Tuesday, June 25, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on April 6th, 2016, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 17, Issue 5 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 17, Issue 5

The closet conundrum

Krider hopes his kids won't call Hoarders to address his closet situation


My wife and I have a few skeletons in our closet. Not in the theoretical sense, like we have some dark secrets, but more in the literal sense. The skeletons in our closet are old Halloween decorations from 1997. I haven’t seen these decorations since 1997, but I know they’re still in there because anything we have ever put in our closets we have never really taken out again. For unknown reasons (read: laziness) we have created a sort of ridiculous time capsule of useless junk that’s taking up valuable storage space in our house.

But that’s our reality. We have a lot of closets filled with a lot of junk. Sure, we could try to clean out the closets, but that requires labor and time, and a certain amount of giving a hoot, which neither of us seems to possess. You wouldn’t ask a blind man to drive a car. And you can’t ask my wife and I to clean closets, because we physically and psychologically can’t do it. We are closet challenged. Plus there’s television to be watched and pizza to be eaten. Who wants to clean out a closet when we can binge watch House of Cards on Netflix while enjoying cheese on round bread?

I don’t mind the junk-filled closets because they have a really cool feature on them: doors. What’s behind the door doesn’t really matter to me. If I can’t see it, it’s like it doesn’t really exist (kind of like the balance on my credit card). My only fear is that the children, in an attempt to raise money for college (which we forgot to save for), will tell the show Hoarders about us. That would be pretty humiliating. I don’t need my co-workers to see that I still have a VHS camera without a working battery stored in my closet. It’s right on top of the unplugged fax machine that doesn’t have any printer ribbon. 

But recently, and when I say recently I mean within the last decade or so, our dire closet situation has turned into a dire laundry situation. My wife and I have a lot of articles of clothing, and because we have way too much closet crap, we’ve run out of places to put our clothes. We have so many clothes because we love food. And when you love food, you change shape. And when you change shape, you need clothes for every size. 

That means my wife and I each have three separate wardrobes. We have our skinny clothes (which are fabulous). We have our fat clothes, (which are comfortable). And we have our “we were skinny and we’re quickly on our way to becoming fat again” clothes (which are somewhere between fabulous and comfortable, and are normally worn for only about one week a year). That vast amount of multi-sized wardrobe selections for yo-yo dieters requires a lot of closet storage, which we don’t have. Well, we have it; it’s just filled with useless crap, which is the same as not having it.

Since we don’t have places to put our clothes, they exist mostly in a state of limbo. They are either in a hamper, in the laundry room, in a pile on a couch waiting to be folded, or worn on our bodies. Random laundry piles seem to be our storage system these days. They can be found anywhere around our household: the living room, the kitchen table, in the front seat of a car. We have a sign in our laundry room that reads, “Laundry Today or Naked Tomorrow.” It isn’t hung up there to be funny. It’s a very important reminder of our dismal situation. If you don’t do laundry, you might have to call in naked to work the next day.

Admittedly, another reason we have so many clothes that we can’t store is because I refuse to throw away any shirt I have ever been given in my life. Free T-shirt from a car wash grand opening? Still got it. Lollapalooza 1991? Of course I still have that one. To me those shirts are like fond memories. Even though I don’t need or ever wear any of my old faded concert T-shirts from the mid ’90s, I just can’t bring myself to donate a vintage Toad the Wet Sprocket shirt to Goodwill. A homeless person will never appreciate Toad the Wet Sprocket like I do.

In my wife’s defense, she has tried to break me of my ratty T-shirt collection. She’ll pull out a beat-up old shirt and say, “You’re never going to wear this again, let’s throw it out.”

“No way! I can wear that T-shirt when I’m painting.”

“You haven’t painted anything since a Republican was in the White House. Let’s get rid of it.”

“You’re going to blame the Democrats for me not painting the house? You think their policies are enabling me to be lazy?”

“No, I’m just pointing out that you used to be a ‘handyman’ around the house. Now you’re just a ‘man’ around the house. I’m not blaming Obama. Just throw the shirt away. We both know you aren’t going to wear that shirt or paint anything. We just need to make more room for some laundry around here.”

It really isn’t fair to drag the government into our laundry storage problems. Our organizational concerns are so huge (like the national debt), that it’s truly a bipartisan issue. But my wife, whom I love, recently started thinking like a government official. She came up with a solution, which wasn’t really a solution at all but more like a small Band-Aid on a severed limb. She decided to put our laundry in our suitcases when we weren’t using them. Then she placed the suitcases under our bed. I’ll admit, it did free up some space. However, the result of this radical plan means we can never find anything to wear. But on a positive note, we’re already packed for vacation. I hope the hotel has a big enough closet. 

Right now Rob is pointlessly looking for his Nirvana New Year’s Eve 1993 concert shirt, which won’t fit him anyway. You can read more from Rob Krider or contact him at robkrider.com.

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