Last updated: February 20. 2013 1:45AM - 348 Views

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Posited: Cloth dishtowels should not be applied to any liquid other than water and never, ever to any solid. Countertop wet? Go ahead and grab one of my neatly folded, nattily printed dishtowels from the little wicker basket. Countertop have a puddle of sauce or a trail of butter or something sticky clinging to it? Touch my towels at your own peril. (Heh heh.)

Here is where you respond stipulated, and we become best buds for life.

Background: Among the army of regulars (and irregulars) who visit my home enough that they have occasion to use the thingamabobs within it, I have trouble laying down the law as regards the above matter. And because I have just one vocal sympathizer when others won't fall in line, I must take the matter public.

Not only do I absolutely cringe at using anything other than a paper towel – with no earth apologies because washing machines use energy and water – to clean up anything that can stain – but I fairly curl up into a big ball of crazy if hit with the double whammy, which is when my precious towels not only contact food but are then rinsed under running water and left balled-up in my sink, perhaps under a pile of dishes.

Readers, I'm looking for a few good people to help me build my case here, to justify my sensibilities to those who would contravene Sandy's Rules of Order (apologies to Robert), either just because they can or because they are trying to build their case that my place is A. A Twilight Zone B. A nuthouse or C. both.

Why? Well, it's January, for one thing. Is there any better time to try on a new way of life? Why else would we regularly treat you to the wisdom of organizational gurus in this otherwise soul-zapping month?

Yes, I'm all too happy to beat the gurus' drum now. By February, when resolutions are so many memories, you're more likely to write me off as off the deep end. (Wouldn't want that now.)

So today I must ask you to delve deep within the heart of your heart and ask yourself … Is it truly batty …

• To open only one bottle of ketchup, mustard or other condiment in a single refrigerator at a single time?

• And, if by honest mistake two somehow get started, to at least place the two of a kind right next to each other in said fridge, which is to say certainly not one on the door and one on the back of the top shelf?

• To line up canned, jarred and boxed goods in all cabinets according to size and/or genre?

• To make sure all the labels on your various vessels face out, toward you?

Still with me? Oh yeah, embrace my crazy …

• To order a garment closet according to color or at least texture or style?

• To make sure a four-section newspaper stays a four-section newspaper? In other words, what you pull out you should put back for the next guy?

• To not let the detritus of a party, such as an unneeded paper plate or napkin or utensil, sit in the middle of a buffet or coffee table but instead escort it to the trash stat in the interest, at least, of aesthetics?

These are just a few instances where others and I have, ah, squared off. I won't name names to protect the guilty, but I will note that not all who like to challenge me these days can be completely believed when they insist they didn't do this to me. (Cough, cough, Mom. Let's not forget the grand sock decree of who knows what year. I seem to recall four fellow urchins and myself lined up on a couch to hear about a new way of life in our house: He or she who wanted clean, matched socks would herewith need to pin his or her dirty ones together before depositing them into a hamper.)

And, to this day, it's still woe to the man or woman who loads mom's immaculate dishwasher willy-nilly, so, um …

Ah yes, we all have our little things, don't we? But a new year is the grandest time for coming together on common ground.

Do we have any? Let us see now. Reveal your position on the purpose of dishrags, and we'll go from there. (Wink, wink.)

Reach Sandra Snyder, the editor of At Home, at 831-7383 or ssnyder@timesleader.com.

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