Monday, April 26, 2010

The Paper Tiger......

My mother in law and I share a dirty little secret.


Piles and piles of papers.

Stashed papers.

In paper bags.

Hidden in closets, or under beds.

I found out a couple of years after Daddio and I married that his mother has exactly the same filing system as mine.

Our stacks start out innocent enough. A bill here, a bill there. Toss a couple of coupons for Bed Bath & Beyond and a grocery circular, last month’s Redbook and a recipe for that cake you plan to bake on top.

The neat little stack sits pretty on the edge of the kitchen table, or the kitchen counter.

Daily the stack gains height, and width.

After about a week or so the stack begins to teeter.

And totter.

And before you know it, the stack has matured into a full fledged pile.

And then somebody whizzes by and the pile slides off the table onto the floor.

And then we got ourselves a bit of a problem.

Daddio threatens D I V O R C E.

Before he heads off to see an attorney he gives me time to clean up my act….like a few hours.

In a perfect world I would sort through the pile and reduce it. Then I’d file the important stuff and toss the rest.

Instead, I stash the pile into a paper grocery bag and hide place it in a closet or under a bed.

“I can’t live like this” Daddio yells when he stumbles upon one of my bags.

“I’m Claustrophobic”

“I will leave you” he threatens, when he has to catch one (or more) bag(s) about to tumble out of its hiding storage place.

“I WILL leave you over this”.

So I ask him, “aren’t you going to feel kind of stupid when we go to court and the judge starts questioning you”?

“Is she on drugs?

A shopaholic?

An alcoholic?

A germaphobe?

Been unfaithful?


“No” Daddio will answer to each and every query.

“Why exactly then Sir are you seeking a divorce?”

Piles, Your Honor, she makes piles."

Once when the kids were young Daddio built me a really neat bench, attached to the wall behind the table. It was for the kids to sit on.

“Make it a storage bench” I suggested.

He flat out refused, saying “In a week or two that bench will be so stuffed with shit that the kids will be sitting at an angle”.

He did as I asked and in a week or two, they were.

Last night my mother in law came over for dinner. On the side of the table, hidden in the back against the wall are two paper bags filled to the gills with papers and flyers and bills and important recipes.

I’ve been taking full advantage of the fact that Daddio has bigger fish to fry these days and he hasn’t noticed mentioned the piles.

Normally, before she would arrive I'd have stashed the bags and had the place looking all spiffed up, yesterday, I got sidetracked and forgot.

After dinner, we sat at the table talking. She glanced over to her left, toward the right hand corner against the wall where the papers were sitting and she said "Nice piles".

What the........?!!!!!

How could she throw me under the bus like that?

"You like my piles?" I asked, wounded. "I've been very busy and haven't had much of a chance to clean them up or stash them anywhere, you know how it is?"

She looked at me kind of strange.

"Your tile" she said,

"I said I like your tile".

This morning, checking on my horiscope I had a Oprah lightbulb ahhh-ha moment when I saw this......

Feng Shui Tip of the Day

If everybody is being uncooperative or unhelpful, check the near right corner of your home for clutter or broken items.


  1. Dear Ms Koby: I am also a PILER and appreciate the need to keep many pieces of paper.. I have a BLUE file that I use to store important things.. Yesterday in a fit of organizing I went throught the BLUE file. It is so full that I cannot put anything on top of it because it badly. My husband has never noticed The BLUE File and is often amazed that I can find anything he asks for. He doesn't see the frantic search that I go thorugh every time he needs something...We Pilers are necessary in an organized world....I can see your face when your mother-in-law asked about your Piles, no Tile....Hahahaha I am still laughing...Great Blog..LOL Mom

  2. Ooh, I have a problem with piles too! (It drives my husband mad, he regularly recommends Anusol ... har har, what a wag he is). I am a serial hoarder - stacks of coupons and notes and receipts and STUFF everywhere. Which reminds me, I have guests for dinner tomorrow and really need to remove the stealthily hidden piles from each of the dining room chairs ...

    I love the piles/tiles misunderstanding, thank you for the giggle :)

  3. Yep, I've been called a hoarder too. And those dining room chairs really do make the best hiding places, don't they?

  4. Yes Marmie, we pilers are needed in an organized world...think of all the fun we'd miss frantically searching for that late bill or that large check if we all had our acts together. ;-)


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