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Small Talk: Throwing in the towel

Summertime … and the livin’ is getting messy.

It’s a modus operandi that rather creeps up on you until you suddenly find yourself sitting in front of the TV surrounded by two weeks’ worth of empty corn chip bags, cups with sticky straws akimbo, sweatshirts, four colors of flip-flops and probably an empty ice cream container or two. The embarrassing part is I can’t blame it on my children anymore.

This would not happen in the winter. I can’t entirely explain why. But right now, there is a growing presence of what I like to call the “Scarlett O’Hara Syndrome.” Given a choice these days, I would rather “think of it tomorrow.” And “it” begins to cover more and more ground.

My first hint struck when I started to sort and fold the laundry. My momma taught me to fold towels a certain tri-fold way. Hence, I even fold the washcloths before I stack them in the basket beside the shower. It’s something I just do.

But by mid-June, I found myself tossing the clean washcloths into the basket in a heap, and devil-take-the-hindmost. It’s summer and I have leisure activities to attend to. Shocking, I know

Next there is the pile of used socks that have been on my floor for three weeks. They date from the day I stopped wearing shoes and went straight for my sandals. I could pick them up and put them in the dirty-clothes basket. I could even wash them, and I probably will, somewhere near the end of August.

Summertime syndrome means dressing for comfort. I have three sets of jeans that don’t seem to make it back into a drawer or over a hanger these days. One pair is for when I need to look presentable. One pair is for when I want to be really comfortable and the third is for serious summer projects that usually involve dirt and paint.

I did manage to toss in a pile of wet beach towels I stepped over for two days. It seems I haven’t hit the moldy-towel level of nonchalance quite yet, but it could happen.

If you are slipping into the same sweet, slow, summertime syndrome, relax, enjoy and blame it on the weather. You’ll snap out of it right after you take the kids shopping for school supplies.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who still does dishes … sometimes. Contact her at [email protected].