Has your son brought his horrible pals to the house again? Here are a few quiet ways to be productive upstairs while you wait for them to leave.
1. Folding laundry: Folding your family’s clean clothes is an excellent chore to do far away from the bad-news delinquents your son has over. Those boys have a mean streak in them; give them half a chance and they’ll rip you to shreds. No need to risk it. By doing laundry upstairs, you’ll be out of sight and virtually inaudible, so they can’t sneak one of your bras from the hamper and strap it on your neighbor’s dog again. While you’re at it, you can even rearrange your entire wardrobe a few times so you don’t have to leave the closet at all.
2. Getting a head start on your taxes: Here’s another neat trick: The moment you hear your son and his posse coming through the garage, why not head upstairs, withdraw to the guest bedroom, and quietly organize financial documents? Go the extra mile and place a towel under the door to muffle any noise that shuffling papers might make. You really don’t want to risk them finding out you’re upstairs, because they will immediately pressure your son into making you order a pizza for them. That’s basically their calling card.
Yes, doing the taxes is easier on the dining room table where you can spread out all the documents, but your son will tell you off if you ask them to hang out in the basement instead. That’s his idea of acting “cool” in front of his friends, and make no mistake: They will all snicker like a chorus of little monsters and further compound their influence on his awful behavior. Just stay upstairs until they’re gone. Foolproof.
3. Changing the bedsheets: Okay, so you’ve just overheard them making fun of your “nasty cottage cheese thighs.” Your son did not defend you. He never has and never will, because he is a follower. One great thing you can do in this situation is to stay stowed away on the second floor, gently put fresh linens on your family’s beds, and bury your face in the old ones to suppress the sound of you catching your breath from crying.
Consider storing some water bottles and snacks in the guest room ahead of time. It couldn’t hurt to be prepared to stay there all night in case your son has them sleep over (he will not ask for your permission to do this).
4. Ordering your son and his friends a pizza: Accept that this is inevitable. Just remember to whisper your order and payment information over the phone very, very quietly.
5. Dusting: Not vacuuming. Never vacuuming. Never anything that loud. They already call you “the vacuum fucker” behind your back, so there’s no point in giving them any more ammo to bully you with. Beyond being a perfectly silent chore, dusting can be a nice and meditative activity. Relaxing, even.
Try not to think about the toxic things they could be doing downstairs. Renting pornography on-demand. The choking game. Smoking pot—yeah, don’t put it past your son to let his low-life friends do drugs at your house. Wait, do these kids know your house as the “drug house”? Do other parents in town gossip about what they think you let go on in your home? Jesus.
6. Online shopping for your son’s Christmas presents: This is the ideal chore. You don’t even need the lights on to do it. The computer screen is its own light source, so feel free to shut the blinds and hide yourself from your son’s friends in near-total darkness. You’ll want to do this in the closet, too, because he very well might come looking for you upstairs specifically to ask about it.
Sure, he probably doesn’t deserve presents this year given how often he and his friends terrorize your home life, but think of what Christmas can be. A chance to turn things around. A chance to get him on your side. Maybe he’ll start standing up for you if he gets a PS4 even after his friends called you a “narc bitch” because you told their parents when they stole vodka from your liquor cabinet and threw up all over your basement. Don’t get your hopes up, though. For now, just mute your computer and browse Amazon as quietly as you can.