mir
March 31, 2007

Get up. Remind children not to touch anything. Encourage them to play on the computer, as that involves moving only a chair and a mouse.

Bake triple-berry muffins, because it makes the house smell good. (“Mmmmm, this house smells great. Let’s buy it!”) Feed muffins to children for breakfast. Argue with one boychild who would rather have a pop-tart than a freshly-baked muffin wherein the berries are—horrors!!—still identifiable. Try to reason with him. Try to cajole him. Dare him to taste the muffin. Lose temper and call him a freak. Tell him you told him so when he finally tries it and declares it good.

Shower. Get dressed. Have children get dressed. Make all the beds. Arrange all the towels just so. Go dry hair. Discover children messing up the towels. Yell. Catch yourself, stop yelling. Rearrange towels.

Send children off with their father for the day. Load dishwasher. Leave house.

Call several friends from the car. All are busy. Chide them for not planning their lives around you. Drive to consignment store. Wait in car for it to open. When it opens, drop off bag of clothing. Look for clothes for the girlchild. Pick a few things. Look for clothes for the boychild. Pick a few things. Look for clothes for self. Come across that shirt you saw last month and decided you didn’t need, decide its mysterious reappearance after being gone the last time you were here means that fate wants you to have this shirt. Try on some pants. Pick up some pajamas. Chat with other patrons about the hoochie-mama clothing rampant in your daughters’ sizes.

Head to checkout. Pay for purchases with store credit, congratulating self on not spending any money.

Return to your car. Check watch; realize you’ve killed less than an hour.

Decide to go to the Dunkin Donuts beyond your next stop for a bagel, because this will take more time. Get stuck in traffic. Be pleased. Finally get bagel. Drive to next errand location. Sit in the parking lot and eat half the bagel, noticing that not eating for four days has a way of reducing one’s appetite. Save second half of bagel for later.

Go inside store, inquire if they will process an internet order return. They will, but they will have a new associate do so for you. The good news is that this process takes at least an hour. The bad news is that said new associate’s brain explodes when she asks you for the reason for your return and you tell her that you thought you were ordering a bedspread and actually you are a moron, because this here is a bedskirt. There is no corresponding number code for this particular snafu. Finally you take pity on her and suggest she use the “item did not coordinate with my decor” code. (And it’s true. This item did not coordinate with the decor that requires a bedspread.)

Leave store with refund and a facial tic.

Sit in car, check email on your cell phone. Check watch; wish you could go home and take a nap.

Drive to another store. Look at shoes. Try on shoes. Wander around for a while. Leave without buying anything.

Drive to one more store. Look at shoes. Try on some pants. Look at sexy lingerie and realize that you are not at all in the mood to buy sexy lingerie. Buy the boychild some socks. Return to car. Check email again.

Realize you’re parked near another store that might be entertaining. Go inside. Small children are racing up and down the aisles and shrieking. Feel temple throb. Try to generate some interest in the clothing around you. Head for the clearance section. Find yourself constantly dodging a well-dressed man who appears to be waiting for his wife. While reading the bible. In the middle of the aisle.

Check watch. Return to car. Eat remaining half of bagel. Take a circuitous route home, rounding corner to discover… YES! The driveway is empty and the coast is clear. Pull into garage. Bound into the house with visions of napping dancing in your head.

Behold the mud of a thousand water buffaloes, or maybe just three house showings, upon your mudroom floor. And your kitchen floor. And all your other floors.


Call realtor. Leave him a detailed message about the sign you are making which directs all visitors to REMOVE THEIR SHOES, DAMMIT. Ask him to please call.

Clean up the mud. Curse while doing so, just to keep things entertaining.

Sit down and put feet up. Realize there is not enough time left to nap.


Make pizza dough.

Greet returning children. Allow them to play outside while dough rises.

Talk to realtor on phone. Gain his apologies and blessing for the sign. Add a few more exclamation points before taping it up.

Call children inside. Have them wash up and then surprise them with do-it-themselves mini-pizzas, batting nary an eyelash as shredded cheese falls to the floor. It’s nothing compared to the mud you just cleaned up.

Bake and eat pizzas. Be happy.

Until you remember that there are two more showings tomorrow.


  1. Kimberly

    Thank GOD I rent! Here’s hoping someone offers an obscene amount of money this weekend. (For the HOUSE! Get your mind out of the gutter! You didn’t buy the lingerie, remember?)

    As to the hoochie issue, may I recommend H& H if they have one? Adorable clothes that are grown up enough to suit the discerning fashiontweensta without being so grown up that her mama is wondering what the going rate on the street is these days.

  2. Heather

    Ah, good luck with all the home showing! I’ve only experienced it as a child/teen, not so much as the mother/homeowner – but I wish you oodles of luck.

  3. Cele

    Definately good shopping Karma. If it’s still there after I think about it for several weeks it was meant to be. Finding that it is there after having not been is shopping providence – buy and run.

    All that mud? ohhh I’d be so fuming I’d eat all the mini pizzas myself. I’m a pissed off eater. sheesh I’m just an eater

  4. girlymama

    What is wrong with people that they would walk around your house with muddy shoes? I hope your no-shoes sign is in flashing neon.

    I don’t think we’re moving. Ever.

  5. chris

    That’s it. Don’t let those rude people buy your house. That will teach them.

  6. Anna

    No shoe purchases? Slow shopping day without foot apparel purchase and muddy floors to boot. Tell the realtor you will let him clean the floors next time, assuming they make it past your exclamation points.

  7. LadyBug Crossing

    Oh… Mir… All that and you are probably still not feeling 100% yet… Rest…

  8. Lily

    eeeek. That is why I am not in a hurry to buy a house. That, and the fact that they cost eleventy bajillion dollars here in Southern California. I’m afraid to buy a house and then one day have to deal with selling it.

    Also for the next showing: big bookstores. Barnes & Noble has comfy chairs and couches where you can sit and read books that maybe you haven’t even bought yet. Also, it’s not a library but most people try to keep quiet anyway, just out of habit when they are around big stacks of books. Some even have coffee shops in them, too.

    Lastly, thank you for the pizza dough recipe. Not to sound wretched and ungrateful, but what of the muffins? :D

  9. Fairly Odd Mother

    We are not moving, ever! Seriously, I don’t think I could handle it!

    But, I think you may have inspired me to make muffins in the morning.

  10. MomCat

    Oh gosh….I knew there was a reason we have lived here forever. I can’t even imagine walking through someone’s house with muddy shoes!

    You were gracious to your kids for being so tired, frazzled and still a bit under the weather. What a great mom!

  11. Melanie Marie

    I’m in the place in my life where I am so happy that you caught yourself yelling about the towels and VERY impressed that you did the make-it-yourself pizzas with kids after all you have been through!

    You are an awesome mom!

  12. daring one

    I think you should cry again and then go sit in the spa parking lot and wait for it to open.

  13. Susan

    I had not thought about the people tracking in the mud.

    Then again, I’m still trying to figure out how my PAINTERS tracked in so much mud. Painters! No mud involved in painting! And yet! Mud everywhere.

  14. Co

    What if instead of the sign to remove shoes, you supply mops and cleaning supplies with a sign that says “Please wipe everything you touch.” Maybe they will think twice before tracking in the mud if they have to clean it up. Works for my kids.

  15. Doug

    In doing a Google search for The Hobbit I stumbled upon your article, Life is Complicated; So, too, are the Best Books, on the maya’s mom web site. Let me just say that reading that article made me stop, take a deep breath, and smile. I had forgotten what I was looking for. One of God’s greatest gifts to any child (aside from His Son, Jesus Christ) is the wholesome love and guidance of a good Mom (and a clean house).

  16. too tired to

    I to chastise friends for not being around when it fits my schedule.aaargh. I can’t believe people would wear muddy shoes let along just plain shoes in someone elses house. It would be their carpet they are treading on. I am surprised you didn’t finish your day with a zinfendel. That is what I would have done.

  17. Kristen

    Those BASTARDS! How dare they be so rude!

    That being said, Mir, I really, really, REALLY want to feel your pain but you did have THREE different showings in one day. I would KILL someone to have three different people look at my house in one day. They could even spread the mud on the walls if one of them would just buy the damn house already.

  18. hillz

    oh that sucks. i would never dream of tracking mud through someone elses house… we do a lot of open home looking and always always take our shoes off first, covered in mud or not.

    sounds like you have had the day from hell, im right there with you, having had no sleep at all last night for no reason whatsoever i fell asleep on the bus this morning, and woke up to some random guy stroking my hair.


  19. liz

    glad you’re feeling better, but dude, where’s the muffin recipe? here’s hoping the reason they tracked all the mud in was because it just felt like home and they’re going to buy the house!
    off to clean up spilled milk. in the crib. *sigh*

  20. Nancy

    I totally would have parked down the street from my house and napped there. I have no shame.

    I hope you’re feeling better and you get a super offer on the house!

  21. Krisco

    You did a great job. Hang in there. (oops, I have the vision of that silly cat in my head right now. What am I, from the ’70s?) Anyway, you did great, and sooner or later it will pay off.

  22. Marly

    Poor Mir having to clean up that mess. When we were selling our house, some jerk went up in the attic and fell through the ceiling!! After several rounds with the realtor and the faller’s insurance company, they fixed it.

  23. Melanie

    How rude – couldn’t they wipe their feet before coming in? The Realtor should have come and cleaned it up for you! But mini pizzas do make up for a lot of things.

  24. ailo


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