2013.03.27 Believe it or not, I walked into a door

Written by David Green.

I had written about half a column by Sunday night when it all started sounding familiar. It’s a niggling feeling, one that eats at me until I search old columns and discover I have indeed already written about my Widu brush. All is not lost—my search produced a listing of several columns containing the word “brush.“ Here’s one of them—from Nov. 23, 2005.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Women who are abused have been known to say, “I walked into a door,” to explain a  black eye or a bruise on their face that actually came at the hands of their husband or partner or boyfriend.

I used to wonder, Why would anyone use that improbable event as an excuse? How could anyone be so stupid as to walk into a door? It’s such an unlikely scenario; how  could you expect to be believed? Now I know it happens and it happens like this:

I’m scrubbing the upstairs bathroom sink at 2 in the morning because at 9 p.m Saturday while I’m shopping in Toledo, my daughter Rozee has informed me that she’s getting a ride home from Berea College that night with her cousins. They may be arriving sometime in the night—or not until the next morning. They may or may not be spending the night. 

My housekeeping sensibilities are on par with my friend Kay’s, who I can hear in my mind’s ear saying as I’m scrubbing, “Col, they’re kids. What the hell are you scrubbing the sink for? They aren’t even going to notice. They may not even be staying. Go to bed.” 

She’s right, or at least my version of what I think she would say is right, but I like to afford all my guests a clean house and I like to be prepared. What if they do end up staying? I want them to brush their teeth and wash their hands over a clean sink. I want them to sleep on freshly laundered sheets and dry off with clean towels. I want to serve them home-baked muffins. So, since I’ve arrived home at near 11 p.m., I’ve been on a mad dash around the house, clearing off clutter, sweeping, doing laundry…. 

Maddie has already gathered the dirty laundry and deposited it in the basement, and fluffed the couch cushions. David has washed a mountain of dishes and vacuumed. We’re actually in pretty good shape, but I don’t want to subject others, kids or not, to my usual cleaning standards, so I continue scrubbing until the sink gleams white. 

Then I remember a load of towels tumbling in the dryer. They’ve been tumbling for too long. Some unnamed child—or husband—turned the setting knob in the wrong direction and now the dryer won’t turn off automatically when the clothes are dry or even after it’s been set for a number of minutes. You have to open the dryer door to make it stop spinning.

So I turn out the bathroom light and blindly race into the dark hallway, swiftly making for the stairs, on my way to the towels in the basement. I have no recollection that the hallway door is wide open as I crash headfirst into the narrow edge of it. My forehead bears the brunt of the collision, but my whole body is jolted. I moan. I groan. I can’t believe how much it hurts. I can’t believe the door just stood there and didn’t give at all. I can’t believe how stupid I’ve been. Who would walk into a door like that? I would. I just did. And I’m not an abused woman.

Well, not physically, anyway. But I take a lot of mental abuse.

David’s in bed and I am keeping him awake as I fumble with the closet door, trying to yank it open so I can retrieve the giant suitcase in which I store my off-season clothes. I’m going after my supply of turtlenecks and want to deposit my shorts and short sleeve shirts. My progress is impeded by a big pile of clothes—his clothes—on the floor in front of the closet.

“Are these clothes clean or dirty?” I ask.

“What difference does it make if they’re clean or dirty,” he asks. “They’re my summer shirts. I’m just going to hang them up and put them in the closet until next spring.”

“Oh, David!” 

I am overcome with disgust. He’s putting dirty shirts in the closet? It’s not my closet. I don’t have any clothes hanging in there, but the idea of clothes being put away for the winter unwashed just grosses me out. I can hear Kay in full throttle New York accent: “Whatzamatta wit him? Is he nuts?”

But David applies his brand of logic.

“If they’re clean they’ll have to be washed again and if they’re dirty, they still have to be washed again,” he says.

“If they’re dirty, I say haughtily, “they need to be washed before putting...”

Quickly and decisively, he cuts me off. 

“They’re clean!” he says with finality.

I laugh, but I’m thinking, hmm, how can I get him to walk into a door?

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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