As the holiday chaos dies down around casa de Merrill, I think back on what a nice visit we had with family. We crammed a lot in to those 11 days – gorging ourselves, drinking ourselves stupid, visiting Poppy in the hospital, getting massages at the fancy schmancy spa where we were married, getting stuck in a blizzard, driving through the after-effects of said blizzard… We really know how to live it up for the holidays.
At one point during our visit, everyone decided to play musical beds (I was not consulted on this – I was part of the blind minority. You guys KNOW how I feel about beds.) Musical beds is a very complicated ballet of bed switching schematics, the details of which I will refrain from getting in to here. The end result was that Jesse and I ended up sleeping in a bed that had been slept in the night before. To clarify, the sheets were put on the bed, Vanessa and Andrew slept in it one night, and then the next night Jesse and I slept in it. Did you get that? Vanessa and Andrew slept in it. ONCE. But you may as well tell me that you opened the house to the local scabies infested homeless population because that is immediately where my brain goes.
When faced with sleeping in sheets that are not fresh from the laundry/linen closet, a slow repulsion creeps in to my body. my rational mind is tied and gagged in the closet, while the majority small, teeny tiny part of my brain that likes to obsess about such things, is freaking out, imagining other people’s dead skin cells sloughing off in the night, and dust mites coming to eat them.
Ugh. Even the word “sloughing” is gross. There is nothing not gross about sleeping in used sheets. You are essentially swimming in another person’s dead skin.
I once spent a night in a teenage girl’s bed and the sheets were so dirty I could actually feel grains of what I hope was just sand at the foot of the bed. Somehow I survived. Jeez. What the hell was I doing sleeping in some random girl’s bed? It’s a funny story. No, it’s not. But I’ll tell it now anyway, if only to illustrate just how much of a miracle it is that I have never been abducted and murdered.
I was 19 or 20, and I was working in San Francisco as an extra/body double for Anne Hathaway during the filming of The Princess Diaries. (Before any of you point out that I look nothing like Anne Hathaway, this was before her full boobs grew in, and I was only used from the thigh down – my pasty, pale legs being a perfect match for her New Jersey legs.)
I lived in a very small town called Copperopolis at the time, which was a few hours from the city. I remember it was Yom Kippur, because a small group of us extras had been given SAG vouchers for the day in order to make the union’s minimum number, so we were allowed to eat in the SAG craft services area. They were serving lobster. Anyway, one of the kids I was sitting next to – a 16 year old boy named Jace, was Jewish, and couldn’t eat until the sun went down, so he put his lobster in a Styrofoam container and watched as everyone else tucked in.
When we were released for the day, I walked with Jace back toward the parking area. We had an early call time for the next morning, and I was not looking forward to the long drive home and back. Jace’s father offered to put me up in his daughter’s room for the night, and being 1. lazy, and 2. completely naive and trusting, I said “Thanks!”
I don’t remember what I did for a toothbrush or pajamas that night – I must have blocked it out… What I do remember about that night is listening to Jace go on and on about his girlfriend, and telling him to hold off on having sex for the first time. Also? Jace kept a Sobe bottle next to his bed that he used to pee into, being too lazy to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Jace had two sisters. One of them was a younger half-sister, that occupied the room next door. She had terrible taste in music, and proudly shared that fact with everyone in a five mile radius of her stereo system. His other sister had a room directly across the hall. As it turned out, she was his twin sister, but she was 2 or 3 months older than him. (Is your brain confused? Mine was – apparently their mom got pregnant with the sister, then ovulated again and got pregnant with him. I can’t remember if they were born on the same day and he was just really premature, or if they somehow magically managed to deliver her and let him incubate for the remaining gestation time he needed.) This magical/freak of science (tomato/tomahto) sister spent the majority of her time at her mom’s house. This was convenient for me, because that meant her bed was free. Free to sleep in – but not free of gritty, grainy sand, and dead skin cells.
Christ but I ramble! No wonder my husband never listens to me. Let’s recap, shall we?
* Dirty sheets freak me out.
* My first “professional” acting gig was playing a student in The Princess Diaries. (Being an extra was totally worth it ’cause I got to meet Julie Andrews!!)
* I have no problem spending the night at complete stranger’s houses, as long as they have a well mannered son.
* I am a very good listener with an almost photographic memory, so if you ever admit to me that you pee in a Sobe bottle rather than walking to the toilet, be prepared for me to blog about it 13 years later.
*I also remember that Jace was a bag boy at the local grocery store.