Thursday, February 4 2021

my pile of shirts, reorganizing things, and bones



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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Thursday. The sun is completely enveloped in a grey overcast sky. There’s still blotches of dense frozen snow packed on the pavement. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but make sure you enjoy the weather before it gets really cold next week. I’ve heard from at least four different people now that the really cold stuff is about to roll through - the real winter. Time to double down on blankets and soup recipes, I guess.

How you doing today? How’s this week going for you? I think could summarize my week for you by directing your attention to the pile of shirts on top of the dog crates in the corner of our bedroom. I did laundry at the beginning of the week, and even though I managed to sort the shirts and put the rest of my clothes away, I somehow haven’t found five minutes to hang them in my closet. Those shirts are just one of the many things I have 99% done this week. It feels like I haven’t had quite enough time to finish anything. My laundry, my work, and my chores are all similarly 99% done. It’s like I’ve booted up a laptop and I’m waiting for a Windows update to finish.

It’s only Thursday. There’s still time to pull our work out of this nearly-finished stasis. Maybe I’m just setting myself up for a cathartic and dopamine-filled Friday afternoon where I’ll close all these tasks out at once. My personal paradise of sailing into a cold weekend ahead of an empty to-do list feels imminent and gives me resolve.

Sip. My to-do list is one thing, but there’s still plenty of other things to get excited about this week. Marissa just completed an ambitious re-organization project. There was this little shelf on the landing leading down into the basement. It was pushed up against the wall, half-way blocking the stairs and the back door. It stored a hodge-podge of ziplocs, garbage bags, swiffer pads, and duct tape. Marissa and I agreed that it was a bad system, but the trick was finding new places to put everything. I agreed to let her take a stab at it.

I’m a real stickler with how things are kept in our kitchen. There’s no battle too small for me to turn into a full blown war. The step ladder can’t go on the other side of the fridge because Rodney isn’t strong enough to pull it out without hitting the dogs’ water bowl. That box of kosher salt can’t move to a cabinet because I like that I can reach it without the step ladder. The ziploc bags can’t go to the drawer because they catch against the lip, and then I have to deal with loose ziploc bags rolling around. I know - I’m a monster.

When she was all done, she invited me into the kitchen to review her proposal. She didn’t explain what she did, either. She has more fun watching me try to find the things she changed. Of course, while scanning the bags of flour and the arrangement of the ziploc bags, I missed the glaringly obvious features. For example, she removed the silly swinging double jointed door that formerly guarded the old stair case.

I got to hand it to her - she pulled it off. Marissa consolidated my garbage bags, dishwasher pods, and dish soap into a single spot under the sink, and my ziploc bags are arranged perfectly in a readily accessible shallow drawer. And now the silly shelf blocking the landing is gone. Nothing left to do now but to finally address the giant hole in the wall. Marissa must have big plans because she took a before picture yesterday.

2021 02 04 the big hole

There's no drug money or moonshine in there, I already checked.

In other news, Rodney has become quite taken with bones. Several times yesterday he invited us into a family discussion about it.

“Momma, paintings don’t have bones. Clocks don’t have bones,” he said unprompted, like he was correcting someone. “Animals have bones inside of them. But my dieren (stuffed animals) don’t have bones, they just have sand. Spiders have bones.”

I decided to shake things up.

“Spiders don’t have bones,” I interjected.

“Huh?” questioned Rodney. “But… how they stand up?”

“It’s fluid,” I said. “You know, like water.”

“No,” replied Rodney. “Not this time. I think spiders have bones.”

And that’s about as much of a case I made in Rodney’s dinner table kangaroo court. All I earned for my insolence was a seven minute lecture on bones. Who has bones? Who doesn’t have bones? How many bones do things have? How hard are bones? In our dining room alone, there were enough objects for him to speculate on to keep him filibustering on the subject for hours.

Naturally, he broached the subject again as I was putting him to bed. Rodney was poking my bones and comparing them to his.

“Dude check this out,” I said. “Feel this?” I ran his finger along the ridges of his chest.

“That’s called your rib cage,” I said. “Want to see a picture?”

“Sure!” said Rodney, sitting up. Rodney loves when I pull my phone out after story time. Together we looked at google image search results, clicking on thumbnails of rib cages and skeletons. It held his attention. He is genuinely fascinated by bones.

I got news for you, Rodney. It’s great that you’re into bones, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. You ever see a spider skeleton? No - that’s because they’re invertebrates. Their legs are controlled by a natural hydraulics system that I’d pitch is even more fascinating than bones. Rodney, the way you handled this whole bones and spider legs things was just some real “chump of the week” behavior.

That’s right, I went there. I forgot to do a chump of the week on Monday. I was going to just wait until next week, but on behalf of all the other chump of the week fans, thanks for the freebie. Rodney, your weird fascination with bones is one thing, but you’re just flat out wrong when it comes to spiders, dude. When you found out that spiders don’t have bones, did you keep an open mind? No, you doubled down and shut the door on an honest discussion. For that, you’re my chump of the week.