REAL family loves your smells!

A dog sniffing a laptop and trying to type.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Olivia,

I can’t decide if I’m happy or sad today. It was very exciting having your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins come to visit, but it was kind of exhausting too.

How come family makes everyone mad, sad, and glad all at once?

Your mom said she was happy to see them, but she looked happy when they left too! How does that make any sense?

Before your crazy-loud relatives got here, your mom and dad were running around like cats who fell in a full bathtub! They were cleaning stuff and fixing switches—ALL of my favorite smells are gone!

Your mom cooked a lot more than usual (that part was nice!), but she didn’t drop food for me like she usually does. I didn’t like that part at all!

She washed every blanket and every cushion and then made me stay off of them. I like clean stuff too!!!

I’d take out all my toys to play with them, and she would pick them up and put them in a basket. What gives???

Then, before everybody arrived, she ran into the bathroom, put that silly paint stuff on her face, and changed into a fancy dress. She looked a lot less comfortable than she did in her yoga pants!

Shouldn’t family love you the way you are? Shouldn’t your smells and your toys and your treats be important to them? Shouldn’t they understand that you need some room on the couch?

Is it any wonder I got a little gassy when I got a little excited with everyone here? They acted like my farts smelled bad, but, for the record, your aunt’s perfume smelled like someone rolled a skunk in roses! I know my smells, and that perfume she kept spraying had skunk in it for sure!

It was nice to get extra belly rubs and more people to play with, but it was wrong to pretend the house is always clean. It’s never clean, and I like it that way!

Now that they’re gone, will you please drop some food for me?
Love from your REAL family,
Jamie

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