The Big Switch

Published 4:41 pm Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's that time of the year-time for the BIG SWITCH. And, I'm not talking about the switch from those days long-ago when mom evoked good behavior from their kids by pretending to head for the forsythia bush.

This BIG SWITCH is that unpleasant task of switching the spring and summer clothes for the fall and winter ones. Without fail, when the temperatures begin to fluctuate, the hubby is the first one to spring into action searching for his autumnal wardrobe, which is synonymous with sweatshirts, flannel loungers, and a huge collection of sweaters, which, by the way, he seldom wears.

Somewhere along the line, I was dubbed Princess Summerfall Winterspring. I sure don't remember that in the vows but maybe it was stuck somewhere in that part about the better and worse stuff. Yep, I am the keeper of the cedar chest, plastic tubs, and upstairs' closets that harbor the clothing involved in the BIG SWITCH.

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I knew on Saturday morning that the time was drawing nigh. The thermometer was chilling-out at 44 degrees after weeks and months at 90-something. Sure enough, by late afternoon, that man-of-mine wanted a sweatshirt. Luckily, now that the rooms upstairs are spares, a sweatshirt was easily obtainable from a dresser that used to hold first born son's clothing.

Admittedly, the BIG SWITCH isn't anywhere near the work it was when the sons lived here. Back then, there were never enough drawers or plastic tubs. Besides, those plastic tubs were far too expensive for our one bread-winner family.

These days there are extra closets and dressers but the task continues to be labor intensive. There's the pre-game warm-up, where too much time is wasted wondering how many pairs of shorts and T-shirts might be needed if we have an Indian Summer. Then, the next hour or so is spent piling the summer clothes in a few laundry baskets for their trip upstairs. Next comes the are we ready to pull out the wool stuff yet or do we keep that stored for a month or so dilemma.

Mountains of long-sleeved shirts and sweaters dot the upstairs landscape as I ponder which ones need to be washed and which ones only need a quick spin in the dryer.

Several hours from later-make that several days or maybe a week or two later, I'll need to rethink the how many shorts and t-shirt strategy because their replacements are much bulkier and take up a lot more room in already crowded dressers.

As I step over piles of clothing, I long for that time years ago when we spent a year in the Southwest. One season-all year long-the Princess was on hiatus. Winter meant carrying a sweater in the back of our little Triumph convertible, which hardly ever sported its top.

Ah yes, the good old days. Okay, so snowmen fashioned from tumbleweeds weren't that inspiring. And, I did miss the Four Seasons-even though I never really liked that song telling me that big girls don't cry. We all know they do, don't we?

Now that I'm responsible for just the two of us, the seasonal switch should offer a great time to purge the closets and dresser drawers. And, it shouldn't take that long. But, the time and the temperatures aren't very accommodating nor is my temperament.

Maybe SAD, Seasonal Affected Disorder, really isn't caused by a decrease in daylight. Maybe it's caused by the Big Switch. After all, not only do we have to change out the clothing but there are also those slacks and sweaters that need to be tried-on because as seasons change so do waistlines and hips.

Okay, that does it. I've talked myself out of completing the Big Switch this week. It's far too depressing and way too much like work. And, according to the weatherman, warmer temperatures are expected for the next week or so.

Hauling the laundry basket back up the stairs, I passed the hubby in the hall. “I might need that fleece pullover,” he shared.

That's when it hit me-the most brilliant idea I'd had all day and, ironically, it involved fleecing. “Hey, now that you're retired, why don't you take on the Big Switch?” I suggested.

When he gave me that you have to be crazy look, I tried to conjure up the sexiest voice I could muster. “Just think, you could be my man for all seasons.”

He grabbed his sweatshirt and headed out the door.

Reckon there's any chance he may reconsider? KNOTT MUCH.