There is an age-old idea in the annals of parenting, one that has persisted through many generations of teenagers: that of the invisible bedroom floor. It's a given: teens are inconsiderate slobs that can't clean up after themselves to save their lives, and so-help-me they will BURY THEMSELVES IN THEIR OWN LAUNDRY SOME DAY!
Ahem. Sorry. Let's get back on track, shall we?
I never understood this. I mean, my floor was always reasonably clean; I tossed things here and there every once in a while, but all and all I took care of my room pretty well. Similarly, when I went to college I kept my room in reasonable condition. However, when the holidays came around, I quickly discovered what the laundry pile was all about - and boy did I love it. For the short period of time that I was home, I could leave all of my stuff in one place and know that I would clean it up eventually, but all at once instead of a little bit all the time. More than that, I could re-wear a little here and there without digging through a laundry basket and do one large load of laundry right before I left. After that, it was all downhill. I started keeping everything in one spot: boots, shoes, clothes, books, and sometimes headphones and the like. Looking at that pile, I realize a certain beauty in it that I'd never realized before. Though it can be easily shown to be a sign of laziness, it is also (a little below the surface) a scruffy, informal kind of love. Nothing makes the pile without being useful. Christmas presents end up in the pile, not out of disrespect, but because they've been taken out of the box and played around with. They are roughed up toys, less than fingerprint-free electronics. These are the winning gifts and the important possessions; the ones that really didn't make the cut are sitting displayed on the bookshelf gathering sad, sad dust and wishing that maybe, someday, they could make it on the dirty old laundry pile.