Some Things I’ve Noticed While Stuck at Home

Our bathroom has a shower curtain with images of butterflies on it. We’ve lived in this house close to two years, and this is the first time I’ve noticed the shower curtain. What is the purpose of butterflies on shower curtains? At the old house we had a shower curtain with images of plants on it. Beneath each plant was the Latin name for the plant. Why would anyone think of putting Latin names of plants on a shower curtain? Is there a process an artist goes through to submit their work for consideration on a shower curtain? I’d be curious to know what those rejection slips look like.

Our butterfly shower curtain
Our butterfly shower curtain

At night, on the ceiling above our bed, there is a strange shadow for which I have unable to locate the source. It looks almost like branches spread out on the ceiling. Waking in the middle of the night, I once thought it was cracks, but in the day, the ceiling looks perfectly normal.

There is a crack in the lid of the yard waste bin that we almost never use. Because we rarely use it, I rarely look inside. After a few months, I noticed that the bin was halfway full of rainwater. I empty the bin, and promptly forget about it, until we need it to collect some leaves, at which point, the thing won’t budge because it is once again half-full of rainwater.

All of our light switches have both an on and off position, but it seem that no one but me ever uses the “off” switch. Several times a day, I go on what I like to call “light patrol.” I walk through the house, upstairs and down, extinguishing light in my wake. I think this is good for the environment (to say nothing of our electricity bill), but I feel kind of like Ron Weasley fooling around with his deluminator.

Despite how cozy our house feels in the winter, I always seem to find the one drafty spot to sit and work.

Downstairs is always colder than upstairs. It doesn’t matter what time of year. I realize that heat rises, but I’d’ve thought by now someone would have figured out how to evenly heat or cool a house regardless of the laws of physics.

I like the top blanket on the guest bed better than the top blanket on our bed. In pre-pandemic days, when we had guests, I was always jealous of their blanket. Now, I lay awake at night debating whether or not I should get up and switch the blankets. It always ends up seeming like too much work.

We have a hundred pillows in this house and not a single matching pillow case. Not a single matching pillow for that matter. I can never find the pillows I like because they are always dressed differently and end up on someone else’s bed.

We have a bunch of smart outlets that we use for Christmas light during the holidays. I have failed to find a use for these smart outlets when the holidays end. I leave them there, taunting me, daring me to find something to plug into them. I can never come up with anything. Next year, I think I’ll pack them away with the Christmas lights. Of course, a few days after that I’ll come up with the perfect use, but by then it will be too late. I won’t want go fishing in the back of that closet.

The hardwood floors creak louder at night when walking on them than they do during the day. It’s like they are sending out the alarm, “Alert! Alert! He’s up for a midnight snack again!”

The handle for the freezer side of our refrigerator bumps into the counter, and prevents the door from opening wide enough to get a frozen pizza in or out without a lot extra effort.

Whenever I try to pull two Q-Tips out of the jar we keep them in, I always end up with a third dangling between the two.

I’ve tried everything to curb the forest of wires that has grown underneath my desk. It’s like ivy on the side of a building. I can’t stand the sight of the tangled mess. Part of the problem is that my desk has a glass surface. I think if I replaced my desk with one with an opaque surface, I could solve the problem. At least then, I wouldn’t be able to see the wires.

Our landline rings 5 or 6 times a day. We never answer it. We sometimes use it for outgoing calls, but never incoming. You’d think that would stop people from calling, but everyday I see the same number appear at roughly the same time. I don’t even think I’ve checked the voicemail box in almost two years.

The kids are always loudest when I am in the middle of an important meeting.

The door to the closet with all of the cleaning stuff in it is nearly impossible to close. Across the hall, the door to the utility room is easy to close, but opens by itself not long after closing it.

It recently occurred to me that all of the cleaning stuff is stored in location that is mathematically the furthest distance in the house from anything that requires cleaning.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

3 thoughts on “Some Things I’ve Noticed While Stuck at Home

  1. This was a highly enjoyable read. One of my favorites of your recent posts. I have no solutions for you and I might even try to suggest a few other things for you to notice so you can write another version of this post.

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