There’s something comforting about sameness.
I once read Albert Einstein had a closet full of identical clothes so, unlike a teenage girl, each morning wasn’t clouded by what earrings go best with gravitational theory.
Instead of wondering what tie to wear, Einstein just plucked a suit off a hanger and thought how the universe worked in a way that would make a normal person’s head explode. That popular story is a lie. Einstein hated suits and avoided wearing them. He hated socks even more and liked to wear sandals and frumpy sweaters.
But the thought is beautiful in its simplicity. I don’t have many clothes, not because I’m solving the mysteries of the universe, but simply because I don’t care how I look.
“You look homeless,” my wife said one morning. She stood and grabbed her purse. “You need new clothes.”
An hour later I had a new wardrobe and the clothes I’d spent years making comfortable had been dumped in a donation box. She wouldn’t tell me which one.
“Where’d my jeans go?” I asked.
“The ones with no knees?”
“Yes. I might need those.”
Her look told me that, in fact, I did not.
As I look back on our nearly 15 years of marriage, I’m amazed at the number of things I did wrong before I met my wife. Like getting dressed. Since I’ve dressed myself for 50 years, I thought I knew what I was doing. Turns out I was mistaken. I routinely wore clothing that wasn’t complimentary to any other clothing in the known universe.
To help myself, and you, become a better person, I’ve made a list of things I didn’t know I was doing wrong.
• Folding socks: A sock is a tube, and I’m quite certain geometric laws state there’s no wrong way to fold a tube. Because of this I’ve always opened my sock drawer and tossed them in. I’m sorry for that. My entire gender has paid the price for my arrogance. It’s roll and tuck. Always roll and tuck.
• Installing a roll of toilet paper: One argument married people have is which way the toilet paper should come off the roll. I always rolled it away from the wall, which made sense to me. NASCAR drivers don’t turn toward the wall. People don’t hang pictures facing the wall. Even the patent drawings of Seth Wheeler, inventor of perforated toilet paper, show paper rolling away from the wall.
Apparently, toilet paper is ruled by the Coriolis effect and can only be rolled away from the wall in the Southern Hemisphere, where water flushes opposite of how it does in my house. Here, I’ve discovered, toilet paper rolls toward the wall. Always.
• Laundry: Before marriage I viewed laundry like I viewed the United States. The hamper is a great melting pot where every garment should be treated equally. Little did I know there’s a caste system governed by towel overlords that never mingle with lowly T-shirts and jeans. Separate if you know what’s good for you.
• Eating: Much like dressing, I’ve fed myself for a long time – incorrectly. I did not know it is illegal to consume food in front of a television, on the toilet, or over the kitchen sink.
Thanks, honey. You’ve made me a better person.
Find out about everything Jason at jasonoffutt.com.