I am sure none of you ever say either of those things. But I am really bad about both of them. In my first weeks in my college apartment, I kicked a bouncy ball into the hallway, where it came to rest against the baseboard about a foot from my doorway. “I’ll get that later,” I thought. The next time I thought about that little ball, it had been in that same location for almost a year, and by that time I had grown accustomed to having it there. So, there it stayed, for the whole three years that I lived there. Many houses later, not much has changed.
I. Change needed
I peeked into a friend’s nursery room the other day and admired the soft brown cover on her changing table pad. With shame, I thought of mine:
You see, I picked up this pad at a garage sale, planning to cover up its “used-ness” with a lovely new cover that coordinated with the baby room. But the one time I looked, Target only stocked changing pad covers in pastel pink and blue, neither of which matched my nursery decor. “I’ll get online and buy one later,” I told myself. Then Abby was born. Since I did not have a cover of any kind, I improvised by wrapping the pad in fitted sheets or oversized receiving blankets. But baby Abby kept soiling these blankets during diaper changes. (“I’m glad I didn’t spend $20 on a nice pad!” I thought to myself.) I eventually tired of all the extra laundry, so I changed Abby on the bare plastic, and only put a cover blanket out when company was coming over. Now, ten months later, I don’t even bother with that. The dingy, naked diaper changing pad sits on the floor of the nursery in all of its disgrace. (I’ll get a nice cover for the next baby. And there’s no bun in the oven, by the way.)
The lovely Maisy poster was hung before we finalized the furniture arrangement. The dresser needed to go on that wall, and so we scooted the crib over to make room. “We’ll move that picture over later,” we said, ready to be finished with the project for the day.
As for all those plastic bins and diaper boxes? Those are full of not-Abby’s-size baby clothes. They’re going to go in the attic, someday.
III. Nooks and crannies
I ran out of space on my shelf, so I stacked my remaining cookbooks on the floor underneath (it’s hard to tell in the picture, but there are lots of little booklets and pamphlets in the stack). Now I’m so afraid of the dust bunnies that might be hiding behind them, I’m afraid to move them. Besides, there’s still no room on the shelf.
Look carefully on top of the blue bin on the far left and you’ll see all of the loose papers that I received at the hospital when Abby was born. At the time, I knew they must be important, but I didn’t have the energy to go through them and file them properly. If I still haven’t looked at them by Abby’s first birthday, I’ll recycle them all.
IV. CD phone home
In November 2007 (when I kept a CD player on top of this shelf), I found this CD in the box that was supposed to contain Celine Dion’s These are Special Times. It’s a CD of Latin vocabulary words to accompany a text that my school discontinued four years ago. When I saw that the CD was not the one I was looking for, I laid it aside (planning to return it to school on Monday) and went hunting for the real Celine. I won’t even estimate how many hundreds of times I’ve picked up that CD to dust the shelf, and then set it right back down. (Mea culpa!)
V. Hemming and Hawing
This shelf in my dining room stores my kitchen cabinet overflow. Behind the curtain, you can find my blender, toaster oven, extra glasses, Christmas plates, oversized bowls and platters, etc. The day I stumbled upon the great idea of hiding this unsightly storage with an old curtain, I safety pinned the curtain to the correct length just to see how it looked. “Looks great!” I congratulated myself. “Next time I get into the craft box, I’ll find my stitch-witchery and hem that to the correct length.”
I’m sure you know where I’m going with this by now. That epiphany is a couple of years old now, and the pinned-but-not-hemmed curtain has even survived a move to another room. “Hem shelf curtain” was one of the first items I thought of when I started my house to-do list. And yet, the curtain remains un-hemmed. Maybe I’ll get to it tomorrow.