One Saturday morning shortly after Brian and I were married, I made a disturbing discovery. Squeezing into the small space between the bed and the wall to tuck in a loose corner of the blanket,
I found a small mound of dirty socks.
What are all these socks doing here? I wondered, wrinkling my nose.
Okay, I'm not the most thorough gal with a vacuum. It was easy to ignore that small, out-of-the-way strip of carpet—creating the perfect hideaway.
Suddenly Brian's empty sock drawer made sense. I'd been baffled when, despite finishing several loads of laundry, his socks seemed mysteriously scarce.
When I questioned him, Brian explained that his evening ritual was to climb under the covers, pull off his socks, and drop them on the floor beside the bed.
This cleared up the mystery of why my husband owned 26 pairs of socks.
"And who will collect these socks?"
I quizzed. "The sock fairy?"
Brian shrugged. "Look at the bright side. At least they're all in one place!"
That made me feel so much better.
Of course, those socks weren't the only problem. There were the shirts left in the kitchen, papers on the table, tools not put away. And itsy bitsy whisker hairs scattered all over the sink. Though the list seemed endless, my patience wasn't. I pointed out. Reminded. Prodded. Suggested. But nothing changed.
Finally, after we'd been married three months, I decided it was time I clarified the "house rules." Again.
"We've got a problem," I announced. "When you leave your stuff all over the house, you disrespect me. How often do I have to ask you to clean up after yourself?" I paused, narrowing my eyes when he remained mute. "Are you even listening?"1