Opinion: Hide and (continually) seek


Last weekend, some friends called at the last minute to ask if they could drop by. Panic set it in. We had a lot of areas to straighten up.

Of course, no matter how successful we were at making order out of the chaos, the first thing my wife would say when our friends arrived was the obligatory, “I’m so sorry the place is such a mess.”

The clock was running. Guests were on the way. That’s when the old toaster was taken off the counter and stuffed in the kitchen pantry. The cat’s scratching post was rolled under a bed. The kitty litter was placed on the cellar steps. I even put the cat in the storage room because she snarls at strangers. The ugly basket with all the TV remotes that sat on the coffee table was hidden behind a chair.

The guest bathroom was sufficiently clean, but there was a chance someone might want to use my bathroom (yes, I have my own bathroom; that’s why we have been happily married for 40 years).

“Hide everything,” Mary Ellen said. “Your bathroom is a disgrace.”

I grabbed all my medications off the counter, my electric toothbrush, the Norelco shaver, a gallon-size bottle of minty-blue mouthwash, two combs and three hairbrushes and hid them in the … well, I put them under the … behind the …I had no clue where they were. I should have kept track.

Our dining room table had become the depository for bills and assorted important papers. My wife has always been concerned about leaving material like this out in plain sight. She thinks it all should be secured in a place where no one can find it. Well, mission accomplished.

When our friends left, it was time for us to find everything. And quick. I was sure the cat had to pee and was anxious to scratch her post; I wanted to watch TV; and Mary Ellen wanted to pay some bills. We spent most of the next morning looking for stuff we had squirreled away. We didn’t find everything, but I did locate the huge pile of instruction manuals for all our new appliances in the back of the laundry closet. I hid those two years ago before our housewarming party. So, that’s where they’ve been?

The next morning, I couldn’t brush my teeth, comb my hair or take my Lipitor. Fortunately, when I got in the shower, I found all the items from my countertop piled up in the back end of the tub. I know that eventually everything else will show up, too. Mary Ellen really misses the cat.

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