by VINCENT CARDEGIN
AWARD WINNING COLUMNIST
All around the house I’m annoyed by the inconvenience of things. Most notably on a daily basis is the rustic tray full of farming knickknacks my wife has on the coffee table that blocks the remote from my recliner. My choices are to hold the remote higher to change channels or move the tray, which is what I eventually do. Sure, that’s not a lot of work, but it’s inconvenient because she keeps putting it back.
I also avoid all other furniture surfaces because they’re full of little pictures. It’s rare that I have to reach a hand among them to upright a fallen frame, but when I do I feel like I’m back at Exwork stocking itty-bitty plastic cups of yogurt. It took me twice or thrice as long as it should because every time I reached in those coolers I knocked over a stack of other yogurts. I am not a yogurt guy, or a guy for any little products. I hefted bags of mulch and dirt, and boxes of grills and mowers. That was my forte. I don’t need photos everywhere anyway; that’s what albums are for. And most knickknacks should be in the attic; that’s what storage tubs are for.
I prefer that the end tables next to my recliner each have only a lamp, and a box of tissues on one, and just my remotes on the other—DVR box, DVD player, and the TV. Yes, I have programmed all to a single device, and sometimes it works, but mostly it doesn’t. I need all three. Anything else is just dust collectors in the way.
Sure, I have more tools than I need, and some are rusty and chewed up from inappropriate use, but really that’s strictly my problem, and I plan to remedy it in the garage of New House this coming year by culling my many boxes. But they don’t interfere with my usual daily life.
Being “retired” I’ve elected to do the dishes. My first rule in the kitchen is that everything must fit in the dishwasher—no dish, pot, pan, baking sheet, or crockpot that has to be washed in the sink. Also I don’t understand why we have three sets of measuring cups, four sets of measuring spoons, and three butter dishes. And how many plastic food holders does a person need? My wife started storing the lids in a separate container, and the thing reminds me of Exwork when we kept filling the dumpster with flattened cardboard, wedging another layer into the layer below until it took on a pyramidal shape seven feet high. I need to cull the cabinets when she’s not looking.
I also do my own laundry. I did my wife’s once and ruined it, so one of my rules of convenience is if she ever decides I should wash her clothes again, everything can be washed in the washer and dried in the dryer together. I don’t like separating. Aren’t there modern soaps just for that? Besides, I don’t mind white underwear turning beige. It’s just dead bacteria.