Sunday, June 16, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on July 15th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 15, Issue 19

Krider has baggage

A creative 'solution' to laundry problems


We have a game we play at my house called “Where is my…?” It can be a fun game, if you think being frustrated is really fun. We usually play the game early in the morning right before trying to get to work on time. This is how the game is played: My wife or I will go to our bedroom closet, stare at a large pile of clothes we never wear, and ask, “Where is my white shirt?” or “Where are any of my pants?” The irony of standing in front of the closet and playing “Where is my?” is that the answer to the question is never “in the closet.”

We don’t keep our clothes in the closet. That would make far too much sense. We keep our clothes in our luggage. That may seem like a sane thing to do if we were about to go on a European vacation, but we aren’t planning to go to Europe (too many people wearing black socks and shorts). Even though we don’t have any trips planned, all of our luggage is crammed with laundry. The only actual planned trips are the daily excursions to our places of employment, where no luggage is required because those places are in the town where we live—where our closet is, and yet our clothes aren’t.

Now, I shouldn’t say that we don’t keep our clothes in the closet because that isn’t exactly true. There actually are clothes in the closet, and we do own them, but we don’t wear them right now.

Our closet is filled with old clothes—and, shamefully, some new clothes—that don’t fit anymore. These are clothes we don’t use, clothes that are blocking us from putting away our current usable clothes that fit. My wife read somewhere that if you don’t wear an item of clothing for an entire year you should simply throw it away. That sounds like good advice. However, it seems like advice given by naturally skinny people who don’t understand the plight of rebound dieters. We keep our old clothes that don’t fit because our shapes keep changing.

Since we refuse to throw any clothes away, our closet has a skinny side and a fat side. There are also variations of skinny/fat clothes. There are the “pre-baby-weight” skinny clothes (which, let’s be honest, haven’t been worn in more than a decade) and there are also the “I’m not leaving the house like this” extreme fat clothes. That outfit consists of a pair of sweatpants and a double-extra-large T-shirt with paint spilled on it. We don’t get rid of the skinny clothes because we are optimistic people who are keeping those clothes around for a skinnier, healthier day. But we are also realistic people, so we’re keeping the larger clothes around because cheeseburgers just taste so damn good. Plus, you never know when we might need to paint a room again.

Currently we’re in our middleweight category, which means we are neither “heart-attack fat” nor “leave-your-spouse skinny,” which has kept us happily married for a long time. Since our closet is filled with clothing from the extreme versions of our bodies, we don’t have any room to put away our current usable clothes. This causes us to stack laundry in all sorts of odd places: the couch, the kitchen table, and the mailbox.

With a lack of space in which to put clean, folded laundry, we are slowly losing the motivation to wash the dirty laundry. This is becoming a big mountain of a laundry problem, and we seem to be at a stalemate of epic laundry proportions. We actually have a sign on our laundry room door that reads, “Laundry Today or Naked Tomorrow.” The sign is not a homey, cute, little knick-knack; at our house, it’s a warning.

This closet situation has gone from bad to worse over the years of multiple body sizes resulting in more clothes from multiple trips to Old Navy after multiple visits to In-n-Out. Storage space at our house got minimal and we became desperate.

To keep us from leaving the folded laundry on the kitchen table forever (“pass the ketchup please, it’s right behind the stack of Dad’s underwear”) my wife, whom I love, came up with the Band-Aid solution of putting clean clothes in pieces of empty luggage. Then she stored (read: hid) the luggage all around the house. It means we can never find anything to wear, but on a positive note, we are already packed for a vacation. Bags with clothes anywhere in the house makes the “Where is my?” game even more challenging.

I will admit that this new storage method does make opening any suitcase at our house sort of like Christmas morning. “Oh, my Lollapalooza concert T-shirt! I haven’t seen this thing since you did that load of laundry in 2009. I thought this was gone forever.”’

We need an intervention. Someone needs to come gut our closet and help us get organized. My son has suggested we invite the show Hoarders to come help us clean things out. I have refused that suggestion. I don’t want to be on TV, wild-eyed and yelling, “No, don’t throw that bag away! It has my ties in it!” I wouldn’t be lying.


Rob opened the trunk of his car the other day and found a suitcase filled with the pants he was looking for. Send comments through the executive editor at

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Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

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