Saturday, January 26, 2013

Re Staples: Or, I've Turned Into My Mother

Dear John,
 
I have turned into my mother. It's a little matter of staples.
 
Remember after Mama died, when we spent that month in Greenville getting Daddy moved to assisted living, closing the house, and getting things ready for the estate sale? The first thing we did was go through their business records. We went through two shredders; we burned the motor out on the first one. There were cancelled checks going back forty years and three states, from banks that didn't exist anymore. And every item had at least six staples in it. Mama had stapled two things together, then stapled another to them, and another, and so on, until everything had a stack of overlapping staples in it. It was making you crazy, so I finished the business things and you went through the house with Daddy.
 
Well, today I was finishing the end-of-the-year filing for 2012. And I kept coming across - you guessed it - things with half a dozen staples in them. I started giggling and couldn't stop. I have turned into my mother. It would have made you crazy.
 
I owe you some craziness because I had to deal with your filing system. You put everything into accordion files under letters of the alphabet. Mysterious letters. There are some things that I have never figured out why they were under the letter they were. Even a cryptologist would have been baffled. I'm sure there was some association in your mind, but it wasn't in mine. Your system worked for you, and you never planned on it having to work for anybody else.
 
When I came home from Indy that weekend at the end of January to get the mail and pay bills, I was horrified by the files. I remember going back to Indy and telling you that I'd changed the whole thing - that you could put it back the way it was when you got home, but if I was going to be tending to it, I had to have it in some form that made sense to me. And you said that you were sure that whatever I'd done would be an improvement. I could hardly have made it worse. But you were so nice about it, and so sorry that I had to deal with all of that.
 
For the 2012 file, I got 8-section accordion files and put things under real words, like Insurance, and Medical, and Utilities. I got a separate file for just this year, for all the medical stuff. I separated that one into real words, too, like Drugs, and Home Care, and Hospitals, and Physicians. You'd be proud of my filing system, and of the fact that I've kept this last year in order. And you'd never let me forget about all those staples.
 
That's all tonight - I just had to let you have a good laugh at me. When it comes to home finance, it's all about the staples!
 
With as many kisses as the number of staples I took out today,
Joan.

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