Cody came to me two weeks ago and asked me a question that stopped me dead in my boots. Plain as day, just before we both left for work, he said these words:
"Do you think one day here soon I could get a closet?"
World. Stopped. Turning.
With a spinning head I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind: "Why??"
Patiently (if Cody had middle name, this would be it) he explained that he had a lot of stuff, too...and we're married now....and something about compromise and sharing. I don't remember, I blacked out for a bit. Stumbling around my words and trying to make sense of everything, I told him I didn't see any issue with traveling with his shirts hanging across the back window of his truck. That way, he could change if he got salsa down the front of him before a meeting. I grabbed my computer bag, kissed him goodbye and told him I'd try to work on cleaning out a closet...I did not give a deadline.
Listen, I've lived alone in this house for five years. Every closet is packed with pieces of my life. Or bags of mismatched socks. Or outdated purses with cough drops stuck to the lining. Or stacks of computer paper from a printer I tossed three years ago.
Cody went on the road for a few days last week and I committed (to myself) to get organized for his behalf and to find space for his things. Ugh.
I worked for fifteen minutes before I got hungry and bored. Not sure which happened first. So I took a snack break and gave myself a pep talk about the importance of compromise and putting others first. I read my devotions; those always put things in perspective.
Back at it.
The first thing I did was sort through the jam-packed row of hanging clothes. There were tank tops. Glitter. Fringe. Leopard print. White. Black. Blazers. Floral. Scarves. Former employer jackets. Flannel. Prom dresses. All these things I didn't need or want. I got a big trash bag and began ripping things off hangers and folded them into the trash bag. Three. Three trash bags is what I filled before the day was over.
I found three pairs of shoes I'd worn only once, as a bridesmaid. And four fancy dresses in the same category. Thank goodness I married last month. That would have been enough to put me over the edge some time ago in my life.
I'm second from left.
I sorted through hundreds of pictures, picture CDs and even negatives. I filed most of them, and tossed a few. In the pictures I saw myself wearing a few of the outfits I had just thrown in the garage sale bags. All of the sudden, it became perfectly clear why I didn't find my husband in college. You either, Cartmell.
What were we going to do after this - bale hay?
I found drink coasters and leaves for a dining room table that I never owned. Poster board, a set of hair picks, glue sticks, empty shoe boxes and "LJB" stationary that shall go into the archives that document my life BC (Before Cody).
Finally, I could see the floor. I took the clothes and shoes I planned on keeping to my closet and threw away approximately 47 wire hangers. Couldn't find a Pinterest project for those. After my second snack break I stepped back and admired the fruits of my labor. Finally, Cody had a place of his own.
And if you believe this is it, you're crazy.
By the time Cody got home from his travels I had prided myself so much on my de-cluttered 3x4 space that I could hardly wait to show him. He was happy about his new closet and appreciated the new found space.
Within twenty minutes Cody asked me if I thought the medicine cabinet could be the next "get organized and make space" area I could tackle; he felt like his toothbrush needed a home. I reminded him that greed is a bad thing and that there was nothing wrong with the fancy traveling shaving kit he's been using; not everyone can say that every piece of their morning routine is TSA approved. Besides, next I thought maybe I'd make space for his diet Pepsi in the fridge. Maybe.