I told a white lie today. Well, really it was more of a yellow one. I wanted to start the week off right, which to me means powering through my cardboard to-do list, no matter the casualties. Curiosity may have landed on Mars this morning, but I was on a mission of my own.
My list includes imperative life things from “Bank,” i.e. deal with recent account fraud, to trivial tasks like "Soap drawers," which translates to "rub soap along edges of wooden bookcase drawers so they will slide more easily." When my husband gets a hold of my lists, he violates them, adding items like “Check for arms,” and “Call Moishe Pippick.”
This morning, I begin aggressively tackling the categories I can from a sitting position, in between actual work, of course. Come lunchtime, I am ready to challenge myself, so I leave my air-conditioned office for the heat of Herald Square to visit Uniqlo. Once there, I innocently reveal a stained white tank—called a Bra Top in Uni-speak—that was purchased in June (sorry, 30-day return policy).
I explain my issue to the salesperson: I wore and washed the shirt and look what happened: splotches of urination yellow appeared! He apologizes and allows me to exchange it for a new one.
As I trade in my dirty bride shirt for a grandma gray twin, I contemplate my three-part crime:
- I thought I could get away with wearing white.
- In a moment of laundering desperation, I abandoned my eco-bleach for Clorox, despite the tag’s warning to avoid chlorine.
- Over the very obnoxious scent of bleach wafting up our noses, I lied straight to the salesman’s face.
Where does my list love come from? My father types his lists in fonts like Apple Chancery, decorated with clip art. My mom detests lists—my dad used to impose them upon her to get organized. For this, and other reasons, she divorced him.
I fantasize about a day devoted entirely to le list—no interruptions, no skippies, just a methodical procession through the rows until it’s a pattern of strikethroughs and scratch-outs. Then I will feel complete. Or empty, I’m not sure.
About the author: Rachel lives in Harlem with her husband and son. An Experience Designer, she writes for Dan’s Papers and is working on a memoir about her parents. She tweets rarely @rachelink.