One is the Loneliest Number

As I sat in her room and watched her pack her things while I played Michelle Branches’ hit song, “Goodbye to You” on my phone for dramatic emphasis, I couldn’t believe it was true. My sister Bridget, a tenant of the Kelly house since 1989, was leaving the nest. I just couldn’t understand it, why would you want to leave an establishment that provides free doughnuts 1-2 times a week?! (Except during Lent of course)

Me and my roommate back in the good old days. Man, we were so Hawaiian Punch wasted in this picture.

Me and my roommate back in the good old days, before she wanted to leave me. Man, we were so Hawaiian Punch wasted in this picture.

Was I a little bitter that one of my roommates was leaving me? Hell yea I was. I thought she was going to be here for the long haul, especially since we made a very big joint purchase last year. It was a big step in our roommate relationship but we took the plunge and purchased a basketball from Target together. Why? I don’t know, maybe because we are 6th grade girls and like to practice our jump shot on the old b-ball hoop in the backyard. Plus basketballs are not cheap. I could never afford one on my own with my peasant’s salary my job pays me. What are we supposed to do now that we are living apart? Share joint custody of the basketball? She will get it every other weekend and holidays?! Does her new place even have a basketball hoop?!

Hard to believe I was a single woman back then. Most eligible bachelorette on the 7th grade girls basketball team.

The early days of my basketball career. Hard to believe I was a single woman back then. Most eligible bachelorette on the 7th grade girls basketball team.

Another reason why I told her she needs to stay is that she will miss all the excitement around the house. Let me tell you, her last weekend home was quite the exciting one. First we saw right from our own kitchen window a hawk trying to eat the birds that gather around my Mom’s bird feeder in the tree next door. It was like watching the National Geographic Channel Live in our own backyard! We were all scared for the birds but I think my Dad was secretly cheering for the hawk. He hates the birds that eat all the bird feeder. He refers to them as fat, lazy “welfare birds” that just keep eating all the bird seed he puts out. A couple of weeks ago he vented his frustration to me:
Dad (looking out the window): Look at those damn fat birds eating all the bird seed that I JUST put out! Sheesh I can’t keep up with them it’s like I put it out and I turn around and there they are knocking at the window like “(said in a deep bird voice) Hey Mike, where’s our dinner?! Where’s the bird seed?”
Kathleen: Wow, that’s pretty amazing that the birds are actually knocking on the window and asking you for more food. Do they use their wings to knock on the glass? Next time they do that would you come get me? I would love to see this for myself.
Dad: All those lazy birds do is eat! Damn welfare birds!
Kathleen: You do know you can just stop putting out bird seed, right?
Dad: We are trying to get rid of the stuff! Mom bought a huge bag and it’s in the garage taking up space and I’m trying to get rid of it!
Kathleen: Oh God, this is reminding me of the big box of Honey Nut Cheerios incident. I hope you know how ridiculous you sound. This is hysterical how much you are getting worked up.
(Yes, sadly that conversation actually took place.)
The evil hawk stalking the welfare birds, looking for a quick lunch.

The evil hawk stalking the welfare birds, looking for a quick lunch.

Luckily the hawk gave up and was never able to capture any of the birds. We think he ordered take-out instead. Then, as if the day wasn’t already exciting enough I nearly had to call the fire department later that day! I was trying to make some popcorn for myself as a healthy afternoon snack (Fit for ’15, still working on getting my Michelle Obama arms) and I burned it pretty bad. My two sisters were in the other room and I didn’t want to alarm them so I calmly said, “Oh, I think I overcooked the popcorn.” Then I opened up the microwave and smoke came out, “yup I burned the popcorn.” then I opened up the bag and even more smoke started billowing out, “looks like I’ll have to make a new batch.” As smoke filled the room I finally yelled, “OK YOU GUYS I BURNED THE POPCORN BADLY AND I’M GETTING SCARED SOMEONE HELP ME!!” at last they came to my aid where we had to throw the bag in the sink and run cold water over it. Smoke was filling the kitchen so we had to open all the windows. “Sheesh!” I said, “what does a girl gotta do to get some help around here, I nearly died!” “Well you played it off like everything was fine and then we saw smoke coming from the kitchen!” my sister said. “I was trying to remain calm! Hasn’t anyone ever told you the most important thing to do in an emergency is to remain calm and not panic?!” I replied. It took a few days for the burnt popcorn smell to leave the house, and our clothes smelled like smoke for a while but the main thing is I was able to make another bag a little while later after the smoke cleared and eat that. And everyone was ok, I guess that’s important too.
Even though I gave her many reasons to stay, she still decided to leave. Yup, sadly, all my roommates have been slowly leaving me these days. Pretty soon it’s just going to be me, the ‘rents and Duke. Talk about a recipe for disaster. I can already tell Duke and I will be butting heads. Duke is 42 in dog years but you wouldn’t know he was an adult because he acts like he’s still a teen. He has an attitude, sleeps ALL day, and has an endless appetite. “Why don’t you go out and get a job you lazy bum?!” I yelled to him one morning before work when he was sprawled out sleeping on his plush dog bed. We don’t always get along, me and him. In fact the other day, one of our arguments got so bad I called him an ass hole to his face! I felt bad later so I gave him a Pup-eroni and he quickly forgave me. I guess we will have to learn to get along because in the near future we will be the only siblings left at home.
Duke-my only loyal roommate left, bro-ing out in the backyard, basking in the sun.

Duke,my only loyal roommate, bro-ing out in the backyard, basking in the sun. Also elevating his legs to promote good blood circulation to the heart. So both smart and loyal.

I don’t hold a grudge against my sister for moving out. In fact, I have come to embrace her living in the city. I even offered to stay over a few nights to help her even out her queen sized mattress, wouldn’t want to get any lumps from sleeping in the same spot every night! That is just the kind of selfless person I am. Don’t worry Mom and Dad, the other 4 kids may be gone, but I am here to stay!