Water in Lake Erie and Soap in a Soapdish

>> Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm working on packing our clothing for an upcoming vacation. Of course, with the airlines charging by the bag, I am trying to pack minimally. Nonetheless, I am still a mother, and I must pack matching outfits for the two year old. It isn't like packing for me, where I throw in all 2 pairs of shorts, both pairs of jeans, and the 5 shirts that still fit and figure it out later. It isn't like packing for darling husband. Actually, I don't know how to pack for Darling Husband ... I let him figure it out. (Which is why we end up with two giant tubes of toothpaste each time we travel together, and the hairbrush we both use is almost always left behind.)

Now, I've long ago given up the idea that some people can match outfits without help. This is why the clothing industry invented Garanimals. After numerous Saturdays seeing my son come down the stairs wearing plaid overalls and striped socks, I learned that Darling Husband is one of those people that needs help. So, I started putting the clothes away in matched sets. The orange shorts were placed right underneath the matching orange shirt. Same with the overalls and matching shirt. Now, I have a stack of t-shirts and a stack of shorts, for the more experienced among us to freelance, but there are two complete stacks of matched outfits for the initiate. Or, should I say, there *were* two complete stacks of matched outfits. To hear it told in this house, they magically stay in neat matched stacks when I am in the room, but as soon as I leave, one half of each matched set disappears.

My son comes down the stairs wearing an orange shirt from a matched set, and blue shorts. "Where is the matching orange plaid shorts?" I ask. "I don't know," comes darling husband's response. "It wasn't with the shirt." Hmm, I think. Did I not stack them correctly? I go into the drawer, and there is the pair of shorts ... right on top. Hmm. A few days later, the same thing happens ... but this time its a yellow shirt (part of one matched set) and a pair of overalls (from a different matched set). Apparently, the mates to both were missing. Mysteriously enough, they had returned themselves to the drawer (on top) by the time I got into my son's bedroom. Very strange indeed.

As I go to pack my son's clothes, I am astounded at how there is no mate to any matched set in the drawer. All of the mates are in the wash ... worn with other things.

Now, one might assume from all of this that I think my husband is blind, or silly. I think neither. See ... I do believe there are gremlins that come around and move things when we aren't looking. I spent my entire childhood looking for things my mother sent me to find. Inevitably, they would not be there, and inevitably, she would go looking and find them right where she told me to look. I would then get teased mercilessly about not being able to find water in Lake Erie or soap in a soapdish. I would wail, "It wasn't there!" Alas, my wails were only cause for more teasing. "What do you mean it wasn't there. I just found it right where it wasn't."

I believe my husband. I do. Things don't stay where you put them in this house. Just ask my diaper bag. Or better yet, try to find things in my diaper bag. It isn't me. I asked my mom to find a plastic baggie full of diaper wipes when we were out together. After routing through and dumping the whole bag ... nothing. Of course, the baby was lying naked on the ground with an unexpectedly full diaper, and I have nothing to wipe him with. *sigh*. I solve that problem, then go home to make another plastic of wipes to take with us ... only to find the original baggie tucked inside the diaper bag ... right where we were looking for it all along. I'd blame the diaper bag, but its my second one, with the same problem. The other one was so small it is hard to imagine how anything could hide in it.

I have no explanations for this, except gremlins. And, it isn't just me. My sister lives this way too. She uses a little prayer to tell the gremlins it is time to bring something back. "Dear St. Anthony, please come around. Something is lost and needs to be found." Then she steps out of the room, waits a few moments, steps back in, and finds her "lost" item, right where she was looking for it. The gremlins just needed a second to put it back while she wasn't looking. Or maybe its the Borrowers. Remember those books? Maybe they weren't fiction ... except the Borrowers never returned anything, despite their name.

I'm wondering when the gremlins will return my GPS. You see, I can't seem to find it right now, and I'm a little bit concerned. I'm hoping it will be before we leave on our trip, but I'm running out of hope. I think they took it on their own vacation and we won't see it again until they bring it back. See, I know they have it, because I know exactly where I left the GPS, and it isn't there anymore. That's how I know it's not just my ongoing battle with the forces of chaos -- it's something more. After 36 years of living with gremlins, I know they aren't sinister, but for sure they are annoying. I'm sure they sit around and chuckle at me, too, when I can't find my car keys ... clipped to my belt, or when I can't find my sunglasses ... on the top of my head. These things are completely my fault, but I'm sure it gives them endless sources of amusement to recall when I am pleading with the air for them to bring it BACK for crying out loud ... and it isn't even them this time.

So tell me -- do the gremlins live with you, too?


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