Friday, September 18, 2009

One NightStand

I'm in the process-
of weeding my house.

No- not outside-

How did so much grow
and accumulate?
How did four pillowcases
turn to twenty?
Or three pair of flip-flops
into twelve?

It's a major job,
but I'm almost glad
that I have to do it.
I'm hoping the results
are liberating.

it would be nice
to have it all looking like
a spread in
House Beautiful magazine-
or an ad for Pottery Barn.

But I can tell you right now
that's not gonna happen.

Well, it's because of my nightstand.

The full color ads for
Ethan Allen or
Pier One always show
an immaculate bedroom
with matching nightstands.

On each nightstand
is a matching lamp-
some tiny sentimental photo,
or a modern vase.

That is all.
Nothing else.
Clean, complete, concise,
totally impractical!

Okay- where's the phone?
It's right there on my nightstand
in case the kids get
stranded in a ditch at midnight-
or if my sister calls at nap time-
or if I have to call 911 because
my neighbor's stealing watermelon.
(? Don't know where that one came from...)

then there's the box of tissue.

Always there nearby.
There is nothing worse
than sneezing like a fog horn
and having to get up
from a warm snugly bed
to blow your nose.

Occasionally, there's a book
on the nightstand also.
And a magazine-
and some paper for notes-
so that I can write down
where the ditch is located
that my children might be
stranded in.
So- then ideally-
there has to also be a pen
or pencil or crayon-
or all three-
and in order to write the note,
I have to be able to see-
so I need my glasses handy.
And a lamp to turn on
in case it's dark
and I can't find
the tissues and my
nose is dripping.
Of course, there must be
a phone book, too
for emergency numbers
or late-night pizza cravings.
And sometimes I get
that little tickle in my throat
so I try to keep a few
cough drops on the table-
and a glass of water-
and breath mints just in case
my husband decides to
get romantic after I just had the
double dose of garlic bread at dinner.

ADD to all of that,
the alarm clock,
snack crackers,
two giant TV remotes,
and a faint sprinkling of dust.

I need a cafeteria table next to my bed!
My sweet mama- who are they kidding?
Don't be fooled by those magazine ads!
No human on Earth has nightstands
like the pictures
unless they simply don't use their bedrooms.

I bet even super-neat-and-organized
Martha Stewart
has a messy nightstand.
A photo of herself,
a glue gun and glue sticks,
cook books,
tea cup and saucer,
petite cucumber sandwich snacks,
cell phone,
cute Day Planner,
home made self carved pencil,
and a giant mirror.

I'm trying to be open-minded.
Trying to pare down-
toss out-
and reduce.

Maybe I can let go of the
three-headed monkey statue,
but I'm not promising anything yet.