For Christmas, Tricia received a book on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. She just as well could have received a book on the Japanese art of eating goldfish on game shows for all the good it’s done us, but bless her heart, she tried.

I don’t know any other way to say this, but my wife is messy. We do not share a bathroom, and until we began procreating and filling up our house with tiny people and tiny clothes, we never shared a closet. Before, her messiness never bothered me because I could contain it to her bathroom and closet, which I never looked in, because I knew it would give me a panic attack. But now that we share a closet, I was very encouraged when she actually began reading the decluttering book, instead of just tossing it haphazardly on the floor.

“This says if items in the house don’t bring me joy I should throw them away,” Tricia said to me one night.

“I think that’s a great idea,” I said, you should start tomorrow.

And she did. With a shovel and coal miner’s headlamp she went into out closet and began tossing things out saying, “This shirt doesn’t give me pleasure, and this old alarm clock doesn’t give me pleasure, and this old iron doesn’t give me pleasure.”

I was very encouraged as I watched all these items pile up on her bathroom floor; however, I’m a little less encouraged six weeks later because the pile is still there. I told her I didn’t think the Japanese meant for her to end up with a mound of displeasure next to her tub, but she gave me a dirty look so I let it be.

Tricia kept reading the book at night, and I dreaded the day she’d start trying to declutter again, but one night she tossed the book across the room and said, “I’m done with the decluttering book.”

“Why?” I asked.

“The writer started talking about how your socks have feelings and it’s all gibberish.”

I laughed a little to myself because I know what was really bothering Tricia was the thought that her socks in particular had feelings. Tricia’s sock drawer is where bad socks go when they die. It’s a wasteland of mismatched foot apparel where no one can find their soul mate because their soul mate is probably behind the dryer or maybe got thrown away one day. Next time you see us out in Auburn stop us and ask Tricia to show you her socks. If they are matching, I will give you five dollars on the spot.

No, Tricia didn’t stop reading because the idea of socks having feelings is silly, she stopped reading because if socks do have feelings, she is a very bad person. But she’s not a bad person, she’s [MUSHY COMPLIMENT REDACTED BY TRICIA], and I’m unbelievably lucky to share my life with her. And even luckier that we don’t share a bathroom.

Chad Gibbs lives in Auburn and is the author of 'God & Football," "Love Thy Rival" and "Jesus Without Borders. For more information or to purchase books, visit

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