Monday, January 09, 2006

Numbered Tales

It was after the third load of laundry that I noticed it. Folded one on top of another in a crooked tower on the dryer: Pajamas. Almost no regular clothes (well, sure socks and underwear) but tons of pajamas. Out in the world, I'm not currently wearing pajamas. I swear to you, I'm relatively respectable (this is new, actually, I used to wear pajamas out quite regularly, but not this year).

It didn't fully unnerve me until I counted them: nine. I have nine pairs of pajamas. This is just counting matched sets...not pants, not nightgowns, not various other sleeping accoutrement.

Also, please note, I'm not the type of person to have nine of anything normal. I only have one pair of jeans, one pair of winterboots, one fleece, three suits, and an ever-diminishing set of much-suffering brassieres.

Pajamas, though? Nine.

Blue stripe,
Pink flowers,
Purple sparkly,
Grey and purple plaid,
Rose stripe (there's a song about these - sung to the X-Files theme. V. spooky.)
Yellow and lavender,
White damask, and
White with pintucks.

It got me thinking about numbers, and how we use the numbers of things to judge a situation. The number of people afflicted tips an outbreak into an epidemic, the Dow Jones Average indicates growth or decline. Nothing has really changed, except for the numbers. The same could be said about the belongings of individuals...the number of old newspapers separates the slovenly from the hoarders.

For example, in my own life:

Number of antique standing mixers...
Me: six
Normal people: fewer than six

Number of pets...
Us: also six (one for each mixer so the household remains in balance)It just ain't right. That's almost a hundred claws to clip, it's no wonder that the leather couch is developing a "patina."

Number of Banana Boxes filled with fabric...
Me: nine (also number of sewing machines: 3)

Number of turtle mummies/skeletons/remains...
Us: at least three (that we know about - there may be more that we've forgotten)

Number of bars of soap made in a two-week period...
Me: ninety-six (eight me, it's a lot of soap for two people who are honestly not that clean.)

Number of squirrels/other rodents in freezer awaiting taxidermy...
Us: For the first time in a decade, none.