No matter how hard she tried, no matter how neat, clean, or organized she kept her house, every horizontal surface became a magnet for clutter-counter tops, coffee tables, car roofs, washers, dryers, desks, TV’s, toilets, dining room furniture and stairs. Always the stairs.
Kate stood in her kitchen staring at the shiny island countertop-the one lone space seemingly lacking a magnetic force. Or at least it was weaker than Kate’s willpower. Or it was the searing memory in her family members minds of flames shooting out of Kate’s ears as her head spun its axis the last time she saw a pile of papers, keys and dirty socks on the island. She tried to freeze the beautiful clutter-free sight in her mind. Once her parents arrived this weekend it’d be a mere memory. In true form, her mother continued to perpetuate the centuries old tradition of Maternal Revenge Phenomenon-she, with her supernatural maternal, no barrier to time or distance powers, turns every flat surface in her house into a Clutter Magnet. Kate’s precious island will be the first to succumb.
The front door will not have shut behind her freshly arrived parents before the first load will be deposited. Bags of groceries, baskets of vitamin bottles, books on cd, travel mugs, prescriptions, camera bag, bulging envelope of photos and the charging cords for the gps, cell phone and laptop.
Traveling back in her mind, Kate sighed and realized her mom really couldn’t help herself. Her mother’s mother exacted the same revenge on her while she raised Kate. Kate could still hear her mother, every time she or a sibling approached the stairwell, shout from four rooms away, “Take your stuff up with you as you go!” Kate was convinced her mother not only had eyes in the back of her head but in every wall as well.
Stairs are exceptionally strong magnets in Kate’s house-formerly folded laundry, shoes the size of Nebraska, homework, back packs, unpacked luggage, dog toys, inappropriately clad Barbie dolls, cereal bowls, socks without partners, dust bunnies and toilet paper. And those supposedly stylish and convenient Stair Clutter Baskets? Totally useless-one barely holds a roll of toilet paper, let alone the 82 pack her family runs through each week.
Even the garage stairs into the kitchen, all two of them, are magnetically cursed. Maternal Revenge Phenonon makes sure they’re covered in dirty rags, muddy shoes that never seem to make it 6 inches to the right and onto the shoe rack, tools, various collections of rocks, sticks and double acorns with the caps still intact, matchbox cars, a half filled glass of milk (from yesterday) and anything that will cause Kate to trip and swear loud enough for the neighbors to hear.
Kate sensed movement in the next room and shouted, “Hey! Take your stuff up with you as you go oh crap!” Kate’s daughter bolted in the kitchen, “Mom, are you okay?” Kate sighed, “Yeah, I’ll be fine. But you my dear, are doomed.”