Scene: a man sits at the foot of his immaculate bed at the end of his day. He slips off his work shoes and then his socks. He sits there, socks dangling from one hand. Voice over says, “Just as Phil is about to drop his socks on the floor, as he does every evening, something occurs to him for the very first time: The clothes hamper is only four feet away, straight across from him.” Phil then leans forward and tosses the socks in the hamper. The camera pans to a woman just about to walk into the bedroom. Voice over: “Proving to Phil’s wife that miracles really can happen.” Her jaw falls slack, the shot holds for another beat and then fades to an Illinois State Lottery logo.
I howled with laughter.
Dave raised his eyebrows at me, with a look that said, “Please tell me you don’t identify with that woman because I am NOT a slob, and if you tell me I am, I will have to remind you that I—yes, I—cleaned up after YOU in the early days of our marriage.”
When I finally stopped laughing, I said, “It’s not because it’s the husband. I mean, they could easily do it from the opposite point of view, wife for husband. Plus, for me, this is not really about you. Just think of all the things the kids do that could have been used for this commercial. I mean, if I went in the kitchen and found that someone had actually put the clean pots and pans away, I would think our house had been broken into by someone who was trying to stock their kitchen!”
He laughed then, too, and we brainstormed a couple together, but I decided to journal a longer list that, were they to change, I might just consider that a miracle:
- I open the cereal cupboard to find not one but two (and sometimes three) open boxes of the same exact cereal. When I look into them, I see why. There’s a little bit of cereal at the bottom of one bag. Rather than finish it off and have to actually deal with the empty box, “whoever” just opened a new box.
- Use #1 above and apply it to the last bit of leftovers in the fridge, the final slosh of milk in the bottom of the gallon, etc.
- I open the under-sink cupboard to put trash in the kitchen can and find it is overflowing. No one besides my husband and I seem to ever think of actually emptying the overflowing kitchen trash can—or at least pushing down the debris. Rather they all try to balance trash on top so they don’t have to “touch it—eww!”
- Apply #3 to the recycling bin.
- I find empty toilet paper tubes on the holder—with a new roll half-unrolled on the floor next to the toilet. (To be honest, they’re getting better about this.)
- “Mo-om, where’s my…?” I walk into the room and discover it’s three feet to their left.
- I change the kids’ sheets (confession: I don’t do that very often!) and learn the bed has become a dresser. Missing socks underneath the covers, t-shirts between the pillow and headboard, jeans stuffed behind the mattress.
- The top rack of the dishwasher is stuffed full—while the bottom is nearly empty, EXCEPT for the first compartment in the silverware container—which is bristling with forks, spoons, and knives stuffed in all directions! Reason: it’s more effort to actually bend over to put things in the bottom rack, and—in the case of silverware, which obviously can’t go in the top—it’s easier to pull out the bottom rack just a little bit.
- In the transition time from summer to fall, when the temperature outside is suddenly colder than inside, I find open doors, open doors, open doors. “Close the door!” Don’t know how many times I holler that.
- 10. Clothes on the floor. Doesn’t matter how often I make my boys clean them up (and I fuss the whole time), they STILL simply drop their clothes onto the floor when they change.
- 11. I KNOW I did this when I was a kid (and I have to remind myself of this often), but why is it that kids can take something out of its accustomed spot and never, ever, ever think of putting it back there when they are finished with said item. Then, when they need it again, they go back to the accustomed spot and assume that it will be there. (What do they think it is, magic?)
- 12. Question: “Mom, where are my shoes?” Answer: “Where you left them.” Question: “Where did I leave them?” Answer: “How on earth would I know?” (But I usually do L).
- 13. Soggy cereal in the sink. Don’t know why—but a pet peeve and one of the few things that gross me out.
- 14. “What’s for dinner?” I think this question should be banned for anyone who isn’t planning on contributing in some way to the dinner.
Oh, kids! Gotta’ love ‘em! And we gotta’ laugh, right?
Got any of your own? Let’s share a chuckle!