Katie returned a call last night as I was lying in bed reading: 10:45 my time and an hour earlier in Minneapolis. This was fine because she knows I stay up that late and also because we cracked each other up, which was a good tonic for some (minor) things that are bothering me.
Basically I made her laugh which then made me laugh, and as we know laughter is a good kind of contagious.
The topic was my failure to find the big bag in which I put winter stuff last spring: mittens and gloves and hats and scarves. Usually these things stay in overflowing bins in the coat closet. I thought I was doing a good thing by bagging everything up for the summer. But I cannot find that bag anywhere. I had to break down in Northampton and buy a hat even though my favorite one is in that bag someplace. So is a beautiful chenille scarf of my mothers that I love to wear.
In telling Katie this, I said, "Never tidy up. You will never find anything again."
She thought it was hilarious advice from a mother who like most others always said, "Clean up your room!"
I said I meant tidy up as you go of course but never do something so major.
"Sorry," she said. "I already wrote it down."
It will now go in the book of "Momisms" along with my famous exhortation, while giving them the lecture about never getting in a car with a driver who is drunk, to "Never get in a car with anyone who drives!' which is not exactly what I meant.
Katie asked if I had looked in the Scary Closet. This is a closet in our dining room that runs deep under the stairs where it is too dark to see much. Things get tossed in there and then get lost and sometimes found. I bought my friend Margaret the perfect Life is Good T-shirt for her 60th birthday, then threw it in there but forgot so I had to buy her another one in a different color.
It was the little Jake character saying "I dig everything" with a picture of a trowel and flowers, perfect for Margaret because she likes to garden. Recently I benefited – or rather Margaret benefited – from a tidying up of that closet when I found the first one and gave it to her. There was so much stuff in there that as I sat on the floor tossing long-lost things onto the dining room floor, I was engulfed and not sure how to get out.
Another reason for it being the Scary Closet is that there is a crucifix hanging on the wall. Even though I am Jewish I am afraid to throw it out. I do not want to bring down any bad luck.
Speaking of superstition, I have just turned a glass upside down on the kitchen counter. A friend told me that this is the way to find lost objects. I am determined to have better results today.