The Great Pillow Caper

So I know that none of you have this problem, but here's the thing. While I was thrilled to host the husband's sister for part of the Thanksgiving holiday, it did mean that I finally had to face my dark nemesis, the back bedroom (cue scary music). Do you do this? I had fallen into the trap of feeling like, hey! It's a room that rarely gets used for actual sleeping -- so I'll just shove these few things in there until I can get to a more thorough housecleaning later. And do you think I have ever embraced the notion of a thorough housecleaning? Please.

People, I cannot tell you how awful it was without humiliating myself. And have mercy, but I took no pictures for the same reason. Let's just say I found crap I had been missing for months. Oh, who am I kidding? Years.

Well! The girl urchins and I went on the attack! I was so happy to have them on my team -- when you're facing such a fierce foe it's a powerful thing to have daughters who have your back. And at the end of our labors, the room was so sparkling clean that I rewarded myself (and my future guests) with a pretty new comforter and pillow shams. Aren't they cute?

My west coast guest left Friday morning, but I looked forward to seeing my sister and her urchins on Saturday night -- they were getting the soldier back to West Point (he loves it and rocks at being a cadet -- thanks for asking!). And I had a pretty room to offer her, too! Win!

But here's the thing: the tall boy casually mentioned on Friday that he had invited his bestie (also in town from the west coast) to "come over and hang," and that he would probably spend the night. Fabulous! we love the bestie -- he's charming and funny (obsessed with that rocket, as you'll recall), and he promised to play the piano for us, because -- talented? You don't even know.

Well. I have no idea what kind of capers and shenanigans they got up to (actually I do have a pretty good idea . . . ), but the next morning they inhaled platters -- platters -- of ham and biscuits. The bestie (a fraternity man, don't you know?) charmed us all, drinking coffee and talking cars with the husband while wearing khakis and a blue blazer. At breakfast, y'all. As I hugged him good-bye I couldn't help thinking, literally: What a nice boy.

But then I went downstairs to get the pretty little bedroom ready for my sister. I was so excited because I knew my sister would be so proud of me -- she had actually seen it at its worst, so I was happy that she would get to see it at its best. And to my horror, I discovered that one of my new pillow shams was . . . gulp . . . missing! (Do you hear the Psycho violins?? I did!)

I sweetly asked the tall boy if he had mistakenly put my brand new pillow somewhere else. "What pillow?" he said to me.

"What pillow??"

People, this is a verbatim record of my response (and my urchins' reaction):

"You get that dumbass Peter on the phone this instant and you tell him he needs to fork over my pillow right now!"

Gales of hysterical laughter from all three of the urchins.

"I'm not kidding, tall boy. You and that dumbass Peter have two options. Come up with my pillow, or buy me a new one! And it came as part of a set, knucklehead, so get your money! "

Shrieks of laughter. Urchins weeping and clutching their sides as they laugh and laugh and laugh.

"And I swear, if that dumbass Peter is already on an airplane back to school I'll follow him myself to get my pillow back. I'm not kidding, tall boy!"

At this point the sunny girl had an asthma attack, she was laughing so hard. My sympathy was not aroused.

Then I stomped off to my car, to go Christmas shopping. I was in quite the festive mood, as you can see.

And then the tall boy came running out, wetting himself with giddy laughter, carrying . . . my pillow! "Where did that dumbass Peter hide it?" I asked wearily. "In the file cabinet!" The tall boy could barely get it out.

In the file cabinet. Of course.