Blanket Apology

Growing up, I lived in a house with a minimum of 3-4 animals at a time. My mom was always taking in animals, and at one point even had a room with over 100 bearded dragons. Seriously.

Having friends over was stressful and required hours of prep work; vacuuming up hair, lighting smelly candles, lint-rolling couches, moving furniture to hide chewed wall corners. It sounds so silly and frivolous, but as an insecure teenager, I was hyper-aware that I wasn’t pretty, I didn’t have any money, and my house smelled like a wet zoo.

Apologizing to friends who would wake up covered in cats, or replacing a pair of chewed up glasses or missing underwear was standard.

These days, the pee I’m scrubbing last minute belongs to a kid, the food scattered about is from lunch, and the clumps of hair everywhere are my own. It’s semantics.

I had a old, old friend come to stay yesterday, and it was a hectic few days of prep work; running around cleaning up messes, putting out fires, and repeatedly asking Andy…does it smell like puke in here, or is it just my own sweaty smell like, bouncing off the air back into my face?

Before I had dinner on the table, Gigi had her underwear off, Wyatt had told three jokes where the punchline was just a fart noise, and Jude replied to every statement with “I don’t want to hear your crock story.”

Perhaps my house needs a disclaimer, a blanket apology to preempt the offenses that will befall you should you chose to be my friend and come over to my house for dinner or sleepovers?

There will be pee somewhere in my house and you will touch it, at some point, whether you know it or not. Gigi is potty training, and we’re not awesome at it. She thinks panties are stupid and I agree. You are free to like underwear here and even wear it, but if you step on a wet spot just shout “The roof is leaking!” which is code for, ugh, get the fucking carpet spray.

That hole in the wall? That’s from a Tonka Truck. That one over there? A light saber. Yes, I could paint over it, or I could wait until they go to college and stop throwing shit at each other.

We don’t get Wyatt’s jokes either, his punchlines are either the logical answer to his question, or a body noise. However, his timing is impeccable, so laugh anyways.

Remember 1984 when Madonna performed Like A Virgin on stage, and humped the ground in a wedding dress. Yeah, Gi kinda does that, I have no idea where she learned it, probably from Andy, but she’s off to pre-school at a Catholic school next year, so she’ll either stop doing it entirely, or get really, really awesome at it.

I make way too much food. I also eat way too much food. It’s fine if you don’t, but I’ll be getting seconds.

See above, and replace the word food with the word wine.

Outfit changes are standard. Gigi will change dresses no less than 30 times a day, and I will often follow suit, changing from my fancy schmancy jeans to a pair of leggins and an off the shoulder 80’s shirt. I’ll act like I had no idea it was a flash dance shirt when I bought it, but I totally knew.

What the Beals!? Just kidding. I have this in three colors.

I am equal parts passionate about the Middle East and So You Think You Can Dance, bring your A game.

You will probably find something in the couch cushions. It could be food, it could be a dollar, it could be a diaper; it’s like a giant Cracker Jack box where almost all the prizes suck. I would say maybe keep your hands on your lap.

Andy and I will both bicker and grab ass in front of you. It’s completely inappropriate.

Jude is crazy smart and asks questions that he knows you either don’t know the answer to, or that will purposefully make you crazy uncomfortable. Like, what’s the scientific composition of the dwarf planet Pluto? Or, how do tampons work? He’s either going to be a brilliant scientist or an obnoxious reporter like that British guy who interviewed Michael Jackson after he almost dropped his baby off the balcony.

We use Charades as a coping mechanism for awkward silence. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s that we’re all collectively bad with feeeeelings.

How’s your dad? Oh you buried him last week after a long battle against blood cancer?

3 words. A movie. On Golden Pond? Gentlemen Prefer Blondes? DIRTY DANCING 2!

So, within 3 hours of arrival, Andy had fallen over himself apologizing to our guests at least 800 times, and I just stood at the counter with a glass of wine in my hand and laughed. Which is probably exactly what my mother did all those years ago.

These crazy, naked, offensive people are my tribe, and I love the hell out of our weirdness.


Facebook Comments



  1. David says

    I’ll be there Wednesday at 7. Should I bring red or white? Scratch that. Dumb question. Both. Oh, and I don’t like blue cheese.

  2. Gabriella says

    Sounds EXACTLY like my house. My youngest dude just figured out that if he touches his penis enough it gets big. So he does this ALL DAY. Gosh I love living with ALL BOYS! (including my Husbands best friend who moved in with us). Send more wine please..

  3. Jessica says

    Sounds suspiciously like my house….except I have teenagers, and the punch line usually involved the word balls.
    But, my friends (the people I love to spend time with) love an invite for dinner, or even just dessert.
    The first time we have a newbie over, we issue ur standard “Sorry, but you’ll notice the sign that says WELCOME TO CRAZY TOWN when you forts walked in, it’s there for a reason!”
    My kids are crazy, my dogs are a dirty hairy mess, and I will divorce my husband at least once during dinner. (I believe my record is 10 times during one dinner)

  4. says

    It’s official. You’ve made me totally homesick now.
    And perhaps also clarified to me why nobody comes
    to visit us anymore….ever. (5 teenagers who think
    the words ‘balls’ and ‘fart’ are the most genius
    contributions to the English language.)

      • Desera says

        LOL my 15 yo daughter told me yesterday that if a bra is called an “over the shoulder boulder holder”, then men’s underwear should be called an “under the butt nut hut”. I died! I hadn’t heard that one before and it really hit my funny bone!

        • Brittany says

          I just LOL’ed and almost said it out loud, but stopped myself. Because it would take ONE TIME of my boys hearing the phrase Under The Butt Nut Hut and I would hear it FOREVER.

    • Brittany says

      This is true, I would rather just go somewhere so I would have to do nothing, and then the only internal conflict I have is whether or not I want to wear a real bra or a comfy nursing bra.

  5. says

    Yes. Fuck yes. Brittany, you are all of the things that are right. Only I have pets AND a kid, so there’s dog hair and fucking cheerios and spoons and rocks and probably vomit all over the place, and I get to the point where I just can’t apologize anymore. This is it. My house is trashed, I alternate uppers and downers, (I’m totally referring to caffeine and alcohol, duh), and I let the little assholes watch too much TV. The end.

    • Brittany says

      Sometimes I sit here and think, when is the last time I shut the tv off? Like, even just for background noise, it’s always on.

  6. someone has to ask says

    so… all that talk about pets growing up, but no mention of your own mysteriously disappearing Dane (or the pug)? why so mute on the dog situation?

  7. Debbie B. says

    Can I come over? My kids are all grown up and I miss the chaos. No apologies needed – your kids, your house and you sound PERFECT to me – and full of love and fun!

  8. Tawny says

    I have that house that looks clean but is really hiding dirty little secrets.

    I also make way to much food and push the leftovers on everyone, when secretly I want to save them for myself and eat them all when they have left.

    • Brittany says

      Ok I kinda have that, also. To the naked eye, my house looks somewhat put together, and just a touch messy. But in reality, it’s a house of cards. Dirty, dirty cards.

      Also, I push everyone to eat EVERYTHING because I know if I save it, I’ll never eat it, and I won’t clean out the plastic container in time before it’s super moldy and I finally get too grossed out and have to throw the whole thing away.

      • Tawny says

        That is why I buy the cheap GLAD containers and or save takeout containers.
        I am obsessed that plastic containers and cup always have a smell. I can’t drink out them anymore. Or what about the mysterious stains? OMG puke.

        BTW – total sidenote – washed my hands with apple scented soap the other day and all I could think of was APPLEY VAGINAS from one your posts. ; )

        • Brittany says

          Appley Vaginas will be the name of my perfume, should I ever create one. What shall the bottle look like?!

        • Brittany says

          OH! Or maybe a band name. Yes, like an all girl band. Gah, I have so much hypothetical planning to do.

  9. says

    This is why I love you – my tribe is exactly like this only all girls. And we have to have social workers over every once in a while. Good times.

  10. says

    Seriously. I thought everyone lived like this. I’m not sure I want to know people that don’t. I will see all of this and raise you a pile of laundry in the living room so high my four year old can hide in it and I can’t find him until he either jumps out or starts yelling for me.

    • Brittany says

      OK if you say you don’t fold it and just leave it there until it’s all eventually picked through and worn? I’m sending you a friendship bracelet.

      • says

        This weekend David pulled a pair of underwear from the bottom of the pile, waved them victoriously in the air, and yelled “SCORE!” Does that answer your question?

  11. says

    Can I come visit? Great, I’ll be there Thursday.
    My son watches TV almost constantly, our dining room table is where I stick the clean laundry when I don’t want to fold it and put it away yet (we use that as our new closet until there are about three items left, which I’ll then put away), there’s a mysterious crusty stain in the corner of our living room that I think is cat vomit, and my son is usually in snow boots, a diaper, and throwing something at someone.
    Thank God I am not the only mom like this. THANK. FREAKING. GOD.

    • Brittany says

      I heard once of this woman doing a “family closet,” and at first that concept weirded me out, mostly because it sounded a little polygamist compoundy. But now that I think about it, it’s BRILLIANT. All our things in ONE closet, organized by person? No more carrying shit to different rooms? YES PLEASE.

  12. says

    Last time we threw a party at our house, one of our guests found a dinosaur-shaped chicken nugget squished inbetween some books on a shelf. We haven’t had dino chicken nuggets in ages. Ages!

    • Brittany says

      Was it hard like a fossil? SEE WHAT I DID THERE!?

      I always get grossed out by how not-gross old chicken nuggets are. They always look as awesome as the day I made them…no matter how old they are.

  13. Loren Bell says

    I think I’ll just email this to anyone who plans a visit . . . and also? Keep a copy by the front door for unexpected guests. Seriously, you could just change the names and this is OUR HOUSE. Except that Jimmy doesn’t apologize. He thinks we live in a mansion because there’s like, running water and no motorcycles in the living room. Oh, and food. There’s lots of that.

  14. says

    OMG, your home is just like mine… only if you visit right now you will not only see muddy pet prints across our floors but blood too because our little puppy just started her period for the first time. I have my seven year old son asking why the puppy is bleeding and should we take her to the Dr. My nearly ten year old daughter is totally grossed out about the whole thing and my sixteen year old daughter is trying to fabricate a doggy pad/tampon that might make her more comfortable. My house is our home and we have moments where we look like a “normal”, healthy and hygienic family but then we have days like today :k

    You keep me smiling Brittany… you are awesome!

    • Miranda says

      Doggy diapers are the way to go! They are ridiculously priced but they save you a bit of clean up… but then you have kids so scratch that. Have them clean and buy more wine with the diaper money!

    • Sarah says

      Little boys underwear. Seriously, put it on backwards, put the tail through the hole in the front, and slap a maxipad in there. As a bonus, you can get fun character ones like batman or sponge bob.

  15. sheya says

    My 3 year old does the blanket humping thing too. At school. I told her it’s for at home when she’s alone. So she did it in her room for like an hour the other day. (sigh)

  16. says

    You were raised in my house! And it didn’t ruin you! Phew. You seriously have no idea what a weight off my chest that is. :) I will henceforth stop putting money into a therapy fund for the children, and instead buy lots of wine.

    • Brittany says

      I read once that we shouldn’t be putting money away for our kid’s college and instead should invest it in our retirement. I just always assumed “schooling” meant “therapy” and “retirement” meant “tab.”

  17. says

    I have a sign in my mud room. It says: Nevermind the dogs, beware the kids
    I think that about sums it up. I love those little weirdos though.
    The other sign, which hangs above my mud room door on the inside (so that we see it whenever we answer the door) is “Remember, as far as anyone knows we’re a nice, normal family”.

    • Brittany says

      It’s definitely hilarious to talk about at gatherings. And it’s made me a more interesting person today, and by interesting, I mean odd.

  18. says

    My house is full of dog hair and random items shoved any place we can shove them. Once we moved a set of storage drawers away from our couch and we found a very dark brown soda stain on our cloth accordion blinds that had been hidden. We have no idea how long that stain has been there or who dumped their soda. The stain is still there. We just like to ignore it. Also, my mother in law once opened the cupboard door where we shove all of our papers. It was like it was booby trapped. As soon as she opened the door it was like an avalanche of mail and kid projects. She was not amused. I laughed. She has not opened a cupboard door in our house since.

  19. Kristina says

    We’re waiting to change the carpet until our 6, 3, and 1 year olds are out of the dumping, spilling, smooshing stage. Sooo. We’ll probably have this carpet till they’re all out of the house. Also, we need to repaint. Our walls have artsy shadows where the kids have gotten into markers and the color just didn’t come off completely. We also need new blinds in the boys’ room, a new shower curtain in the bathroom, many new pens, a new package of pancake mix, a new gallon of milk, a new pack of spaghetti noodles (uncooked), new keys on the laptop keyboard, a new tv remote… I wish there were such a thing as kidsurance.

  20. says

    My rule is, “If you want to see me, come over any time. If you want to see my house, give me 6 month’s notice.” But we all know that even with 6 months notice, things won’t be perfect so my daughter bought me a sign that hangs in the foyer. It says, “My house was clean yesterday. Sorry you missed it.” Funny how that little sign has relieved so much worry! Now, instead of freaking out, I simply point to the sign.

  21. Big Girl says

    We have 4 kids, 3 turtles, and a dog in a 1400 sq foot house. We try to keep stuff off the floor, but we’ve given up on the stains, wall gouges, and the persistent weird smell in the front bathroom. We figure we can deal with it when the kids go off to college. Oddly, though, our home is the place everyone likes to visit. Our families, our friends, and our neighbors are always dropping by for a “quick visit.” We may not have the nicest or cleanest house, but we’ve certainly got the house with the most love.

    • Brittany says

      You reminded me of something. When I hit high school, my friends and I spent every weekend at my house, mostly outside having bonfires, but still, always there.

      I asked my mom about it before and she said it must be because everyone just felt comfortable, maybe messy and real is more comfortable than struggling to keep up with mounds of housework.

      • Big Girl says

        Right?? I don’t remember sleeping over at my friends’ houses very much. But we had company EVERY weekend. Now, as adults, we don’t do a lot of visiting other folks. But we have someone visiting us every weekend. Luckily my husband and I have similar backgrounds and we are both used to it. We love our life.

  22. Kristen @ The Chronicles of Dutch says

    I love this and I love you!!! Must be the NW Ohio thing… My childhood was exactly the same. Dog hair, weird smells etc. besides the anxiety over people coming over it was the best :)

  23. Trish says

    There are three rules at my home for all visitors:
    1) You can visit, cause you know you’ll get dinner AND a show.
    2) You can look around see something that needs to be done and do it.
    3) You can leave. There are 3 doors and MANY windows in which this choice can be accomplished.

    Our home is party central and no one has ever taken me up on rule 2 or 3.

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