There have been many sarcastic comments about my inability to incorporate my summer footwear into the master closet now that the shift into the summer season is fully underway. I’ve been blasted with questions like, “Why are all these shoes in my footpath?” (“Footpath” is the kind of word a husband who comes from a family of architects might employ to most appropriately describe the seriousness of an obstacle, such as shoes, to his “means of egress.”)
Yesterday morning (after a week or two of looking at the shoe pile, and growing more distraught by the out-of-season state of my closet) I finally began, in earnest, to complete the transition of clothes and shoes from fall/winter to spring/summer. The side kitchen door remained opened for hours (letting bugs in and risking dog escape) as I trudged back and forth to the garage and cellars where we’ve kept many of our out-of-season clothing bins since our move from New Jersey.
I dread this bi-annual wardrobe cleansing. I announced loudly at the start of it, “This will take hours. Leave me alone so I can get this done. If you have a problem, go see Daddy. I have to concentrate.” I figured my blunt words and tone of voice, as I bellowed these statements for all to hear, were indication enough of just how challenging and exhausting the chore I was about to undertake would be.
The switch-the-clothes project requires hours of reorganization and critical analysis to determine what pieces can stay and what should be tossed or given away. Every year, that crushing moment comes when I reach the bathing suit level of one pile or another, squeeze into a few of the suits, and realize that it’s been a very long winter; the exercise regimen is not keeping up with the pounds that have accumulated in the abdominal and buttocks regions of my body. I must try on several suits (for my own private, behind-closed-doors viewing, of course) to see whether I can still pull off any of the swimwear styles that remain in my possession or, as suspected, must now consider purchasing that particular beachwear design that incorporates a perky little skirt, for discreet coverage of expanding areas.
Despite setting the tone for this serious work, my chore was not completed without multiple off-hand comments from the peanut gallery. Early on, I asked Max and Scott to assist me in lugging a few of the heavier bins from the storage cellar to our bedroom. After I directed the males to the correct boxes to be carried into the house, I departed the cellar but not before overhearing Max say to Scott, “She sure has a lot of clothes!” Scott sighed heavily, “Tell me about it!”
Around 12:00 noon, Charlie moaned, “Are you going to do clothes all day, or feed me some lunch?”
When Chloe (who addressed only her father with this request, as she wisely heeded my severe warnings of earlier and could plainly see for herself through the opened bedroom door that I was mired in several deep piles of shoes and cloth) asked Scott, “Can you take me to the mall to buy something at Abercrombie?” he tilted his head toward the disaster that was our bedroom – shoes and clothes covered every surface and only small patches of white comforter peeked though the many piles of clothes that now blanketed our queen-sized bed – and said firmly, “Absolutely not!”
At one point, late into the project, as I was winding down and had only the shoe pile left to surmount, Gigi came into the bedroom (which is just off the dining room – an odd architectural choice in our rental home that Scott comments on regularly), surveyed the shoe pile mess that remained and asked sweetly, “Do you keep all these shoes by your bed or in the garage, Mommy?”
I swear I heard Scott snickering from the kitchen.