Sunday, December 4, 2016


I'm having some sort of midlife crisis recently, one that I don't have the stamina to try to explain right now. It's causing me to make some rash decisions. For example, I started a furniture-making business with Adam despite having never ever made furniture in my entire life.

The furniture business was a result of a series of panic attacks wherein I suddenly became extremely worried that for irrational and illogical reasons I am going to (a) lose my job, (b) become incapacitated, (c) zombie apocalypse, (d) The Queen of Colors, (e) etc.

I just suddenly became really worried that I'm not being smart with money and that I won't ever be able to retire or provide Tami the lifestyle that she demands.

My friends are extremely worried right now. These are actual quotes from them over the last month:

You need to pull yourself together because I'm counting on you raising Ollie when I'm dead.  Matt

If you become an Uber driver I'm taking your keys away.  Skylar

Please don't start selling your body.  Cathie

You are a crazy person and I feel like you should have to give everyone an anti-anxiety pill as payment for having a conversation with you.  Sam

I support you 100% in this and I want you to look me right in the eyes right now and promise me that you'll go halfsies with me on the thickest, sturdiest bunker the Russian government has ever created.  Rebecca

The moment Rebecca weighed in with her support I knew that I was heading down a dangerous path. But also? It made me like Rebecca even more. If that was possible.

Unfortunately I had already booked my first two Airbnb guests.

Yes. I signed up to be an Airbnb host. I did this during a work meeting to stave off one panic attack that was happening in that exact moment about OMG WHAT IF THE OFFICE BUILDING CATCHES ON FIRE AND THEY DECIDE NOT TO REBUILD IT AND I DON'T HAVE A JOB ANYMORE AND I CAN'T BUY FOOD BECAUSE THIS IS MY ONLY SOURCE OF INCOME AND OPRAH STILL WON'T RETURN ANY OF MY CALLS.

It was surprisingly easy to set this up. It took me literally less than five minutes. And I was actively participating in the meeting while I was doing this. Which either implies that I'm terrible at my job or I'm amazing at it.

I scrolled through my phone to find pictures of my house so I could post them. They were admittedly terrible pictures. And a few days later Matt located them, scolded me for putting "garbage" out into the world, and then showed up at my house a day later with his camera wherein he spent an hour "staging" the place for new photos because "if you're going to do this thing, at least don't do it badly."

He didn't like the pictures he took and said we have to retake them during the day sometime. But I'm fine with them.

It seemed like a good idea. I have this basement space with a guest bedroom that never gets used. The space has basically its own entrance.

I used to host couchsurfers but then Daniel and I had that HORRIBLE experience with the German nightmares in 2013 so I've never been willing to let strangers into my home since.

But time heals all wounds. And that's how we got here.

The first guests were polite and quiet and hardly showed their faces. I loved them. They are exactly what I want in all people.

Then I got a request for this weekend. FIVE women were descending upon Salt Lake City for a "girls trip." They asked if they could book the place even though their number exceeded my maximum number of allowed guests I had listed.

They wore me down. I explained to them that I only have one shower in the house. They assured me that they don't shower. I assured them that this assurance only replaced a concern with another one.

I told them that I didn't like noise. They assured me that they were so quiet I would probably think they were dead down there. I assured them that this assurance was actually triggering for my anxiety because I swear to you my biggest fear is that a gas leak will kill my guests and I'll have to hand-write apology letters to their families (because I'm old fashioned and classy like that).

Eventually they showed up. All five of them.

They seemed nice. I felt a lot of pressure to give them ten billion words of advice to make sure they had a good time in Salt Lake City, since none of them had ever been here before.

They looked hip so I pretended to be also, informing them about all of the "rad party spots" in town, trying to casually lean against a wall that turned out to be three feet farther away than I thought, and sounding a lot like Amy Poehler in Mean Girls when she assures the teenagers that she's not a regular mom, she's a "cool mom."

They seemed uninterested in my advice so I gave up. Then I overheard them I SWEAR I WASN'T LISTENING THROUGH THE VENT IN THE DINING ROOM THAT ALLOWS YOU TO PERFECTLY HEAR WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE GUEST BEDROOM HOW WOULD I EVEN KNOW THAT BECAUSE I NEVER DID IT WHEN WADE WAS LIVING DOWN THERE say that they were going to have "Bible study" together in the morning.

I knew my approach had been wrong, so I waited an unsuspicious amount of time to text them and give some additional tips about various religious spots to visit in town. They accepted this advice with great enthusiasm and spent their weekend on some evangelical pilgrimage of my town.

They stayed two days and everything went fine. Until one hour after they left when I tried to text Jolyn but accidentally texted them:

"Airbnb people just left. Building up the courage to go downstairs and find out if they pooped all over the place."

I didn't realize what I had done until the response came one hour later.

"Don't check under the bed."

Wait. Is this karma?

And now, your Strangerville Short:

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. So - you do realize that at least half your Strangerville stalkers . . . .err . . . followers are right at this moment looking up your place on Air BNB to figure out when they can stay in your house. I may or may not be one of them . . . .

    This is either a brilliant marketing move or a sign of reckless concern for your safety. I applaud you for the former but I suspect it's the later.

    1. Only half? You underestimate us. If I had any idea what AirBnB was, I'd be all over this. Only to check on Casper, of course. Poor Casper.

    2. Give me credit - I did say AT LEAST half. I'm well aware that the number is much, much higher but Eli is easily excitable so I thought it best to underexagerrate . . . .

  2. Your house is gorgeous. You ave style, my man.

  3. I love that George Washington painting and desperately want one for my home one day. You have great taste! No wonder people want to stay at your house!

    1. It was a gift from Bob and Cathie when I finished law school, so you're basically the same as Bob and Cathie!

  4. This is one of my favorite paragraphs ever:

    They looked hip so I pretended to be also, informing them about all of the "rad party spots" in town, trying to casually lean against a wall that turned out to be three feet farther away than I thought, and sounding a lot like Amy Poehler in Mean Girls when she assures the teenagers that she's not a regular mom, she's a "cool mom."

  5. Oh good! I had a weird dream that I put my spare room on Airbnb and then wondered if I really should do that. It must have just been a precognative dream that you would. Now instead of trying to figure out how to do such a thing, I can just read about it on Stranger.

    1. Did I happen to get murdered by guests in the dream? Please let me know ASAP.

    2. That's a valid concern Eli. But I'm sure it was because I had just watched a really gruesome drama before I went to bed with doctors cutting people open and blood everywhere. I'm pretty sure it didn't have anything to do with the Airbnb situation. Besides your hair looked great, so there was that at least, right?

  6. I would love to book a nights stay, just because. I would like bedtime stories - because I can only imagine that these type of stories in person are far more hilarious. I also think it's less embarrassing to laugh in front of you than at my desk at work...

    1. We do storytelling through interpretive dance at my house.

  7. So basically Eli, you are inviting us all over for a slumber party. Only we're paying you to let us party with you. Which doesn't quite seem fair but I guess you have to pay for Tami's extravagant lifestyle somehow.

  8. I appreciate that Mr. Pants made it into one of the pictures.

  9. Eli, it's bad enough that you're risking your own safety renting to WHO KNOWS WHO, but shame on you for including a picture that has Mr. Pants in it. Now ALL the weirdos will book your house just to try and dognap Ollie.

  10. If and when I ever find out what AirBnB is (I'm old) and when and if I ever save enough money to stay at such a swank place as you have, how do I arrange to be staying there at the same time as Mr. Pants? Because obviously, that has to happen. Since you're keeping Casper away from me.

  11. Thank you for bringing Yahoo answers to life. I'm peeing my pants!