The weather has been grey and wet for long enough that it’s already hard for me to remember how parched the end of summer felt. I had been looking forward to the cooler temperatures but not the lack of sunlight: it is so GLOOMY when it’s cloudy, and of course as soon as we roll the clocks back it’ll be vampire-dark at, like, 3:45 PM.

Everything outside is currently a mess of mud and decomposing fallen leaves and so of course that is what every pea-brained member of the household is continually tracking onto the carpet, and by pea-brained I am most definitely including both teenage boys as well as the adult male, all three of which should know better and YET.

“SHOES,” I find myself saying over and over and over again, like some sort of not-very-smart parrot who knows how to screech exactly one plural noun. “SHOES!”

I hate being the Shoe Police, not only for the boring nagging it requires but because of my personal pet peeve about no-shoe-households, which seem overly fussy and incompatible with actual life. However, I have also learned that repeatedly wiping up carpet stains is also incompatible with certain things, such as sanity.

“But why don’t you make the FLOOR RUINERS scrub the floor?” you may be saying, because you are a sweet summer child full of hope. O, I have chosen this path many times, for I too am occasionally dazzled by life’s many possibilities! — but wow, talk about making things worse. (“Did you clean with a … Sharpie?”)

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