The Mister and I spent the first year of our marriage learning the ins and outs of living with someone of the opposite sex. For example, I learned about the Lights Out! initiative, wherein one turns off the lights immediately upon exiting a room. This initiative is nation-wide and also goes by “Are You Done in Here?”, “Here, Let Me Get That Light for You”, “sigh…”, and “Seriously, How Hard is it?”. Meanwhile, the Mister learned about the Outfit Recycle Area, also known as “The Foot of the Bed,” “The Treadmill” and, a favorite in planned communities less than 10 years old, “That Area with the Wing Back Chair and Table that is Supposed to be for Tea and a Book but, Let’s Face it, it’s Only Clean When You’re Taking Pictures for Your Blog.” (&#%@!! Mommy’s Trying to Take a Picture! for short.)
I did my best to explain the procedure. The clothes at the foot of the bed are not truly soiled, or they would be in the hamper. These clothes are in the in-between stage, kind of like a good girl the morning after prom: not dirty, but not exactly clean, either.
These are the clothes worn briefly, the multi-wear outfits. The clothing so “almost clean,” it would be a shame to toss them in with the dirty clothes. At the foot of the bed stay the pants that are cute enough to wear out on errands but too tight to wear at home where I do things like sit and bend. There are always two pairs in rotation, maybe three, just to keep options open. The shirts are challenging. In the winter, it’s not unusual to have a mountain of sweaters waiting for their shot. In the summer, the rotation is usually limited to those I wear inside the home: a t-shirt to clean in, a t-shirt that is cute enough to wear on a last minute errand, and a tank top for when it is hot and sleeves might trigger a dissociative mental break. Pajamas, always.
The Mister was a quick study (or defeated, whichever), but the end of the week(ish) transfer to the hamper threw him for a loop.
“Okay, I don’t get it. I thought you said those jeans were too clean for the hamper.”
“They were.” I tossed a shirt in the hamper after the jeans.
“But Buddy and Buster were on the bed and got dog hair on them. Now they are dirty enough that I can feel good about putting them in the wash.”
“So, basically, you’re too lazy to fold and hang your clean clothes, and instead you wait for the dogs to give you an excuse to toss them in the hamper.”
It takes them a while, but eventually they get it.