I seem to have aged four years in seven days.  As I type this, I am sitting across from a mirror in my hotel room and I think there is no possible way anyone could mistake me for a thirtysomething anything.  It would be fine if I looked like one of those hot 40-year-old women, but I actually look more like one of those 40-year-olds who’s gotten into a little bit of trouble with meth.  Except that my teeth are still okay. 

It may be sleep deprivation, which is entirely my own fault because I insist on staying up late to watch The Office on DVD, but one of the reasons I insist on doing that is that I am so stressed out from all this staying at hotels and changing hotels and packing and unpacking and repacking and using other people’s laundry facilities and never having enough clean clothes and not being able to find anyone’s underwear and not being able to let the younger kids run around like ninnies because hotel people tend to frown on that sort of behavior.  Did I mention that it started raining yesterday?  Also, it is difficult to arrange lunch and nap time around housekeeping’s schedule.  I could always put out the Do Not Disturb sign, but then they don’t come at all and we don’t get new towels or our trash taken out.  Theoretically we could always call and request new towels and take out our own trash, I suppose, but that’s not what we do.  That requires too much organization.  Or energy.  Or something.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you.  No, no.  Au contraire.  Complaining would imply that I’m not grateful for the fact that as house fires go, ours was relatively minor and damaged nothing of any real significance.  (Not that indoor plumbing and ceilings aren’t significant, but you know what I mean.)  It would also imply that I’m not grateful for the extensive benefits my homeowners insurance policy offers, or for the fortunate circumstances that are allowing us to move into a rental house as early as next week.  So I am not complaining, because with all this good fortune I have nothing whatever to be upset about.  I just miss my house.  That’s all I’m saying.  My beautiful, beautiful house. 

Our insurance company is covering all our living expenses, and some people have said something along the lines of, “Well, it’s like an all-expense-paid vacation, isn’t it?”  No.  Not really.  No.  Number one, we’re still in town.  Number two, we still have to go to work and school.  Number three, there’s only so much restaurant food you can eat before you start feeling the Supersize Me effect.  Number four, the Phoenix Inn does not sell souvenir magnets.  So no, it’s not like a vacation.  It’s like an all-expenses-paid inconvenience.  I am not comfortable.  I miss my house.  But I am not complaining.  I’m just stating the facts.

Last night I went to Princess Zurg’s Back-to-School night.  Interesting tidbit of trivia:  there are exactly two (2) men who work at PZ’s school.  They are the music teacher (1) and the custodian (2).  This is an even more pitiful state of affairs than at Mister Bubby’s school, which has at least six men (including two janitors).  But that is a blog o’ social commentary for another day.  Right now I don’t have the time or energy for such things.  I feel remarkably isolated, even though I’ve seen a lot more of my friends than usual–what with me borrowing their washers and dryers and  napping places–and I have full access to the media.  I am just so much inside myself.  I don’t have a home to retreat to, so I retreat into my own little brain and make it my own little world, where housekeepers, restoration contractors and rioting children are merely satellites.