I like living in a house that is neat and tidy. A house where everything has its place. Despite having moved a few times, I have yet to find this kind of house for myself. This weekend I went through our kitchen’s catch all corner. I dread doing this but the pile was starting to slide despite my regular bulldozing. This pile originally starts outs as a couple of neatly stacked papers that need attention or filed but slowly becomes a catch all for junk mail, Happy Meal toys, single socks searching for their ‘sole’ mate, art work from school that I’m not allowed to throw away, and many broken things I mean to fix. Right before a mandatory cleaning, the standards of the pile keeping is extremely low. I often find myself stepping one foot into the kitchen and pitching the item 10 ft. across the kitchen floor then watching to see if it is going to catch hold or slide. I then either yell “score” and pump my elbow or quickly start running toward the pile like a lineman with arms outstretched, head tucked, and eyes opened just enough to see and shove all the collectibles back into a pile before they hit the floor.
In the heap of junk I found a blank permission form for Harrison to go to Lost World Caverns. I anxiously found Harrison’s planner and quickly wrote a note to his teacher. ‘Dear Mrs. Smith, I found that permission slip that I had told you we never received. Please excuse any hint of accusation that could have been insinuated from my note 2 weeks ago. You are the best teacher ever and I thank God everyday that he has not called me to home school.’
Also in that pile I found one of my old To Do lists. You see I write To Do lists on anything and everything. I then sit down every once in a while and combined, categorize, and prioritize them all. I began to look over the old list.
2. Done. “I rock”
3. Crap. “put on active list”
4. Too late now
5. Clean up kitchen pile. “In process”.
…and then I came to it
6. That task that is perpetually moved from one list to the next plaguing your life. While this task for me is usually “return noun to proper noun“, for months it has been “get 4 pair of pants hemmed”. As many of you know, I’m down to two pair of work pants that still fit me, both black and one whose right pant leg hem is torn loose. The idea that I don’t hem my own pants is quite ironic. I’ve made lined curtains and I’ve re-upholstered a couch. I know I’m capable. The truth is, I just get tired of doing things I don’t want to do. So today, I didn’t look at my “would like to get done” To Do list or my “should get done” To Do list but went straight to my “must complete” To Do list and ranked getting pants hemmed #2 priority for the day just below #1: Determine source of unidentified stench somewhere between foyer and Harrison’s room.
Later that day I found myself at New World Alterations. My sense of accomplishment and relief grew with each pair of pants I tried on to be altered. I asked the seamstress to pin them all a little long, “I like to be prepared” I said. She responded, “that’s a great idea, these pants would look nice with boots”. I agreed with her but went on to state, “if my current growth trends continue, I figure I could wear them a little higher on my waist if it thickens or if my butt widens and lifts my pant legs up and out I’d still be able to wear them for a couple of years if we hem them a little long now. She looked at me and smiled and continued on with pinning.
These pants did not fit into the category “could use some hemming to look a little nicer but still functional with small heels”. I had had these pants forever and was unable to wear them at all. Everyday I would open my closet and see them there, haunting me. I remember trying on these pants in the store and wondering when in the world it had become fashionable to wear trains on your pant legs. “This is ridiculous” I said to myself. At one point I walked out of the dressing room, dragging residual tubular fabric at my feet and trying not to fall, to make sure I hadn’t accidentally been shopping in the hyper pituitary gland department. I shuffled past the dressing room assistant remarking, “yes, I’m aware they’re a hint too long”. As I walked into the fitting room to continue trying on my clothes that weren’t fitting I thought to myself, “I could add some elastic to the cut edge of all this left over fabric and Haley’s dolls could have 8 new skirts. You see, in addition to eating kale I’m trying to focus on re-purposing as well. I hear this is another thing hip people are doing.
I was getting dressed to leave New World Alterations when my right heel grazed against the tape on the inside of my pant leg. “You have got to be kidding me!” Yes I did. I wore the pants whose hem needed repaired. “Susan, you have to leave those pants here today. Who knows when you will get around to coming back here.” I looked around. There was no one in sight. “Susan, don’t worry about it. You know how to do a simple whip stitch. You will get it done tonight.” Still no one in sight. I then realized it was my voices that I was hearing and was no longer scared. “Who do you think you are kidding? You won’t get those sewn tonight. You need to go out to your car, take them off, put on your sunglasses and your hood and drop them off at the drive thru telling them they just need repaired.” “Are you crazy? You can’t drive home in your panties. Your already questionable driving skills don’t need the added stress. You will lock up and wreck for sure. Then how would you explain yourself? Give me a break, their underpants! PANTS. You only live 2 miles away. You could turn on your seat warmer and you would be fine. Didn’t you drive around in your bathing suit last summer? How is it different? Well today, I chose to listen to Common Sense as I call her and walked out with my wounded pants on with plans to wear them all the way home, but not before writing “hem right pant leg” on my To Do list.
I walked out of New World Alterations with a huge weight off my back and the sun seeming to be shining just a little bit brighter. DONE!!!!!! …..well almost.