It's 10 a.m. and all I want to do is make a bowl of oatmeal because it's morning and I'm hungry but my urge to eat is stopped when I see the kitchen sink foaming at the mouth with pots, pans, cups, knifes, spoons, peanut butter, crumbs of food. My Tiffany Blue walls and wood-grain cabinets are caked in a mysterious brown substance—I don't know what it is—and when I look up I see that it's on the ceiling, splashed on the refrigerator, makes the floor sticky.
I move to the full trashcan and spot a can of Magnolia Condensed Milk that has exploded, jizzed all over the room.
"Daphne! What the fuck did you do to the kitchen!" I erupt, volcano hot.
About a month ago, my favorite cousin Daphne came to New York from Miami for a weeklong visit. Hmm! I love how a brief vaycay has now extended to an "Until My Black Ass Moves Out" staycation. So my cousin, my red-hot boyfriend, and I all live together in a tiny-ass Brooklyn apartment. Loves it...
Daphne has always been my favorite cousin, more like a sister. Growing up we were so close, so much alike that my actual sister got annoyed whenever Daphne was around. Jealousy is an evil skank! Daphne and I staged fashion shows, and I would pick outfits for her out of her immense closet. She wanted nothing more than to be a supermodel, perfectly in-line with my own aspirations of World Domination Through Couture.
So of course when she said she was coming for a little visit, my initial reaction was, Yeah Naaaaah! I Betta Break Out The Stillettos ‘Cause We Bout To Be Fierce! Ask me what my reaction to her staycation is now. I mean, I love her to death and she is totally family, but damn the bitch is starting to get on my nerves!
First of all she came to New York without a job. Oh wow. Second of all she came to New York without money. Oh no! Third of all she eats up all the food! Pack up ya shit! What is it with family members we love so much who think that they can just show up at your house—poof!—and it's all cool. Am I wrong for being slightly annoyed?
It must be a black thing. The Boy tells me that this would never happen in a white family. Hey, white people: Is that true? I can't speak for all brown people, but my aunt Jackie moved in with my granny 10 years ago, and for the longest time my great aunt, great uncle, and their kids lived with my great grandmother, ate her food, existed there, free. When is it OK to put your foot down, to tell a family member NO, BITCH?
Aside from the caramel explosion she induced in the kitchen, Daphne also totally plowed through my carton of Baskin Robbins' Rainbow Sherbet. I lift up the too-light container, then: "Did you eat all my ice cream?" I already know the answer, roll my eyes. "You know what? I may have had a little bit" she lies. "But look, don't you see how most of it melted? Look at the bottom. See those melting marks?" she actually says. And I actually manage not to punch her out. I don't know how.
What bothers me is that I'm trying to help her get on her feet. But how do you tell your favorite bitch that they, like, are getting on your nerves? You have the right to get annoyed when they eat up all your shit and tell you it melted!
I mean, the thing about it is that I live with my boyfriend, and even though he's gonna be agreeable cause that's how he is, I know he's annoyed. Plus, there are things you can't do when you have a guest staying in your living room. Walk around in your underwear, fuck in the kitchen, get a couch, etc.
It's cool, though. It's all cool; Daphne finally found a j-o-b, buys her own food and toilet paper. Wow. I know I complain about Daphne, and we all complain about our family members. But we love them and even though they piss us off, how could you, family member, be mean or unkind to them?
All I know is, Bitch eat my ice cream without asking one more time, I'm gon' snatch your weave tracks out and when you least expect it, too. I'ma just sneak up and snatch it right off. Eat my ice cream? Sneak up and snatch it out. That'll teach you.
My rule of thumb is no more than three nights, maybe four if everyone's well-behaved. Otherwise, send family to a hotel.