I get into battles with the strangest objects. For instance, my sophomore year of college I took a class which required me to write lesson plans for six months of youth group activities/meetings; including detailed directions for games, all Bible verse references, etc. It was over fifty pages long. About an hour before class, I commence to print it out when my printer begins to give me hell. A paper jam, one after another, frustrating me beyond belief. I try everything: placing one piece of paper in at a time, printing one at a time, hand feeding the pages through. Nothing works. Checking my watch, I frantically turn the printer off and on and try again. Then, (obviously in accordance with Murphy’s Law) my printer cartridge breaks. No, not the printer. No, not a paper jam. No, it doesn’t run out of ink. Rather, the ink begins to run out of IT. All over my dresser, the floor of my dorm room, me. I panicked. I unplugged it. Which obviously doesn’t stop the pull of gravity. Lucky for me, I only had about half a cartridge left. And plenty of plastic garbage bags. And an understanding professor who let me email the project in.

I also used to fight a lot with our piano lamp. It would consistently disrupt my playing time. Whether the bulb burning out or shorting out or falling out…we were enemies. It culminated with the lamp tumbling down on top of my fingers effectively burning and smashing them. No broken bones, but plenty of blisters and resentment. It got replaced.

Another constant battle is with the security devices installed in most retail establishments nowadays. I will set them off for no reason at all. And this is a recent development. Throughout high school and college, I never set off a single alarm. Now I set one off nearly every day. I’ve been glared at suspiciously, laughed at, conspicuously ignored, and in one instance, searched on my way IN to Rite Aid. Like if I was going to shoplift, it’d be from Rite Aid and I’d set off the thing on my way into the store as opposed to going out.

But nothing can compare to the epic battle which has been waged between me and my closet.

I am not one to employ the use of dressers. All of the dressers in our house are antiques or hand-me-downs from other relatives. No smooth gliding drawers for us. Only the “rip as hard as you can and hope the clothes stay in” type. So I prefer to hang as many clothes as possible on my closet bar. It wasn’t until I moved into this room that I’ve ever had problems. Even when sharing a closet with another clothing endowed female. However, when I moved into this room, my brother was the former occupant. You couldn’t even open the closet doors because of all the crap in there. We cleaned it out and my father installed a closest rod. I downsized and used the closet for everything that wasn’t socks, underwear, or pajamas. These were put into plastic storage tubs.

The first time it fell was a few months ago. I thought “no big deal” and did some fall cleaning. I packed up a few bags of old clothes and trundled them off to Goodwill. And re hung the rod. Less than two weeks went by before it fell again. So I tried to minimize the weight yet again. I pulled a smaller dresser out of our garage (believe me, my family has an odd assortment of spare furniture). All of my t shirts and jeans went into the dresser – substantially reducing the number of hangers on the closet rod.

It has fallen several more times – and each time I’d reduce the number of clothes on the rack, find a new screw and a new screw hole and put it back up. You have to understand that there is only one stud in my entire closet’s back wall. One. And it runs horizontally. Don’t ask me why, I didn’t build the house. So now – now things have gotten ugly.

Two weeks ago, I was sitting on my bed reading when once again it tumbled to the floor with a crash. I put my war face on. For several days, I left it sitting on the floor; researching closet organizer prices at various stores and discarding that idea due to financial restraints. I thought about dragging in another dresser and putting all the “closet” clothes in that. But that would be admitting defeat. And I’m not usually a quitter. So it was time to design a battle plan.

I employed the help of ToG and together we measured my closet and set off for Lowe’s. I feel more comfortable there than Home Depot. Blue is more comforting than orange. We searched for the right drywall screws and braces and boards for shelving. We already had the wooden rod, just not enough support, apparently. And we reached home just in time for ToG to put in one bracket and leave for work. I put up the rest.

And I honestly was silly enough to think it would be that easy. But no. The closet doesn’t rest. The closet doesn’t surrender that easily. The closet was plotting. I went to work as well, and came home to put my clothes back in order. Just to be on the safe side, I left all my sweaters and sweatshirts on the shelves and reserved the rod for dress clothes and polo/nicer t shirts. I got everything put into the closet – everything. Not just the clothes, but my shoes, storage drawers, guitar, yoga mat, old posters, printer and odds and ends. And was reaching up to put the last sweater on the shelf when my foot slipped off the stool and I flailed out for support. And the closet was waiting. I managed to pull the entire thing out of the wall.

To paraphrase Jean Shepherd, I’m pretty sure the swear words are still hanging out there in space waiting for a hapless pedestrian to walk into them and be overwhelmed with negativity.

Being the wonderful fiance he is, ToG came over after he got off work to help me try and put the shelves back up. We eventually gave up in hopes of procuring a stud finder and some wood screws. But by the next morning, I was pissed. I was tired of my room looking like a garbage dump and tired of being forced to throw together outfits for work because my clothes were strewn in unorganized piles. So I found wood screws and I proceeded to pour all my pissed off vibes into getting those things into the wall. I even broke one off in the wall itself because I was so angry. I got that thing up. And I got all my clothes back on it.

But I’m not going to be deceived. I know the closet is still there, waiting for revenge. One night I’ll come home exhausted from work and my clothes will be in a violently splattered pile on the closet floor. But maybe it will wait until after September.

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