Originally published in the August 2016 edition of 605 Magazine.
At the very moment of this writing, I could be the poster-child for stress eating.
Are you familiar with the term stress eating? If not, don’t worry. I’m an expert. Simply put, it’s eating while stressed. Or, eating to relieve stress. Or, just using stress as an excuse to consume something ravenously you normally wouldn’t. Today, I just ate three Flyboy donuts in a row practically without breathing or blinking. And I’d do it again. Without an ounce of guilt.
You see, our house is up for sale. I know. We are fools. Fools filled with folly, I tell you. I guess we thought; “Hey we have two young children, an 150-pound shedding dog, why not just throw another log on this already blazing fire of chaos? Let’s move! People do it all the time!”
And here I am today, stress-eating donuts at an increasingly dangerous and alarming rate. I think I can actually feel my blood starting to make a sharp left into DiabetesVille as the sugary frosting keeps hitting my palette. Why do people move all the time?, I keep asking myself with every bite. Everyone with “For Sale” signs in your yard; WHY? Selling a home is stressful. It’s the ultimate form of putting yourself out there for all the world to see while living in a glass case of emotion and cleanliness.
I know just by my very limited experience of house shopping that maintaining a clean, tidy, organized abode is the first step in selling your house. The potential buyers have to be able to see themselves in the house, and I’m pretty sure any potential buyer does not want to envision themselves in an apple-sauce smeared, loud toy-infested, crumb-inhabited (featuring a wine room) home. So, we have staged our home in such a way to appear as though it is a stalwart sparkly, white cabinet, vacuum-striped oasis. However, keeping it in such a state has proven to be a feat akin to harnessing a tornado in a delicate butterfly net.
Just yesterday we had two showings of our home. And while in Real Estate land, that is really good news, in my parenting land, that is a nightmare boiled over with a scent of bleach on top. A showing for us means that we have to leave the house looking as if not a one of us lives there. Not a one. So, this means, not one shred of laundry can be on the floor, toilet and mirrors needs to shine like the sun, handprints on windows must be banished, all toys must be hidden and silent, and one giant dog must be loaded into the car without a shred of hair remaining in the house. It sounds, like a piece of cake to some. But for me, implementing this strategy is proving to be … strenuous.
The first showing was in the morning, so I prepped the house the night before. That way, when the children arose, I could just do a quick cleaning and final vacuum before we left.
All was going according to plan, until, of course, the children woke up. My daughter’s room suddenly looked like someone had ransacked it and her water from the night before got dumped all over the carpet. My even-tempered baby boy dumped the entire contents of an unlocked cabinet on the floor while I attempted to make a quick breakfast before the showing. Suddenly, he was sitting in a pool of glass cleaner he somehow unscrewed and poured out. This all happened within 10 minutes of them waking. Then, at breakfast, his entire breakfast also went on the floor. And it just so happened, that was the day Edison the Newfoundland dog decided to not want to eat the scraps off the ground forcing me to clean the entire floor. Rude. The children started to try to help me clean the glass doors, only to cause a streaky mess and sopping paper towels.
Sweating, running and still in my pajamas, I started to load the children in the car at 8:58 a.m. with the showing scheduled for 9 a.m. True to form in a stressful time, both kids decided to erupt into panicked screams. Then, again with the rudeness, Edison the giant canine refused to jump in the car. Staring at me with stubborn brown eyes, he challenged me; “Just try to lift me into this car, Mom.”
We did it all over again a few hours later.
So far, no one has bought our house. So, I guess weight gain and stress eating it is!