I'm sure you're already familiar with today's fabulous WWW guest since she's been on my site before. I featured her book when it was first released a few months ago and later on participated in her book tour. Once again, please welcome humorist Stacey Gustafson of Stacey Gustafson.com and author of "Are You Kidding Me?" to Meno Mama's blog!
I'm always excited to have this funny lady as a guest, not only because we are friends but because her writing is 100% relatable to me. When I met Stacey last April at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, we clicked immediately since we both share the same sense of wacky humor.
Today Stacey is sharing a story from her book, and it just so happens to be one of my favorites. Why? Because this story could have been written about my own family. At one point, there were six of us living in a 1,600 sq. foot home, and it was loud. VERY LOUD. I've read this story numerous times and it still makes me chuckle. I think you'll love it, too.
Please welcome this talented, funny friend of mine to Meno Mama's site today with lots of love!
MY FAMILY IS LOUD
Like fans at a Brazilian soccer match, my family is loud. I crave moments of silence, seeking times I can avoid the thunder, everyone talking at once, doors slamming, television blaring, kids fighting, general noise pollution.
Saturday morning, I peek at the clock; it’s 8:30 a.m. My daughter and son are sound asleep. Tiptoeing down the stairs, I start my morning ritual, I prepare coffee, grab a novel and plop on the sofa. All mine. A few blissful moments of silence. I crack open my book and begin to read the first page.
But wait. I tilt my head towards the staircase. You’ve got to be kidding. My husband should be sound asleep, he just returned from a week in Japan. And I am certain the kids will stay in bed until 11 a.m. since there are no activities scheduled for this weekend.
But there it is: Clomp, clomp, clomp. My husband decends quiet as a Clydesdale. He mumbles a weary, “Good morning,” and reaches for the object of his affection, the Cuisinart Brew Central 1200 Coffee Maker.
He shoves aside other appliances. Rattle, rattle, thunder, clatter, boom. Then he removes the coffee grinder from the cabinet, dumps in a cup of beans, pushes the top and whirls away. Like a buzz saw, the racket shatters the silence. After 15 seconds, he pushes the top down again for good measure. I cringe as he turns coffee beans into powder.
Clearing his throat, he says, “Want some?”
“No thanks. I’m fine.” Why are you so noisy!
He grabs the weekend paper, snapping the pages each time he finishes a section. Snap, crinkle, crinkle, hmmmmm. On it goes, page by torturous page, snap, crinkle, crinkle. He sighs to himself and attempts to engage me in conversation about one sports story after another. Trying to relax here, mister.
Still on page one of my novel, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog.
Thirty minutes later, like a herd of rhinos, my son and daughter stomp down the staircase in search of food. A fight erupts over cereal.
“Where’s the good cereal? What happened to the O’s?” my son asks.
Oh, please, not the Honey Graham O’s. On a noise-o-meter, it registers at 100 decibels, not recommended without earplugs.
He pours a big bowl, fakes to the left, kicks the empty box into the trashcan and starts to munch. And crunch and crunch and slurp and smack.
My daughter whines, “You ate all the good cereal. The rest is gross.”
She rummages around the pantry, poo-pooing one box after another. Metal pots and pans bounce off the shelf and drop onto the tile floor. Crash, whiz, bang. I cannot stop my hands from shaking.
After 45 minutes, I am only on page ten. Can’t remember a thing. Must reread. Again.
“Mom, phone,” screams my son as he hands me the phone.
Sally from All Star Sports says, “The stuff you ordered is in. Stop by anytime to get it.”
“Thanks. And do you have any blue athletic socks in stock?” I ask.
“Socks. Do you carry blue socks?”
“Can’t hear you. How many kids do you have? Sounds like you’re running a daycare center.”
Tell me about it.
Within moments, they rush upstairs, yelling and laughing. With quivering hands, I turn back to page one. In the living room, my husband listens to the Wall Street on the iPad, high volume. Reruns of the Warrior’s game run wildly on the television in the background. Thousands of screaming, chanting fans. I imagine the house vibrating.
My eyelid starts to spasm and head jerks to the right. He notices the tics and asks, “Are you okay? Your eye’s bugging out.”
“Trying to read a book. I’ll go in the other room.”
I’ve heard that too much noise can cause increase levels of anxiety, tinnitus and hearing loss. I head for shelter at the nearest safe place.
If you need me, I’ll be hiding in the upstairs closet reading.
Stacey Gustafson is an author, humor columnist, and blogger who has experienced the horrors of being trapped inside a pair of SPANX. Her blog, Are You Kidding Me? is based on her suburban family and everyday life. Her short stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and seven books in the Not Your Mother’s Book series. Her work appears in Midlife Boulevard, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, ZestNow, More.com, Pleasanton Patch, Lost in Suburbia, Better After 50 and on her daughter’s bulletin board.
She lives in California with her husband and two teenagers that provide an endless supply of inspiration. She writes about parenting and daily frustrations like her dislike of the laundry, self-checkout lanes, public restrooms, Brussels sprouts, roundabouts, and being middle-aged. Her book, Are You Kidding Me? My Life With an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives was released September 2014, available on Amazon. Visit Stacey at staceygustafson.com or follow her on Twitter @RUKiddingStacey.