Clutter FlutterPosted: April 2, 2014
On my way to the kitchen with my empty coffee mug, I stopped by the living room to check on Mom. She appeared to be done eating, so I picked up her empty OJ cup and the detritus remains of her breakfast with my free hand and asked if she was ready for coffee. She nodded yes and, as I turned to go, she announced to my retreating back, “I cleaned out my pillow.”
She was referring to the throw pillow that rests on the opposite cushion of her loveseat. She uses this space as an extra junk drawer, tucking away Publisher’s Clearing House entry receipts, yet to be mailed Publisher’s Clearing House entry forms, flyers of stuff to maybe purchase from Publisher’s Clearing House, used tissues, completed crossword magazines, a combination address/date book, her Kindle, and other assorted stuff that she considers not important enough to deal with immediately, but too critical to throw out.
I stopped and turned to face her. She was pointing proudly at the small wastebasket on the floor next to her loveseat.
“I guess there was lots of junk under there,” I commented, glancing at the contents of the half-full container.
“There sure was,” she replied with a proud little grin. “Oh, and this was there and Bill should probably get it,” she added, waving what appeared to be a bill at me. I took it from her and saw it was the statement for the April 1st house payment.
“Mom,” I said, sounding somewhat alarmed. “This is for the mortgage payment.”
“I know,” she replied, calmly picking up the TV guide from the now clutter-free cushion. “Give it to Bill. He’s the one that pays it.”
“How long has it been under that pillow?” I asked somewhat testily. “It’s due today.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” she responded, looking a bit sheepish as she tried to pretend to be engrossed in Tuesday’s TV viewing pleasures. “Maybe just a day or so?” she added hopefully.
“I think that maybe a couple of weeks or so is more like it,” I replied. “Lucky for you Bill pays this automatically online. But you can’t just stash stuff under that pillow like that. One day, it might be something really important.”
“I know,” she nodded. “It could be my Publisher’s Clearing House check.”
“Balloons, Mom, remember? That’ll come with balloons,” I said, shaking my head as I turned toward the kitchen.
“Well I guess I’d have a pretty hard time getting those under here,” she muttered, lifting the frayed edge of the throw pillow and peering questioningly into its dusty, shadowy depths.