Leaving instructions for hubby is a sticky problem

August 30, 1994|By ELISE T. CHISOLM

Post it, shove it, stick it, but I can tell you they won't last.

When is a "stick-em" not useful? When it runs out of "stick," of course. You know what I'm talking about. They are the most popular things since the stapler: small note pads with self-stick notes you can place anywhere for reminders.

Bosses use them, teachers use them and families use them. However, I have to say that for real hard core stick-ability there's still nothing like a note with chewed gum behind it that the kids used to leave for their parents.

My friend Emma was only gone for a week, but she left her hubby stick-em notes all over the house and everything hit the fan, including the notes and the couple's marital peace.

The house they'd shared for 40 years had to be put back together. She is blaming not only Jim's lack of domesticity, but the self-sticknote papers that didn't hold up.

Emma went to help a daughter with a new baby. Not an unusual occurrence these days when hospitals throw out the new mother, the baby and the bath water in 24 hours.

Jim, who worked a 14-hour day, never had kept house. Oh, he cooked on Sundays, grilling out -- you know, that Sunday pastime that men like to brag about.

"When I got home," Emma tells me, "the dishwasher had overflowed because he'd used too much detergent. He'd cleaned the wood floor with a soap that took the finish off, and he did not know how to change the vacuum bag so it broke. There were many boo-boos. All those things had my directional self-stick notes on them. Nag notes as Jim calls them."

It seems Emma's main trouble was inside the refrigerator where the notes came unstuck because of humidity.

Under an eggplant casserole she wrote, "Eat soon, and bake at (( 350 for 25 minutes." The note loosened and fell onto the plastic box of baklava. He baked the dessert and the plastic box so it looked like a melt down, a miniature Greek volcano.

Her note on the barbecued chicken read, "Heat in microwave 5 minutes." That note fell on the chocolate pudding she'd made and when he heated them they dissolved into what looked like -- oh well, you know what.

I told her we all use nag notes with magnets, and that magnets stay magnetized unless you move to the moon, which Emma is considering. Self-sticks are not reliable, and they have a way of landing on another page of a book or household appliance.

Once I left a grown son home alone with self-stick notes, and they all came off. But with my son's macabre sense of humor he left notes for me when I returned. As in "I watered your violets but they seem to be dying, sorry Mom," and a few other reminders.

Emma also didn't want Jim to go out to dinner every night with one of his bachelor drinking buddies. Although I think he'd have been a lot safer.

When they perfect a voice-activated system of instructions for -- spouses who are klutzes, Emma says she will go away again. Punch a button on the garbage can and it will say, "Garbage day is Tuesday."

5) Great idea, I'll stick with that one.

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