Behind Closed Doors

It’s another snowy day and, while Maywood Man braves the elements to keep tractors running, slays a tree for firewood, and plows us out, I need to do something more than read by the fire to justify my existence.

Pumpkin soup, venison chili, and fennel tea cookies are not sufficient offering. No, I must do something truly sacrificial.

I will clean out the bedroom closets.

Saturday while the snow pours down, I tackle my closet.  All I do is remove hangers that have nothing hanging on them.  The floor is covered with hangers.  I separate them into three piles:

  • Tangled wire dry-cleaner hangers that date to when Julie worked at a dry-cleaners and got free dry-cleaning and I sent sweaters regularly to be cleaned instead of washing them on “delicate” and spreading them out on towels on the floor to dry where the (now-deceased) cat could pee on them.
  • Plastic hangers that once hung in perfect uniformity on store racks but hang at an annoying variety of heights in the home closet.
  • Color coordinated hangers that I actually bought from Target.

The Target hangers go back in the closet.  The other hangers–just from my side of the closet–fill two paper grocery bags. (You can’t dispose of wire hangers in a plastic bag or they–the hangers– will kill you.)

Down on the floor, I say farewell to backless shoes that are no good to walk in, orthopedic shoes that supported me in my pre-bionic hip days, and any shoe that would make me cringe in shame if I were standing next to my sister-in-law Eileen.  So that clears out some space. I even have some shoes left in the closet.

I lift a pile of old sweaters, thrust once upon a time into the closet in a tidying fit and then abandoned. I discover evidence of a mouse.

Just for the record…don’t ever offer me food with black sesame seeds on it, ok?

The floor must be vacuumed. I haul the vacuum up from the family room where John used it to vacuum the filthy bits of log debris by the fireplace.  It won’t even suck up a little piece of thread.

I don’t care that John slayed a tree to keep me warm by the fire.  He busted the vacuum with wood chips.  He must fix it.

And he does.

Back in the closet I turn on the now functioning vacuum, move the suitcase, and scare the MOUSE who was hiding under it and who now scurries around the closet trying to flee the vacuum and the crazy screaming woman.

I slam the closet doors and position the running vacuum in front of them to scare the mouse from coming out.

John investigates and can not find the mouse.  I vacuum the closet. He sets a trap. I call it quits for the day on closet cleaning.

A few hours later, I send John to check the trap.  He returns with the snapped mouse.

“Is this him?”

Probably.  But how would I know if it were the country mouse or his cousin from town?

So now it is a new day.  A bright sunny above freezing day.  And John’s closet awaits.  Oh, Lordy, who knows what lurks behind those closed doors?

Avoiding the closets

Enter at your own risk. There's a reason closets have doors.

When the school year ended, my closets were in total dysfunction.  Shoes were losing their partners in a heap that was taking over the floor.  How do I even own this many shoes?  I’m no Eileen Wilson. (She’s my lovely sister-in-law who owns lovely shoes. In fact, she owns a pair of really cute flip-flops that she acquired at my house at Julie’s wedding reception and they looked so much better on her feet than mine, that I told her to keep them.)

I digress.  Which is, of course, the point.  I’m avoiding the closet.  The closet in which I can not find my belts because the clear storage container I bought to keep them organized became dysfunctionalized with socks that had lost their mates but I wasn’t ready to throw out yet.  And the box was on the floor (the other side of the closet, not with the shoes) but then I threw (more than once) piles of clean laundry on top of it because the cleaning ladies were coming and I had not time to fold it all and put it away.  Which means that I can’t find certain articles of clothing because I have forgotten that they are in that mishmash in the closet.

Then we went on vacation.  (This is relevant.) I took my suitcase out of the closet but that caused everything in the closet to shift and fall over.  So, we’re back from vacation and now I can’t fit the suitcase back into the closet.  Unless, of course, I deal with the closet and I need to deal with the closet because I head back to work in–gag–less than three weeks and the cycle of dysfunction will pick up right where it left off.

After a week of staring at the suitcase in the bedroom, I decided yesterday that I had to focus what little energy I had into the bedroom.  No, not to take a nap, as tempting as that was.  It was time to tackle the bedroom and do the closets.  I started by changing the sheets on the bed.  Then, I washed the duvet cover.  This has been on my to-do list so I felt virtuous about that.  Ok, ok, it’s not the closet, but I can still check it off my list.  Plus, wrestling a king-sized comforter back into a duvet cover surely counts as aerobic exercise.  Then I pulled the curtains down and washed them and even re-hung (or is it re-hanged?) them. (Maybe I should spend some time looking that up…) Washing the curtains made me feel like a virtuous housewife,  although it was by now 10:30 at night and John wanted to turn the lights out.  I was giving myself hausfrau points while losing wifely points.  We even had the house to ourselves!  However, by then my hip was hurting so bad from all the duvet wrestling and curtain wrangling that if John had touched me I would have ripped off his arm.

John's rock collection

While at the window, I was confronted by the dresser covered with John’s rock collection.  He has a bunch of rocks from everywhere we travel.  Rocks from Normandy beach, Athens, Versailles–if we went there, he probably has a rock.  He wanted to bring one back from Stonehenge but the landscape there is surprisingly free of stones.  He had to settle for Stonehenge wallpaper on his laptop.  Anyway, the cleaning ladies never know what to do with the rocks, so they arrange them in weird little patterns on the dresser.  Right now they were lined up like players on a chessboard.  Um, ok, whatever, but it looked stupid.  Down to the kitchen I trotted for a clear vase.  They don’t all fit into the vase, but at least the ladies have fewer rocks to place.

There, that's a little better

Pulling the curtains down reminded me that I’ve been wanting to get blinds on the windows.  Yes, we live in the woods at almost the end of a “no outlet” road, but we are  not at the very end and I’m feeling a need for some blinds.  That thought sent me to the Internet to research blinds.  Now I’m feeling a trip to Lowe’s coming on.

Ok, ok, ok, ok…the closet!  I’m getting right on that…just as soon as I finish this post.