Every morning I go through the same routine. I wake up, look at the clock, get angry at the clock, straighten my aging body and creak down the stairs to the kitchen where, in complete automated mode, I make coffee.
After that, I pick up the cups.
Even though there are only five people living in this house, and each of them is fully aware of where the kitchen, the sink, and the dishwasher are located, I honestly find an average of eight glasses scattered around the house every morning. From coffee tables to kitchen tables, to the counter right next to the sink and on top of the empty dishwasher, they are everywhere.
One recent morning the culprits, er, kids were up early enough to witness this aggravated ritual. They sat on the couch and watched as I walked around and said things like, “Don’t trouble yourself lifting this heavy glass and taking it to the kitchen. Mom will put it away!”
And the phrase was coined, mostly because I said it in an ultra-dramatic voice that belonged more to a sitcom character rather than a real, live person.
But the glasses were just the first stepping-stone on the path total guilt.
“Oh, these blankets that you got out last night and left on the floor? Don’t worry about them. You just rest. Mom will put them away!”
And then the other miscellaneous items. The board game, the markers, the library books. The empty bag of pretzels, the sweatshirts that were taken off. “Please, dear family. You work so hard choosing these items from other various places of the house and lugging them all the way to the wide-open common areas, I can’t possibly expect you to return them to where they belong. Rest your weary feet, your calloused hands. Mom will put it all away!”
But alas, my family does not yet understand the sarcasm that comes out of a mother’s mouth who is about to crack to the point where you’ll see her smashing dishes instead of washing them and buying a new wardrobe because she simply can not bear the thought of sorting through 18 brands of black socks that all look pretty much the same, but aren’t. They do not see the steam from my ears and the fire in my eyes and although from time to time they do actually pick up after themselves, they have no concept of the relentless cycle of misery that is housework.
There is no way that I can be alone in this battle. Moms who put things away, unite! Feel free to insert the word “not” so that your cry will be “Mom will NOT put it away.” Feel the power!
And for those of you who finished reading this column and left it simply sitting on the couch instead of where it belongs? Well, you know what’s coming.
Originally written 6.26.16