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Dear Editor, (Boss-Man, Big Cheese, Favorite Boss Ever)

Dear editor,

I’m so sorry, but I didn’t  write a column today. This must come as a shock to you as you are, on a weekly basis without fail, so accustomed to my promptness and professionalism—always amazing you with yet another award-winning piece delivered days before deadline.

And believe me, I woke up today with the best intentions….

Before I hit the Snooze button 3 times, shoved the dog off of me and rolled out of bed I said to myself, “Self, today you’re going to write a masterpiece! You’re going to be witty, sarcastic, self deprecating, creative, relatable and you’re going to do it all by noon and under 500 words. Then, before the guilt eats you alive because it’s been too long, you’re going to call your parents and catch up with them. For added measure and to appease your inner goddess: Crisis, Goddess of Domesticity, you’re going to throw in a load of reds in the washer and a roast in the crockpot.  You, Karen J Rinehart, are going to have a professionally and personally fantastic super productive day!”

As I went to make the bed I figured why not go all out and wash the sheets. After stripping them off I wondered when the last time was I washed the mattress pad…so off it came too. Then assuming the last time I rotated the mattress was during a former presidential administration, I started hefting and shoving the king sized behemoth. Out of breath, I propped it up against my dresser, turned and noticed the now exposed bed skirt. I’d been meaning to adjust that thing as it’s always slipping off kilter on one side of the bed or the other and I hate seeing the white lining peek out from underneath the bedspread. So off I went to scavenge some safety pins from the laundry room, kitchen junk drawer, sewing room, my glove compartment and office desk drawer above which sat my laptop looking all lonely and conveniently logged into Facebook.

Thirty minutes later I was busy pinning the bedskirt into place when I glanced behind the headboard. A three inch deep kingdom of killer dust piranhas and down feathers glared back at me. Surely they had nothing to do with my husband’s allergies but decided to be safe, I’d better annihilate them with the Dyson. Which meant detaching the headboard from the bed frame and moving it out of the way, moving both nightstands, the quilt rack and 42 electrical cords.

Of course once I finished the baseboards behind the bed compulsion kicked in and well, let’s just say there were plenty of other dust piranhas, dog hair tumbleweeds and Christmas tree needles destroyed throughout the house before my husband came home from work and asked what was burning in the crockpot.

So again, I’m sorry. I’ll try again next week. Honest. But just to be safe maybe you should come over and borrow my vacuum cleaner.

Copyright 2011 Karen Rinehart


Karen Rinehart's columns appear Sundays in the Independent Tribune. Her website is KarenJRinehart.com.


  • Jann

    Dear Karen,

    The scenario you described was first observed in the late 1980s or early 90s. The domestic anthropological phenomena you observed has a verifiable scientific term–it is called a “Stove job.”

    My family tagged me with it. As a reformed perfectionist-procrastinator, when I would go to the kitchen to wash the dishes I would look around and then start by cleaning the stove, which would lead to cleaning the oven…scrubbing the knobs with a toothbrush… and by midnight the dish water was long cold… You get the picture! STOVE JOB!