In years past, he’d used that limb to install his offspring and their sundry car seats and booster in the back of a tiny Corolla. Squishing them in, he’d use the Left Leg of Leverage to slam the door shut quickly before anyone could tumble out. Now it was being used as a foot warmer.
“I’ll bet you’re the only man in North America who’s been praised for having a radiant leg,” I said the other night from my pillow on the right. In the darkness, I could hear him rolling his eyes on his pillow to the left. “Good job, hon. My feet and I are thankful.”
He was longsuffering, all right. Understanding, too. He knew, this stalwart fellow did, that there were some things about women that a man would never understand. Like how a jaunty spring scarf could call a girl’s name right there in the store. That saying, “Go ahead. I’ll pay for it,” meant the world and then some.
He understood that a happy wife meant a happy life. But he couldn’t understand how a girl could stand before a mirror, draping and tying and rearranging a scarf and call it “fun.” No, he’d never understand that.
Radiant leg. Mayhem index. New terms that made perfect sense in our ecosystem here on The Three.
There was another one that fit, too. Not that I was happy about it, but “it is what it is (to use an overused phrase),” so that’s just how it was, and what was a mother to do?
Death by laundry. More specifically, death by drowning in laundry. That was the third term I’d applied this winter.
It wasn’t like we’d started out with two socks and a hanky. Heavens, no. I was used to tackling the small Appalachian foothills that gathered in mounds by the Whirlpool. Then College Kid moved home. Suddenly, the foothills were mountains, and I was Sir Edmund Hillary. Wearing a jaunty spring scarf.
Where was it coming from? And why were the towels multiplying like rabbits in the back room? What was going on?
It complicated things, too, now that there were six sharing a bathroom. The upstairs shower was out of commission, which re-routed a whole lot of traffic through the small one downstairs.