There is a scarf on the stair railing. Well it’s not really a railing, it is more like a shelf. Where the stair steps are hidden behind a pony wall that’s been topped with a thin board and finished with molding with a chip gouged in it that exposes the layers of years of paint as renters have moved in and out. It is a shelf that tends to be a catch all for items in transit: mail, toys, hairbands, notes to sign for teachers, and today among other things, a scarf. Its been there for a few days. That scarf. Waiting for more things to be piled on or to be picked up. It is starting to bug me, that scarf. Its soft cozy threads are beginning to chafe my last nerve. It is starting to grate on me and wear me down. That stupid scarf.
You see it’s not the scarf that is the problem. It’s what the scarf represents. That small strip of fabric is all thats wrong with my world. It’s laziness and procrastination. It’s expectation and regret. it’s blame and passive aggression.
If I am to be completely honest, it IS actually MY scarf. It does not belong to my daughter, left on accident by the wandering obliviousness of a 10 year old. It is not my husbands, fashionista he may wish to be. It most certainly is not my sons, who could care less about changing his clothes much less accessorizing.
It is mine. It is my laziness at not putting it away the moment it came off. It is my procrastination at seeing it and being “too busy” to stop for it because softball practice, because dinner, because Facebook, because, because, because. It is my expectation, that maybe by some miracle of Divine Housekeeping Intervention some one else in the house might actually do me the supreme favor of picking it up. It is that expectation that swells in my stomach. It is swelling into a balloon of regret at my lack of motivation (how many days has it sat there?), regret at my choice of partner (does he even care about that scarf sitting there endlessly?), regret at my parenting (man I have raised some selfish and ungrateful children). It is my blame. Me blaming myself and others for not being perfect, for not being mind readers, for not picking up the scarf. It is my passive aggression, lying in wait building animosity towards the ones I love most because I feel unloved by what that immobile, inanimate, innocent scarf represents.
I can let that scarf sit there. I can allow it to wrap me up in a tangle of emotions. I can pick fights with my husband about how he doesn’t care about me the way I need. I can scream at my kids that they are selfish ingrates consumed with iPads and video games. Never once mentioning that all of these stem from my own scarf, left be me, known only to me. I can choose to wallow in this and they would be none the wiser. I should know, this is not the first scarf.
I can stop my internal whining. I can take action. I can let go of unrealistic expectations and regret. I can face the hurt and the feelings of inadequacy. I can stop avoiding responsibility. I can stop blame shifting. I can put my big girl pants on, march myself over to that hateful piece of my wardrobe and I can pick up the scarf.