Toilets, To Do Lists & Psychological Warfare

Posted: April 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

I have a problem with lists. The problem isn’t making them. I like to think of myself as a superior list-maker. But there is a little defective mechanism in my brain that flips when the list is made and makes me feel like the list is completed. I look at my beautifully organized list and I think, “Ah, that feels good to have the toilets cleaned.” And then I go about my day and what list?

So today – my one and only free day in the next few weeks – I really would like to get a lot done, so I’m thinking perhaps I could make an anti list. I’ll just jot down the things I really want to avoid doing and then I will feel that, by putting them on a list,  I have already avoided doing them – which will set me free to…you know…do them. Okay, it’s not a perfect system, but it’s all I’ve got.

Without further avoidance, here is my list for the day:

1) Ignore laundry even though Steve had to use a towel from the guest room linens today because all our actual family towels are in a heap in the laundry room.

2) Do not clean the fingerprints off three stainless steel appliances and the glass coffee table.

3) Refuse to deal with the  great Burrito Explosion of 2009 which took place in the hallowed walls of my microwave this week.

4) Put off final touches on the message for the Doubts series at church this weekend.

5) Have my people contact my toilets’ people and postpone today’s cleaning.

Whew. It’s nice to have that stuff out of the way.

In other news – has anyone seen, heard of, or actually used these guys?

pest-repellers1 My daughter’s bedroom is in the downstairs of our house where downstairs equals basement but we are loathe to call it that. Our oldest daughter’s room was also in the downstairs and she’s the one who taught us that the word basement really is a kissing cousin to the word dungeon and so we eliminated it from our vocabulary. Eliminating the word, however, did not eliminate the fact that both dungeons and basements share an affinity for spiders. My three daughters – each and every one – find spiders morally, emotionally and spiritually repugnant. Whenever we get text messages in the middle of the night, we know that a daughter has discovered a spider and needs a SWAT team ASAP. Our response used to be: is it bigger than you? If it’s not bigger than you, then we think you can beat this thing.” But since sarcasm doesn’t kill insects, we are always forced to actually get out of bed.

So, I discovered these little plug-in guys at Costco yesterday and decided to give them a shot. My first hope is that they repel spiders and keep them out of Tess’ room. (My subsidiary concern is: where do the repelled spiders go? Mexico? Clubbing? My laundry room? Because that is not my favorite option.) Then my secondary thought is that even if these are a big scam logistically, they may be a great help psychologically.

And really, I think I’ve proven that we can all use a little psychological help sometimes, you know?

Alrighty, I’m moving on that list!


  1. Holly says:

    I trust that your day was successful and that you have a deep satisfaction in a job well done 🙂

  2. Awesome!! You have a great idea there on the list thing! You continue to be one of my role models — “if only i could be more like Bo!” Serious.

    Good luck on the spider repellents. If they don’t work, i could ship MY Tessa to you – she loves to pick up bugs, and as she’s not very gentle with them, they are usually dead and or de-apendaged within minutes.

    Have a great weekend!
    Pray for me – i have alot to do this weekend: hosting a family bday party for Tessa (turned 3 on Apr 22), preparing to help Dustin teach in our 5th & 6th grade class and finishing my notes to share at our Women’s Event next weekend. Plus i need to find a shirt that will cover the post-pregnancy pounds that apparently haven’t gotten the eviction notice!

  3. bolovesjoe says:

    Holly – I DID have a great day, actually and got a lot more done than I anticipated which makes me think I could market my antilist strategy!

    Heather – I will pray for you absolutely! Ironically, I’m speaking at our church this weekend and am ALSO looking for a shirt to cover the post-pregnancy pounds from 9 years ago. 🙂

  4. Tara says:

    Hello there. Your post inspired one of my own on to-do lists. I have a love-hate relationship with them. I was wondering if sending me an email will be able to make it onto a list in the future? Love you!

  5. bolovesjoe says:

    Tara – yep, me too. Love-hate for SURE. An email is definitely on my list but I have to get through the next two weeks first. I just made yet another list of messages I have to get prepared and delivered before May 12 and I feel more than a little overwhelmed and yet super grateful that God is really smart! 🙂 I was going to mention to you, though, to check out this web site: Interesting new innovation in water purification.

    Love you!


  6. Elisa says:

    Those spidey gadgets? YOUR bedroom. That’s where the ousted arachnids go. So…when the midnight parade begins across your and Steve’s tootsies, send your dungeonous girlie a text-message & see if she’ll rouse herself to come to YOUR rescue for a change!

    I just gave myself a serious shiver attack. My abhorrance of spiders is only topped by my avoidance of killing them because :

    1.) They eat millions of bugs outside…so I put them out when I don’t drop the jar due to the seizures their beady eyes give me (ours are palm-sized & you can SEE their eyes reflecting light!!!), and

    2.) Due to their enormity, I am thoroughly convinced that if I kill them, they will come back and HAUNT me forever (b/c anything that big HAS to have a soul!).

    Very sincerely and lovingly yours,
    Elisa Spider-savin’ Davis

  7. bolovesjoe says:

    Oh Elisa, I like your plan on some strange Twilight Zone kind of level. But I don’t like the idea of the spiders going UP the stairs to MY room. I don’t like that at all. 😦 Boo, that plan!

  8. As far as if those things you bought work? – I have heard they do. People bought them in Kenya had them plugged in. I don’t know about one spiders, but I heard they do the job on other critters that creep about in the night!!! They should use them in the Philippines!!! Thanks for praying for Heather, I know she will be very good and I am looking forward to hearing from her. Our weather has been looking like your rainy day weather – must be Spring.

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