Something has been niggling at me ever since yesterday, and I just have to get it out of the way before I can move on. I’m sorry, that’s just how I am. Ask anyone! And yet, the words “let it go” pass my husband’s lips so often, you’d think his 19 years of knowing me and my utter INABILITY to let it go were just a figment of my imagination.
Okay, so here it is: There were so many comments on yesterday’s post, and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but I would say that approximately HALF of you insisted that the clothing sorting is best done when the children are absent. And I just want to ask y’all, mom to mom, woman to woman: ARE YOU ON CRACK?? Or—okay, there could be another explanation—do you have life-sized cardboard cut-outs of your children? While I can (and sometimes do) spirit away disgusting clothing when I handle the laundry, an essential part of the Closet Cleanout is the TRYING ON. Sometimes my children grow several inches overnight, and sometimes the correct-length pants are too big around even with the buttonhole elastic cinched tight, and sometimes tween girls inexplicably develop HIPS. I’m just sayin’.
Phew. Thanks for letting me get that out. I was really baffled, all day yesterday. Are my children freaks? (Possibly. You know, now that his hair is shoulder-length, Monkey looks more like a mop every single day, in every possible way. A skinny mop with beautiful eyelashes and dimples.) Am I uncommonly bad at judging their sizes? (Probably.) Do I just buy stuff on clearance and put it in the closet and then take it out and really have no idea whether it’s going to fit yet? (Yes. Please see the previous question.)
I mean, I don’t have an issue with tops being too big—both kids often prefer that, anyway, and sleeves can always be rolled—but pants are the bane of my existence. And they’ve already exceeded the quota of small children running around with their underwear showing at the kids’ school, thanks. I just really require that things be tried on. But those of you who can accomplish all of this without the kids, rock on with your bad selves.
Despite my bitching about it (really, what DON’T I bitch about?) (shut up), something like the Closet Cleanout is the sort of thing I secretly love, because it’s a manageable, self-contained activity. It can be accomplished in less than an afternoon and I don’t need anyone’s help (well, other than the kids) and when it’s complete, I have something to show for it (clean closets!) and I feel productive.
Basically, I start it, and before I run into any obstacles or lose interest, it’s done. My kind of project!
I submit the following examples of things which are perhaps NOT my kind of project:
Laundry. Oh, I like to have clean clothes. Who doesn’t? But really, by the time I’ve sorted and washed and folded two or three loads, who has the time or energy to actually put that stuff away? I mean, I would, but I’ve got other things to do, man. I already WASHED it; am I supposed to do EVERYTHING around here??
Gardening. Remember all of those “check me out, I grew food!” posts? Oh yeah. I was rockin’ the garden. We were eating fresh and lovin’ it. Well, the jalapenos and banana peppers are slowing way down, and the tomatoes are nearly done, and it’s possible that I forgot to go water for a day. Or two. Maybe four; look, I don’t know, I WAS BUSY. And then all of my basil wilted and scorched and I am a BAD BAD BASIL MOMMY. I’m ashamed. Truly.
School. Hey, I popped right up at 6:00 for the first three days of school. I fixed breakfasts and packed lunches and smiled and encouraged. So maybe today (the fourth day) I turned off my alarm and fell back asleep. I think that’s… ummm… okay, fine, it’s PATHETIC, but did I mention the first three days when I was all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? Oh, wait. I’m always bushy-tailed. Damn hair. Well, look, I got up and fixed breakfast and lunches today, too, I was just, um, a little sleepier and a little more harried. Sheesh.
The dining room. Um, please assume that the dining room project and the five billion steps in redoing the walls represents one of my finer moments in follow-through history. I mean, I did it. It’s done. Well, mostly. See, the ROOM ITSELF is lovely, and if I tallied up all of the hours I spent working in there I would need a very stiff drink, so REALLY, I count this one as a win. Um, except for the part where all of my china is STILL packed up from my move of over a year ago, because I need to buy a china cabinet. And I said that I was waiting until the new floor went in and the walls were done. And now the new floor is in and the walls are done and I seem to still be cabinet-less, somehow. Huh. That’s weird. Hey! Look over there—something SHINY!
And the piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance:
The family room. (Are we seeing a trend, here…?) So, like any person who just spent my children’s college fund on hardwood floors and installation, I knew that the next logical step was to buy a rug to cover up said wood floors. (HAHA! Isn’t that funny? But I don’t want cold feet in the winter, plus I wanted a little bit of color in the middle, plus I’m a moron. So.) Look, it’s a pretty big room, and an area rug in the center would just be the perfect finishing touch, right?
First I did nothing. And then I started shopping. One day, I came home with some Wall Art. It gets capital letters when it’s made of metal and seems sort of fancy, even though I got it for pocket change at TJ Maxx. Shhhh, don’t tell. We still didn’t have a rug, but I made Otto hang up that there wall art. Because we are fancy.
But I still needed to find a rug.
So I showed Otto approximately thirty-seven different possible rugs online and he had opinions on maybe the first six and then just started seizing whenever I swiveled my computer screen in his general direction, the lightweight. I looked and looked and compared and contrasted and in a RARE FIT OF PRODUCTIVITY AND FOLLOW-THROUGH I went ahead and ordered a rug.
Now, I’d been shopping for a long time, and I felt really good about my purchase. I ordered a really nice hand-tufted wool rug (from here, actually, which has become one of my favorite places to get home stuff because their prices are dirt cheap but the stuff is actually nice) that cost me about a buck fifty. Well, no, okay, it cost a LITTLE more than that, but not much. And the only size they had left was 8.5 x 11, only it was still much cheaper than the smaller rugs I’d been looking at, so I went ahead and got it.
It was delivered a few weeks ago, and sat against the wall in the family room while I tried to remember to buy a rug pad. And then! One day! I bought a pad! But Otto was away and I had started measuring and I realized something. 8.5 x 11 is REALLY QUITE LARGE. So large, in fact, that I would need to move some of our furniture to properly place this rug. So I had to wait for Otto to return.
Otto came back and eventually we moved the furniture and started laying out the rug pad and the carpet itself. And that’s when I realized that this mammoth rug was possibly the dumbest thing I’d ever bought, as we ended up putting furniture over at least half of it. Wait. Maybe that was INTENTIONAL to protect the wood floor! Yeah, that’s it. Wow, I am so smart.
And so it came to pass that a few days ago Otto and I were sitting in the family room, admiring how the rug is nice and cushy and matches the copper wall, and how the wall art on the OPPOSITE wall also picks up the copper tones, and how the wood is so pretty and the room is really feeling nice and cozy and all.
“But we still need a clock for over there,” I suddenly remembered. Otto may have snorted at me.
For some reason, I just don’t think he’s holding his breath on that.