The Rachel Files: Week 7 and the real cost of toilet paper

Photo credit: Heather Cowper

Photo credit: Heather Cowper

So I mentioned at the end of my last entry that my house suffered under the care of my temporary roommate, Rachel, while I was gone for four days to a conference. I’m not even going to get into what happened with my dog, son, and elderly parents while I was gone, because none of these are connected to her. Suffice it to say that lately, my little world seems to fall apart if I’m not around, temporary roommate or not.

Shortly upon my return from the conference, the basement toilet overflowed after I took a shower in the first floor bathroom. Not good. I called a plumber – the kind with a machine that jets water into clogged sewer lines with laser-like intensity. You all probably remember Rachel’s fondness for toilet paper. I’m sure you can all make the connection. The plumber guessed that a tree root caught the toilet paper and clogged the line.

Well, it’s clear now, and I’m several hundred dollars lighter. Bless her heart, Rachel is going to help pay for the high-tech sewer enema, but still . . . If I hadn’t already decided she needed to live somewhere else, this would have clinched it.

We had that discussion a few days before I left on my trip. I explained that I felt she needed to live somewhere where people are home more often and can keep track of her more, and that it would be good for her to live with someone who has a better understanding of her condition(s). Also, my son has not adjusted to her presence very well. Just before Rachel moved in, my situation changed (or more like my ex-husband’s situation changed) and the amount of time my son stays with me increased. If I had known that was going to happen, I doubt I would have agreed to the arrangement. But it was too late by that point.

The good news is, I am TOTALLY cured of my half-empty nest syndrome. In fact, I may never let anyone stay in my house again (smirk). Plus, I am learning first-hand about the ravages of mental illness and how crappy some of the medications are.

Word is out now to other members of my church that Rachel needs another place to stay (that’s how I found out about her plight in the first place), so I hope the situation will change in a few weeks.

But, guess who has another work trip coming up in a few days? It just never ends. . . .

The Rachel Files: Weeks 2 & 3 and the Toilet Paper Summit Meeting

English: Toilet paper, orientation "over&...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Week two with my temporary roommate, Rachel, went all right. The awkwardness of the first week was past and we had the major things worked out. Nothing too noteworthy happened, other than some excessive cleaning. But that’s okay. My house could benefit from some OCD care. Rachel even vacuumed the heater registers, something I hadn’t touched in the 13 years I’ve lived here.

Week three brought with it the realization that Rachel uses a lot of toilet paper. We’re talking a roll-per-day habit. My son and I use a roll per week, if that. Do you know how expensive toilet paper is? I called a small summit meeting about that. It went well. Rachel agreed to buy a supply to keep up with her habit.

Rachel’s cleaning efforts started to get more over-the-top, to the point that when I brought out a decorative fall garland and was starting to playfully cover my son with it, the first thing out of her mouth was, “Do you want me to wash that?” Silly me didn’t even know such a thing was possible, but she assured me it was. I let her know she could dust it, but that washing wasn’t necessary.

We had an agreement from the start to keep our food separate unless told otherwise. This is especially important since I have food intolerances. However, my son’s snacks seem to be disappearing. These include Oreos and cashews. I suspect another summit meeting is in order.