Friday, June 4, 2010

Some people have Personal Assistants; I have a towel.

When I am in the throes (I just love that word; don't you? it's so...passionate *sighs*) of writing, I can be a titch absent-minded. Somewhat forgetful. Less than fully attentive to my surroundings.

Oh, all right. When grappling with a sticky plot point, I'd forget to brush my own teeth if TG didn't wrinkle his nose when he came in for a kiss.

Having come to accept this as yet another of my, um, charming quirks, I've developed a coping mechanism: a towel.

(Hey, it was good enough for Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker's Guide books.)

My towel is a handy-dandy kitchen towel, always within easy reach. While I'm not sure it would do much good on a trip around the galaxy, it does serve nicely as a memory aid, much like a string around the finger.

(Which, frankly, I never understood. How does one tie a string around one's own finger? Seems unnecessarily difficult.)

Anyway, here's how it works: whenever I know I'll need to remember something, I simply place the towel in the appropriate place to joggle my memory. Since it disturbs my innate sense of order to see towels off their designated rack (yes, I am selectively anal-retentive), seeing one lying around where it shouldn't be will grab my attention, thus bringing to the fore whatever it is I need to remember. Brilliant, huh?

For instance, putting the towel on the door to the basement thusly....

... reminds me to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, the W/D being in the basement. No more mildewed clothing for me!



When I see it on the fridge, I know instantly to get the white wine out of the freezer (there because I earlier forgot to chill it) before the bottle becomes one huge wine-sicle. (Though grape is a lovely flavor for frozen treats.)



Draped over my handbag, it reminds me not to leave the house without retrieving my recharged cell phone from the kitchen counter.



When it dangles from the chandelier in the dining room, it's a gentle admonition to dust the light fixture before the in-laws come over for dinner, so I won't be embarrassed (again) by cobwebs exposed in candlelight.


The all-purpose stair placement means simply, don't effing forget (again!) whatever it was you intended to take up with you the last time you went upstairs.




On the door out to the garage: Stop! Go to the fridge and get the side dish you promised to bring to dinner at your friends' place.



Oh, one of my favorites: open a bottle and let it breathe before the guests get here.



My "personal assistant" even doubles as a secretary, leaving me a textile memo to remind me I better get a blog post written before I start that game of Free Cell.



And, finally, a grooming aid: this color won't go with what you're wearing later--repaint!

How about y'all? How do you keep your scattered thoughts corralled enough to function when your mind is occupied elsewhere?

29 comments:

Gabi said...

I laughed. Great idea, though.
--Gabi Stevens

Jeffe Kennedy said...

I laughed, too - I like all the photos of the towel wandering the house...

Jeannie said...

Love it. Whatever works. :-)

LR said...

Haha. I'm so bad about having little notes everywhere. I wanted to enclose an invoice with my tax declaration and then realized I had story notes scribbled all over the back of it. Gah. (Submitted it anyway though, they won't understand them...)

Elizabeth Ryann said...

That is so efficient! I also like that it's a specific towel that doubles as your personal assistant.

Karla Nellenbach said...

lol..when i saw the one tied to the basement door, i thought you were going to say something along the lines of 'dispose of body chopped up in basement freezer'....good to know it was just laundry you were doing! :)

Posey said...

I need a reminder not to walk out of the house with chipped nail polish, much less color coordinate my toes. Just yesterday I was trying to hide my feet while at the vet, after realizing that half the color was gone. O_o

Linda G. said...

Thanks, Gabi, Jeffe, and Jeannie! Glad you like my silly method. :)

LR -- LOL! They've probably gotten worse.

Elizabeth -- Well, it's good to have a use for the towel. I hardly ever use it for its intended purpose. Whatever can't go in the dishwasher can air-dry, as far as I'm concerned.

Karla -- Shhh! I'm trying to keep that quiet. ;)

Posey -- Ha! Same thing happened to me at Costco the other day. So I touched 'em up when I got home.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

If I need to put gas in the car after work, I prop the ice scraper up in the driver's seat before getting out of the car in the morning. And when I have a new vial of allergy serum that must go with me to the doctor's, I put my car keys next to it in the refrigerator so that I literally cannot leave without seeing that serum.

Your post reminds me that I have clothes in the dryer that need folding.

However, if I go right back to working on my WIP as soon as I'm done this comment, I can hopefully forget all about it.

Linda G. said...

Dianne -- Sounds like you have it all figured out. May the clothes in the dryer fade blissfully into the background while you pour brilliant words into your WIP. ;)

Candyland said...

Do you put it on the bedroom doorknob to remind yourself to succumb to the throes of TG?
:)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Fun post! We have a joke in our family about taking a towel with us in the car and then when traffic gets too intense the towel goes over the head. I haven't done it yet, but that mythical towel sure gets talked about a lot. :)

Linda G. said...

Kathi -- LOL! If I ever see someone driving in heavy with a towel over her head, I'll know it's you. I'll also try to stay several lanes away. ;)

Jen Stayrook said...

This.Is.Brilliant. Of course, I would have to train myself to use a towel and not just "put the towel back on the rack." I use a trick like this when I KNOW I need to write. I put the laptop in a place it doesn't belong so I'm forced to move it to its proper place and then I sit myself down to write. This is an all around great trick.
(I've never understood the string around the finger trick either. I'm terribly uncoordinated. I'm a fan of "lists" too!)

Linda G. said...

Hi Jen! Anyone ever tell you you're amazing? ;)

Putting your laptop in the line of fire is a brilliant way to make sure you have to touch it, which means, of course, you must open it and write! Love it.

Piedmont Writer said...

This is priceless information, thanks for sharing. If I dangle it over my daughter, do you think that will remind me to make her lunch?

Linda G. said...

Piedmont Writer -- Worth a shot. Or drape it over her head. When she starts bumping into walls and saying, "Ouch! I'm hungry!" it'll get your attention. ;)

Tawna Fenske said...

I love this! I'm totally going to have to start doing it myself.

Tawna

Patty Blount said...

This is just so quirky, it deserves to be in a story! Great idea, though I'm afraid I'd forget why I hung a towel over my light fixture.

That happened to me earlier today. I was cleaning the house and while I was dusting, I noticed a dirt ring on the window seat. I went to fetch the cleaner and a rag, returned to the living room and then stood there for ten seconds, wondering what I wanted to clean in that room.

I often feel like that guy in "Momento".

Linda G. said...

Candyland -- How did I miss responding to your comment? Damn. I need that towel. Anyway, I don't tie it around the _bedroom_ knob to remind myself to succumb to the throes of TG. There's a *cough* knob that works much better for that. ;)

Tawna -- I highly recommend it. Towels are much cheaper than assistants.

Linda G. said...

Patty -- been there, done that. The towel helps now. ;)

BTW, did you know if you get that movie on DVD there's an option to watch all the scenes in chronological order? I haven't done it yet, but I'm tempted--it confused the hell out of me.

Beth M. Ramsay said...

Oh I am laughing over here - I have been known to do the same exact thing! I put things (yes, even kitchen towels) in an odd place to remind me to do things.

And, another thing we have in common ... it's 11:15 a.m., and I have checked that my blog post launched, written two replies, checked FB, done the Twitter thing several times, talked to two vets today already (one for dogs, one for horses)chastised my older son for not getting to his schoolwork (homeschooled) and I don't think I remembered to brush my teeth yet.

Linda G. said...

Beth -- LOL! Dental hygiene tip: nibble on apples and cheese when too distracted to remember to brush. They apparently fight cavities. ;)

Beth M. Ramsay said...

Apples and cheese just BEG for pinot grigio ...

Kari Lynn Dell said...

But then I would need some kind of cheat sheet to remind me WHY I put the the towel there.

Actually, this system wouldn't work for me at all. I am perfectly capable of stepping over and working around all sorts of flotsam without taking any notice, including my child and husband.

Linda G. said...

Beth -- That could be the mouthwash, I suppose. ;)

Kari -- LOL! I can just see your hubs & son in T-shirts, one that says "Flotsam" and the other that says "Jetsam."

Kelly Breakey said...

I will never look at my dish towels the same way again.

Linda G. said...

Kelly -- You say dish towel, I say P.A. Someday I'll introduce you to my "pool boy," aka the beach towel. ;)

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