In defense of the pile of clothes on my side of the bed

I get while it annoys so many others – my girlfriend especially. But to me it feels right

Every night before bed, I place the clothes I was wearing that day in a small pile on the sock drawer on my side of the bed. Sometimes there are already extra pants. Other times, there’s a T-shirt or sweater that wasn’t dirty enough for the laundry basket. Nothing is folded per se, but I drape the larger, thicker item over everything else to better hide the bustle underneath.

My justification to my girlfriend Sunny is that we only have one closet in our bedroom – hers. My other reasoning is that it’s my side of the bed. I also submit as my defense that I’m not otherwise a messy guy: I don’t leave hair in the bathroom sink. I make sure that the shower and the toilets are kept clean. I always do the dishes. I’m doing the laundry. All this to say that I definitely don’t expect anyone to clean up after me.

Not that any of those excuses go down with the women in my life. Sunny’s problem with my little bunch is that he makes our room never look or feel clean. “We have closets and dresser drawers,” she says. “The least you can do is fold your clothes.” About her, my colleague Lindsay Schrupp says that even a little mess of clothes “brings unnecessary chaos into the bedroom.” She also thinks it’s disgusting, especially when left on the floor instead of a bedside table.

MEL editor Isabelle Kohn tells me that the piles of clothes her significant other leaves around the house — “on the floor, on the bed, on every chair, etc.” – is the only thing that makes her really unattractive to him. “Why are there piles of stuff when there are places to store things called cupboards and baskets?” she asks. “Honestly, it makes me so depressed. As if I was living in this garbage heap of chaos.

“I’m not looking for Patrick Bateman’s level of cleanliness,” Isabelle continues, “just like, what if you made an effort to keep our room semi-nice sometimes.” Meanwhile, Lindsay’s revulsion runs much deeper: “Making little heaps on the floor will make me wonder if I ever loved you in the first place.”

“A lot of clothes that have been worn but aren’t really dirty end up on the floor,” she adds, growing more disgusted with every word. “Because they’re not dirty enough for the basket, but for some reason they can’t go back into the dresser?”

What I can only offer, I don’t see the problem with a few items that are out of place. For better or worse, that makes sense to me, especially since I more or less cycle through the same five garments over and over. Why take the time to put jeans away if I’m going to wake up and put them back on in less than eight hours?

Also, in my house at least, there is a certain degree of harmony. Earlier, I headed for the bedroom, where unsurprisingly, I had sweaters, pants and a single sweater in the sock drawer. No surprise there. But on the side of Sunny’s bed, there was also a sweatshirt and sweatpants — hers, not mine.

I won’t say it’s happily ever after. But it’s close.

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