Since cleaning and organizing the shed is my April goal, I thought you might get a chuckle at this story Himself wrote a while back. It shows you what I'm up against...
‘Lost and Found’
This month, instead of writing about some exotic place we have travelled to or some weird thing I’ve done, I’m going to write about a common thing—probably familiar to all families one way or the other: Collecting things...and then losing them!
In this phase of our lives, Teri and I have decided to ‘downsize’. For men and women that can mean different things! A woman will pull everything out of everywhere, and ‘start paring down’—having two like items in her hands and deciding which one needs to go. Then follow through get rid of it. A man? He usually decides to get rid of/buy something in two circumstances; when it is time to buy a bigger (and cooler) item, or when he can’t find the old one. In this family the latter is usually the case.
And Teri finally got sick of it.
In Teri’s ‘clean fest’ she started at the top of the house and worked down. Me? I stayed out of the way. (My ‘den’ was an exception—outside of asking me to tidy it up, she says that my stuff can ‘sit there until our Lord returns for all she cares...’) Finally Teri worked her way to the garage. Uh oh... Guy Territory. But then I got to thinking, “Man...I haven’t managed to find the ol’ so-and-so item this entire year. Perhaps I will just LET Teri go for it...but keep an eye on her in case she grabs something important that she might want to get rid of.” (Men, we understand ‘important’!)
Most things in a garage have a place. Sort of. But some items are small enough that they just get lost in the shuffle. Like screwdrivers. And perhaps socket sets—at least certain socket sizes. No matter how much you promise to ‘put it back where it belongs’, you don’t (at least I don’t). “But,” you convince yourself, “it isn’t that big a deal because how much can a new screwdriver cost?” Especially at a yard sale! So you go out and get another. Over time something happens--you end up with more screwdrivers than a sane man can want. But you still lose them. You console yourself that ‘hey, look around, I’ll be able to find at least one!’ And you do. Good enough.
Socket sets? Not as cheap as lost screwdrivers. The three sizes you use most disappear one by one, or worse--roll into some part of your vehicle that you can’t get into with adult size hands. By the third socket gone you can’t stand it anymore so, after convincing your wife that ‘you just CAN’T have a socket set with the three most important sizes missing!’, you head whistling to the hardware store or down to the nearest yard sale.
(It’s best not to start whistling until you are out of her hearing range.)
Well, as happened here this summer, there came that time when Wife wanted to do that thorough garage cleaning I mentioned. To convince Husband ‘he was helping’, she had me lift the heavy stuff while she sorted and organized everything else...and in her sorting she finds every blooming screwdriver and partial socket set. Teri? She is subtle. She just piles up screwdrivers and sockets into neat little piles that get bigger and bigger and waits for me to notice. When I do, there is nothing to say. The whistling is over...
Teri, being practical, contemplates which yard sale she can dump some of these excess items on.
Trying to justify myself though, I asked her, “Is there ANY thing that women seem to have lots of lying around the home? You know--things that can get out-of-hand and that seem to multiply like rabbits? Perhaps items that even get passed around between woman to woman at social events or family gatherings?
Teri thought for a moment & said, “Tupperware”.
Thinking about it, I must say that I have seen more mismatched Tupperware rotate in and out of homes than any other item known to mankind...