The other day I tweeted this:

Look. I don't actually know anything about essential oils except that they are oils and they are ESSENTIAL.

I don't know what they are. I don't know what they do. I don't know if they save or kill the dolphins. I. Just. Don't. Know.

Everything you read in this post might offend the rosy grandma scent right out of your house. And I invite you to tell me so.

But not until next week. Put it on your calendar. In one week you can send me an angry email about how I blasphemed a sacred multi-level marketing order.

This week, I want to just complain at you about essential oils without an ounce of opposition from you. IT'S MY RIGHT AS A TECHNICALLY-MILLENNIAL.

So you can fully understand the angst in the above tweet I must give you some background.

As you are aware, I had a nervous breakdown last year and then signed up for Airbnb while in a meeting because I was semi convinced I was going to be unemployed and running through the desert in my grandma's underwear by the next full moon. Not during the next full moon. By it.

Over the next many months I hosted a number of really great travelers. I've made some friends with the chatty ones, but most just keep to themselves in my dark and dingy why-would-anyone-pay-to-stay-there basement.

And even though I know my friendliness and customer-service-people-pleaser skills are on point, every single time someone has left me a positive review I have been a little shocked by this.

Things were going along just fine until the essential oils people descended upon me in June.

Four women stayed with me for an entire week while they attended some giant essential oils conference near Salt Lake. Until they stayed with me, I had never even heard of essential oils.

They were nice enough people. I probably would have been friends with them if we met in a different way. But, y'all.

During the course of that week, they came home every night at 2:00 AM, slamming doors and screaming like youthssss. They had a trillion requests. They complained about everything including that I didn't have a big enough full-length mirror in the basement and I "really should have given a warning in the listing."

They were supposed to check out on a Sunday morning. But they stayed until MIDNIGHT. I could have kicked them out, technically. But I was trying to be nice and I didn't want to end on a really bad note.

When I got to the basement, the place was trashed. Literally. There was trash everywhere. And the bathroom had like 17 used tampons on the floor NOT THAT WE KNOW WHAT TAMPONS ARE and there were oil stains on the couch and bed, ESSENTIAL stains, and they even broke some stuff.

For reference, literally every guest I had had up to that point left the place exactly as clean as they found it. I've even had several guests wash their own sheets and tell me on their way out that the sheets were tumbling in the drier. (I of course assume that those people wet the bed BUT STILL).

So this was a very new thing for me.

My friend Adam is a host as well and he had an even worse experience that same week. His essential oils women brought children and nanny. The nanny was a bigger mess than the children. It got so bad that Adam actually had to get Airbnb involved in resolving a dispute.

After the June experience, I blocked out the entire month of July on my Airbnb calendar just to give myself a break and emotionally recover from the experience.

A woman had booked my place for this week some time ago and I didn't really know any details surrounding her stay until just a few days before check-in when she messaged me and said that she was coming with a group to attend an essential oils conference.

I legit started having the PTSD shakes.

In my listing I have a limit of FOUR people per booking. FOUR. onetwothreeFOUR. I don't even like having that many. And I definitely don't want more than that.

Over the weekend the woman who booked the place messaged me and her message was basically this:

Hi Eli. We are excited to check in on Monday. On Monday June, Serendipity, Gladys, and Jennifer will come and then on Tuesday Gladys will leave and Tiffany will be there and halfway through the day Jennifer and June are leaving and Tiffany's grandma will come and Gladys will turn into a man and a woman named Janice is going to show up to relive Serendipity of her duties who will then go outside on Thursday and Sarah will show up just before Sara and by that time Jennifer will be leaving so Tamara is going to take her place and then Rita will come but only once Sarah and Sara leave and Rita's four children will be there as well so on Saturday how many people will be leaving tampons on your bathroom floor?

You guys. It was like a math problem. FOR A COLLEGE COURSE. She gave me this itinerary that included so many names that I legit sat down at a table with a pad and pen and drew diagrams to figure out how many people were going to be pooping in my house this week.


By the time I was done, I figured out that over the course of the week like nine people were going to be staying at my house, but never more than four at a time.

I didn't love this and felt that it violated the spirit of the rule, albeit not the letter.

Meanwhile, I had gotten eleventy high maintenance questions and requests over the last few weeks about the exact size of the couch and how comfortable the bed is and what color are the sheets and "will your dog be a problem?"


Then on Saturday they finally crossed the line. One of the nine women sent me a message, informing me that she was going to be bringing her children so there would actually be more than four people staying in the basement most nights and "I know it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission but I thought I would give you the courtesy of informing you that we are not going to be obeying that rule."

I was with Matt in the car when I got this message and Matt went on a rant in response in such a strong southern accent that Forrest Gump just won another Academy Award. He told me it was time to cancel this reservation.

I sent this guest and the original booker messages, telling them that if they had more than four people they would have to find different accommodations. They both responded, begging me not to cancel and promising that they would find a different place for the daughter to stay and they "for sure" wouldn't have more than four people in the house at any given time.

So I relented.

I realize at this point that any bad thing that happens is really my fault.

The first batch checked in on Monday, including a woman who is so old that Titanic just won another Academy Award. She basically had to be lowered into my basement using a crane operated by the other women because she couldn't walk down the stairs.

To be honest, I loved this woman with every fiber of my being. Every time I left the house and then returned, she would yell up the stairs, "DID YOU BRING ME ANY ICE CREAM?!" and then she would cackle laugh with her 20-packs-a-day-since-the-sixties smoker voice.

But she only stayed one night. I think. Unless she's still down there.

When I woke up on the first morning, the smell of grandma perfume was so strong that I had to stick my head outside every few minutes just to breathe.

I went to work and ranted about this to a coworker, telling him that essential oils are a "hoax" and they "stink" and anyone who spends money on them is an "idiot" and---

He pointed his finger to a device on his desk that was currently emitting essential oils. And when I opened my mouth to apologize he cut me off and yelled "YOU'RE WELCOME FOR HELPING YOU LOOK 30 YEARS YOUNGER" which was actually a somewhat-impressive insult.

When I got home Rebecca showed up at my house because she's in town this week. Rebecca is 17 months pregnant and I had to remove a wall just so she could get into the house. The essential oils had grown even stronger. And she was with me, much to her dismay, when the woman who booked the place showed up and Rebecca had to witness me asking her to "please cool it on the essential oils" because "I think I might actually be dying from them."

The woman did not look pleased. And when she started telling me that actually I should be thanking them because essential oils cure cancer in 11/10 whales, I directed her to the Costco bag of Cheetos on my kitchen table and asked her if I looked like the right audience for this.

To their credit, the essential oils are at like half potency today. And I do look 30 years younger.


And, for those whom I have not offended, please remember to get your Strangerville Live tickets for our Friday show. As a teaser, I think Jolyn's story is the best content I've ever seen her produce. The show is at Impact Hub in Salt Lake City (150 South State Street) this Friday at 8:00.

Get tickets at the Paypal button below.

~It Just Gets Stranger