Sneaky Houseguests

My houseguests left yesterday. I’ve never had sneakier houseguests. Those two raise it to an art-form. Absolutely shameless. I have to keep an eye on them continually. Every chance they get, they sneak off to Wal-mart and haul in tons of loot. As soon as my back is turned, they hide it around the house. I found my favorite cookies in the pantry, giant Tide in the laundry, two giant Cascades under the sink, two bathrooms packed with toilet paper and my favorite shampoo. An extra treat was my favorite conditioner, and some Red Poppy soap. My refrigerator is about to pop right open. Fruit everywhere (including in the new fruit bowl that just appeared). Diapers and wipes in the baby’s room. Foil and ziplocs in the kitchen drawers. Obviously, they had prepared in advance, since there were things from SamsClub (and there’s not one anywhere near here). Ten pounds of the “good” chocolate chips, plus pounds and pounds of cashews (which they know Lee loves). Fig-newtons everywhere. Paper-towels. Clothes. Cash.

I found cash on the washer (with a sweet note). I tell them firmly that we’re not in college anymore, that we’re doing “ok”. Very “ok” actually, certainly enough to enjoy having houseguests. They nod, and smile. They look around, clearly taking mental notes for their next visit. I would love my parents even if they weren’t the Sneakiest Houseguests on Earth.


In this day and age, so many parents are under constant pressure to help their kids long after they leave the roost. Assistance in buying a house or getting out of debt, or even just paying the bills.

I'm assuming that you don't demand parental welfare. If that is true, then perhaps they enjoy just helping out. Giving always beats receiving, unless it is mandated (i.e. taxes).

King of Fools | 03/29/2004 - 06:37 PM

I couldn't stop them at gunpoint :)

I'm sure its a hold-over from college. When we'd been married about a year, my grandmother suddenly took ill and died. She had been the day-time caretaker for my grandfather, allowing my parents to both work yet keep my grandfather at home.

My husband, who really does think outside the box, pointed out "our apartment lease is up, we'll just quit our jobs, move to your home-town, I'll go grad-school and work, and we'll be near enough to help-out your parents". Two weeks later we were living in a different state. I would NEVER have thought of taking such drastic action so quickly. I'm a "plan-it-months-in-advance" kinda girl. Of course, he also convinced an administrator to admit him to an intensive grad-program the day before classes started. THAT still boggles my mind.

We were living in my parents house, while they moved into my grandparents house. They didn't want to move my grandfather. Obviously, they still had keys to their house. My father used them with abandon. Groceries seemed to just spontaneously "grow" in the refrigerator.

The sneakiest part was when he would go through the mail, picking out bills. Utility, phone, etc. It took us awhile to catch on. My father is such a normal person otherwise. You'd never suspect him of being a criminal mastermind :)

Lucy | 03/30/2004 - 02:08 PM

I was reading a book called the Millionaire Mindset. Its a fabulous book! I would recommend it to every single person I know.

But, anyway. It talks about how parents are under pressure to help their children financially and how they aren't really "helping" them in the long-run. If you get them out of debt, and their spending habits don't change, they'll just be in debt again in a few years. Or, if you help them buy a house, they'll still be responsible for the upkeep and "fitting in" to the neighborhood which may be more than they can afford (even if you pay for the house outright). Helping people is tricky.

Lucy | 03/30/2004 - 02:18 PM

I think that's great that your parents do that. Both my parents and my in-laws do that sort of thing, it makes them feel good, and it makes me feel special! Very cool...

Sheilah | 03/31/2004 - 06:41 PM

I just noticed that all the kitchen knives have been sharpened. Wonder how that happened. Hmmm. Must have been elves :)

Lucy | 03/31/2004 - 11:55 PM
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