There are humans who never spill or stain. Really.
As babies, they don’t spit up. School pictures feature pristine pastels. They finish sports seasons without a single grass stain. As adults, they never squirt lobster juice on other diners at upscale restaurants.
If you qualify, please continue so you understand people like me. “Egg on my face” is not just an expression. Egg not only spatters my chin, cheeks and glasses, but nests in my belly button.
I always thought such disasters were my fault. But modern wisdom says we’re all victims, so I now blame my DNA.
How about you?
Do new pens spring 57 leaks at checkout?
Do supermarket ladies dump beet samples on you?
Do road workers match tarring sessions with your commute?
Then you are stain royalty, a lifetime heir of splotches, blotches and smudges.
Try to think positive. As a child, I snacked on a sleeve, the equivalent of a PB&J sandwich.
Despite serious efforts to avoid staining my teen fashions, though, splotches appeared whenever I brushed against oxygen.
Fortunately, love blinded my new husband to this handicap — until I did laundry: “Where did these lavender spots on my underwear come from?”
I shrugged. “Who knows? Washers don’t like me.”
Give the man credit. He not only has endured decades with a stain queen, but with kids who took after her. One toddler decided Dad’s underwear needed a rainbow hue and tossed crayons into the dryer.
I couldn’t have done better myself.
They’re adults now, with their own little messies. Though my children still suffer from drops and dribbles, their kids’ mishaps supply excellent camouflage. When grandchildren visit, Grandma shares this benefit.
Still, you’d think fellow stainers and I would never wear white or khaki. But miracle products rescue us: bleaches and stain removers — and friends who carry them in their purses. When I dumped punch on a tablecloth, my friend not only loaned me her bleach stick, she gave me an extra.
I shout out other marginalized heroes: the dry cleaners.
Although last time I hauled a load, I found the door locked and a sign: “Rachael Phillips: We’ve moved to Hafnarfjörður, Iceland. All others: Return after she leaves.”
Sigh. That’s the fifth dry cleaning store in town that’s moved to Iceland.
Doesn’t this awaken compassion, you of stainless zeal? Shouldn’t you nix criticism until you’ve walked in my gasoline-dotted shoes?
Finally, fellow sufferers, I feel your stain pain and offer an inspiring quote: Walk carefully and carry a big stain stick.
Or stick with friends who do.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you a stain queen?