Closet Proper

We have a room that is largely unused.

Well, I shouldn’t say unused: it simply has no respectable purpose. It’s the catch-all of the condo, kind of like that one drawer in the kitchen that attracts pens, paperclips, safety pins, pennies, and whatever else we happen to find lying around. We call the room an office, but the desk only takes up a teeny bit of the space. We used to have a futon in there (so it could have been used as a guest room, I suppose), but Nick sold that to my cousin a few months ago when she moved into her own apartment.

So, what has been sitting in the room? Baskets of clean, folded laundry belonging to yours truly. You know me and closets. I must defend, however, that I have not had a dresser since I moved in with Nick. I grew up with a big closet and two dressers, so it was a bit of an event figuring out how to store all my stuff with only a closet to work with (albeit a really big one).

I do not think my volume of clothing is absurd for no one has ever questioned my storage needs—heck, when I moved into my aunts’ home, my dad came out and built additional areas to hang my clothes without any reaction (though, he may have just been dulled to clothing volume because of my mom’s collection).

Nick, on the other hand, seems to think I have a lot of clothes. I find this laughable because his closet is all but bursting at the seams; he has four or five long containers that slide beneath the bed; AND he has a five-drawer dresser. All storage areas are full. (Of course, he doesn’t switch out winter and summer clothes like I do, but still.)

Anyway, my storage system in this dresser-less existence was an impressive combination of baskets and stacked containers, but it required constant vigilance.

All that changed when I realized that I could fit a dresser in the room with the futon gone. That’s right: after nearly six years, I have a dresser! It’s wonderful! I spent a day reorganizing my clothing and other miscellaneous bits then decided that I might as well claim the whole room as sort of a closet-entryway…second-closet…outer-closet. By that evening, I was calling it my closet proper, and Nick was all, “Wah!?”

Closet

And behind the door:

Closet

I have found myself wandering into this room more, lighting candles and buying Wallflowers. It’s absolutely sinful. I think Nick is in a state of bemusement. I did let him retain a tiny corner of real estate to keep his computer desk…see? I can share.

Nickism No. 2

The things that come out of Nick’s mouth…you can’t just make this stuff up.

We were in the car after an evening shopping excursion. We were both silent and listening to the quiet radio. Nick broke the silence, feeling the pull to confess his dilemma.

“There has been a fly stuck in my car.”

I arched an eyebrow, not even turning to look at him as he spoke.

“Yeah. And I would shoo it outside, but it’d probably just DIE. I don’t want that on me. I don’t want to be a fly-killer.”

He quieted. We let the radio fill the silence once more. I was forced to consider the plight of the poor fly for the rest of the drive.

Sophie Sunday

Sophie, like many cats, has very expressive eyes. I can tell when she’s feeling happy, sleepy, bored, or affectionate just by looking at her. I can also tell when she’s disappointed.

Sophie, I’m sorry. I can’t play now because I have to…(get dressed/go to work/paint my toenails).

She gives me those Puss in Boots eyes, and I feel terrible (but continue to get dressed/go to work/paint my toenails anyway). When I let her down, Sophie turns to a more reliable companion, one who always drops everything just to play with her:

Crazy-Clean

I decided to use my time away from work this week to give our home a really deep clean—you know, with my nose an inch away from the kitchen floor to see if that’s dirt or part of the pattern to scrub accordingly. Knowing that every nook and cranny sparkles is a heady rush, and I wish I could maintain this level of clean constantly.

Unfortunately, that would take time that I do not want to pull from elsewhere, and this level of clean makes me not a little neurotic (and Nick not a little miserable):

Don’t empty your pockets on the coffee table! Don’t leave your shoes on the middle of the floor! Don’t do ANYTHING in the kitchen!

If I let the sheen dull just a touch, the comparisons of me to Benito Mussolini are a bit more of a stretch.

I replenished my backup cleaning supplies earlier this week, and I felt very old and boring. I zipped into Target with a bounce to my step and left with two bulging bags. I was giddy, drunk on the shopping spree. I eagerly unpacked my bags the next morning, lining up my bounty on the table to admire my acquisitions.

CLEAN!

My, how the times have changed. I had no baubles. There were no flirty flats or swirly skirts. There was nothing fun at all, and yet I was absurdly pleased—so pleased, you’ll note, that I had to take a picture. It’s times like this that I have to laugh at myself.

I remember giving my mother hell about her cleaning ways when I was a young child. “Why do we have to clean EVERY week!? Nobody else does this! None of my friends have to do this!” You see, I took it for granted that tabletops always shined, toilet bowls always sparkled, and that everybody’s home carried the scent of lemon cleaning supplies…all without any work.

Despite my childish protests, she carried me along, and scrubbing became habit (“…Because we respect our possessions,” she would say). Still, I vowed that I would never be the fiend that she was. I mean, when she would go to a store, she’d get all glassy-eyed and eager at the cleaning aisle—THE CLEANING AISLE! When Pledge advertised a new product, she’d run right out to get a can.

What a nutcase…

…and the transformation is nearly complete. Pft. I didn’t ask for this, you know! It’s a sickness, I tell you!

And for Heaven’s sake, Nick, it takes one extra step to hang your coat IN THE CLOSET. What do you think this is?—a democracy!?

Thankful

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It makes me step back and see all that I have; it opens my eyes to the fortune in my life. It has nothing to do with the meals of epic (literally) proportions. (But on the subject of the food, I am still humored by my turkey: oh, the days when I was a creative person with a creative job. I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence…)

Also, I have little interest in the history of the holiday or the debate of what that first Thanksgiving was really like. Instead, I like the modern translation—what Thanksgiving means to me. The day gives us the opportunity to see the simple gifts in our lives that we so often overlook. It’s one day not ruled my commercialism because it centers on what we have instead of what we want.

I am thankful for my family: often dysfunctional but always loving. I am thankful to have Nick in my life because of his overwhelming kindness. I am thankful to have my health and access to pain management resources. I am thankful to have a job when so many others have lost theirs. I am thankful that I have a roof over my head and food on my table. I am thankful that I am happy…I am thankful that life looks beautiful to me.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving and take a moment to remember who and what in your life matters most…our time here is never long enough.