What festivities did Val have on her calendar for this Labor Day weekend? Nothing much. No annual picnic with lemonade and greased flagpoles and a baseball game between the men of Backroads and Walnut Grove. Nope.
The day dawned bright and early at 7:45. Have I mentioned that I'm a night owl? First on the agenda was laundry. I tossed in a load of The Pony's school shirts. He doesn't have a uniform. It was just the shirts that are not faded, stained, or snagged. The ones I hang around the laundry room to dry.
Did I tell you that The Pony was sick last week? He even missed last Saturday with his grandma, until he was sufficiently noncontagious by this Friday to spend the night. He dumped those togs in the laundry basket Saturday night when he returned. I tossed them in the washer this morning, including his school pants from Friday, and a couple of pairs of my granny panties and black socks. Sorry to burst your PG-13-rated thought bubbles, guys. I hate to be the one to break the news that not all of the fairer sex wear butt floss for foundation garments. Nor do we host weekly topless slumber party pillow fights, or settle our differences with tops-ripped-off, eye-clawing catfights.
Imagine my consternation when I went to retrieve those clean clothes from the washer, and found the entire lot dotted with wet tissue particles. It appears that The Pony's snotty snoot had cleared enough that he did not need to use his pocket tissues to wipe it during school hours. I have not gone through that boy's pockets since about third grade, when The Pony was not-heaven-bent on bringing home the playground 50 pebbles at a time.
I called my little Pony to the laundry room. "Grab those clothes and start peeling the tissue off them. Get the kitchen wastebasket." He did an admirable job. The only casualty was a pair of my grannies, which I dropped into the wastebasket while shaking. For some reason, The Pony found this hilarious. So I told him when he was done, he needed to get the broom and dustpan from the crack between the washer and the wall, and sweep up the tissue particles that covered the gray ceramic tile floor.
Please do not judge me when I reveal that The Pony grabbed those cleaning implements, and said, "I never knew we had this broom!" Teenage boys are simply unaware of what goes on behind the scenes to provide them with a roof under which to eat sandwiches and lay around turning their spine to jelly. I cautioned him not to shake that dustpan so the tissues flew back onto the floor. Keep it over the wastebasket. Or open the laundry room door and dump it on the porch, where it could blow away.
I called my mom for sympathy. She's usually great for making me feel better like that. I thought she might offer to drive out and pick the tissue from the clean laundry, and I could magnanimously declare, "Oh, you don't have to do that! You do so much for us already." But no. Do you know what she said?
"Why didn't you just step out on the back porch and shake them?"
What kind of a genius is SHE? All these years, hiding her MENSA card, refusing to pass down those genes to her $8 daughter. She is probably at this very moment negotiating a contract with the feds for the rights to her perpetual motion machine, and awaiting a patent on her better mousetrap.
My valedictorianship pales in comparison.