I need to make a formal apology to the scientific community. My lapse in reporting the findings of my home experiments has been unfortunately long. Unduly caught up in life outside of my work as a scientist, I have neglected my important research. For that I am sorry.
Before I reveal the results of our last experiment, a bit of background for those new to our study:
Abstract: I am conducting scientific research utilizing my family as test subjects and my messy house as my observation field.
The scientific method, as it applies to motherhood:
Question: Why is my house a mess all the damn time?
Hypothesis: No one in my family notices or cares enough to lift a fucking finger.
Prediction: I will be right. No one will put anything away, no matter how easy it would be to do so or how annoying the out-of-place object is. Family members, henceforth referred to as Test Subjects, will walk around or over the object(s) until the end of time, or until I pick it up.
Testing: Leave random items in the middle of the floor forcing Test Subjects to walk around or over the objects OR to pick them up.
View the results of my first experiment here. The second test involved a swimsuit and sweatshirt that needed to go upstairs.
The possible outcomes I predicted were:
- The clothes would be put away into Sally’s drawers appropriately;
- The clothes would produce The Multiplication Effect* leaving my stairs impassable;
- Eventually I’d pick that shit up.
*The Multiplication Effect: (n.) the uncanny tendency for misplaced debris to attract other misplaced debris, maximizing household mess to the detriment of this scientist’s mental health.
The anticipated probability of each outcome:
As with my first experiment, the final results surprised me. First came several weeks of predictable outcomes- namely, the pile remaining unchanged despite my able-bodied adult male test subject several times commenting, “This is a hazard; someone’s going to break their neck!” as he stepped over or around the problem.
Then came the unexpected: one warm afternoon Sally emerged wearing the suit from the steps. In her hand she carried the sweatshirt. “Isn’t this good, Mom? I had a bathing suit and sweatshirt right here! I didn’t even have to go all the way up to my room! And now I can be the first kid in the ‘prinkler!”
Unfortunately, I think this experiment’s outcome may have inadvertently taught my daughter a lamentable lesson in housekeeping: clothes left strewn around are more convenient than clothes put away properly.
In light of this unwelcome childhood lesson, I am now faced with a complication as I ponder my next experiment: what will effectively test my hypothesis that will neither pose a trip hazard nor teach an unwanted lesson? After careful consideration, I’ve come up with this, which I call Something for Everyone:
The Something for Everyone experiment involves an object specifically selected to appeal to each test subject. These objects have been placed strategically in the way at the entry to my house. Here they can be observed by the test subjects every time they enter, exit, need shoes, go upstairs, go downstairs, or run around like maniacs in socks on the apparently irresistibly slippery tiles and hardwood.
Expected potential outcomes:
- Each test subject sees an item he/she cannot resist, picks it up, and enjoys minutes upon minutes of quiet, independent amusement;
- Objects get kicked around and spread out in order to cover the greatest surface area possible, increasing the amount of mess three objects can make to the maximum level;
- Objects will create The Multiplication Effect;
- I will pick that shit up.
Results to follow.