Unbridled Procreation

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Life got a little busy with the publication of my writing group’s anthology followed closely by my own very short book. Purchases and reviews are much appreciated as is sharing with friends and family. The crunch of publishing activity and catching up on medical appointments before our next excursion caused me to neglect the personal blog. Lest my readers think that everything in the Casa de Cornelius is hunky dory, I add another post.

The title of this blog has nothing to do with welfare mothers, which, incidentally, is a myth. Rather, it was inspired during a recent time when ED was out of town for 10 days and the boys were on summer break, at home but out of sight most of the time. Our household practices conservation with little use of paper products for eating and even rarer use of plastic water bottles resulting in a stockpile of dirty dishes daily. Some people, okay, one person, okay, Mowgli, hoards dishes in his room.

Here I will address every reader’s thought: why do the kids have food in their bedrooms? I agree. Other than an occasional snack such as an apple while doing homework, I disallowed food in the bedrooms for sanitary reasons. However, sharing this house means the boys treat the upstairs bonus room as a family room for entertaining friends, watching movies, and playing games. Food is often part of the mix. Blue Boy returns dishes immediately, often washing them when he reaches the kitchen. Mowgli. . . I don’t know what he does with them. When the inventory of tableware gets low, we give him a specific count of plates, bowls, flatware, and glasses to be returned to the kitchen immediately because any delay means that the instructions will be forgotten. A stack appears, surfaces encrusted with sauces, pasta, fruit juice, milk. I haven’t seen bugs yet. Don’t judge; you don’t live this life.

Back on topic: with everyone home, dishes were appearing faster than I could load and unload the dishwasher. I recalled my attempts to control the wrapping paper cabinet. (The same cabinet referred to in my book: “Shared Space: A Practical Guide for Multi-Family Living.” Just sayin’.) Taking charge, I spread the mass of bags, paper, ribbons, bows, and cards across the bonus room. With all surfaces covered and feeling desperate, I called my Little Sis to come help me. I think I did that two more times over the next four years and then gave up. Now when I need to wrap a gift, I brace myself before climbing the stairs to retrieve a gift bag, grabbing anything close to the right size no matter the occasion, assuring myself that in a couple of years we may all be moving out solving the gift paper storage problem. If stair climbing seems overwhelming, I find a simple brown shopping bag in the cache in the garage, assuring myself that my friends appreciate the thought of a gift in a bag..

ED and I cleaned out the craft closet once. That’s enough in 15 years. Same for the candle cabinet, the guest linen closet, and the game cabinet. I’ve given up. Honestly, like dirty dishes, those items multiply when we aren’t looking.

Now that I write this, as many writers say, “I write so that I know what I think,” I am inspired to tackle the candle cabinet. We rarely use real candles, having learned that candles are not good for the air and being too lazy to go upstairs to choose the appropriate wax sticks for the season. Purging that one cabinet may inspire me to move on to the wrapping paper cabinet.


Author: Mary Cornelius

I am an aging woman who writes three blogs.