Yellow Invisalign, Floor M&Ms, and Why the Neighbors Hate Us.

Posted on
Oct 25, 2017

After 7 years of living in the same quirky little corner of Seattle, Rand and I moved across town to a bigger place in a smaller neighborhood. One would think, after literally years spent at careers that requires us to constantly move from one place to another, we would be pretty good at it.

We are not.

At one point, Rand found a Tupperware of cooked chicken in a cabinet. Because that is where I had put it. But the cabinet is right next to the fridge, so I think I get points for proximity. Rand disagrees.

Yesterday, I’d decided to organize the kitchen. I bought adorable plastic containers to display my baking ingredients, and poured a bunch of M&Ms into one. I’d put the lid on top, but I’d apparently failed to dry it properly, because a few drops of water leaked onto the M&Ms. Panicked, I isolated the wet M&Ms, and found another container to pour the dry ones into. But because the entire process was noisy and Rand was on a call, so I went outside to transfer the M&Ms and a bunch fell on the deck. But the deck is pretty clean, so I started picking them up and eating them without realizing it.

It was 9am. I was in my pjs. I’m pretty sure the neighbors saw.

And while my offenses resulted in me having to throw out chicken and eat floor M&Ms, I feel like his crime – which involved him taking my alphabetized books and re-organizing them by color – was grounds for divorce. I came home to this.


This is so many levels of bullshit I don’t even know where to begin. I stared at it, mouth agape, before finally whispering, “Why would you do this? Why would anyone do this?” And Rand said, “Oh, I’m not done yet” and I screamed “NO YOU ARE SO DONE.”

It’s been a week. The books are still arranged by color. I now avoid that room. And speaking of color, I somehow dyed the inside of my purse neon yellow.

I don’t know how this happened. Over the last few days, I’d noticed that my hands would occasionally be stained yellow, but I’m the sort of person who puts chicken in the cabinet, so I just sort of rolled with the yellow hands thing.

And then the yellow started to spread, and I couldn’t find the source, and it was everywhere, and I started to panic, because what if it was jaundice? Which I know doesn’t work like that, but it is hard to be reasonable when your husband organizes your fucking home library by color.

So then I reached into my purse to pull out my Invisalign tray and the whole goddamn thing was highlighter yellow. It’s my last tray, which means that instead of getting a new one in a few days, I have to wear it for a month.

Everything I do is terrible.

This, combined with the fact that we’re using cardboard to cover our bedroom windows until our blinds come in, and the whole eating M&Ms off the back deck mean that the neighbors have stopped talking to us entirely. Rand is delighted about this development.

Here he is thanking me for alienating the neighbors. The pile of papers behind me is my inbox or something.


This photo becomes decidedly less cute when you see my teeth.

Anyway, I called my orthodontist and they can’t stop laughing. I look deranged.


The moral of the story: don’t dye your invisalign yellow and don’t put chicken in the cabinet and don’t organize your books by color and never move.

Floor M&Ms are fine.

Also published on Medium.

Leave a Comment

  • Sorting by color changed my life. Alphabetical by author last name is how the MAN wants you to sort. That shit’s the patriarchy of male surnames perpetuated by the publishing industrial complex. Think for yourself. Be your own organizer. Use color! Use pattern! Use shapes! Be FREE!

    • While I love your justification Rand I have to agree with your lovely wife. I do not think “I shall read a BLUE book today.” Make them alphabetical by title and you can flip off patriarchy and find stuff. 😉

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    • Rando Calrissian

      Rand, I too colour-coded one of the bookshelves in our house (there are like SIX, I don’t know why my husband is so mad about ONE of them), and I love it. I think it’s so pretty! I don’t mind the extra minute or two it might take to find the book that’s needed. Rainbow bookcase people unite!

    • Quirky Travel Guy

      I think color-coded bookshelves are an amazing idea! Especially since the number of books there isn’t too overwhelming. If there’s a specific book you are looking for, it won’t take long to find it.

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  • OMG I have debated on organizing my books by color but it would drive me nuts, so it stays alphabetical. I, of course, have always thought this was completely logical until I read Rand’s comment below.

  • Katie Bell

    5 second rule – as long as you pick them up and eat them within 5 seconds all will be right with the world, and floor m&ms

  • ruthburr

    Recently we had bugs in our pantry, and we discovered it was because SOMEONE had put a small Ziploc baggie full of once-frozen peas in the pantry at some point and it had attracted bugs. I have no memory of doing that or even putting peas in a baggie, but it was almost certainly me. Like…it was me. Anyway, I feel ya.

  • My mum’s a librarian so I grew up in a home where the books were organized by Dewey Decimal. Since then I’ve always sorted by topic and then by alpha. However, the beauty of the rainbow display has been compelling. I really want to put all my books into an online system so I can find things by lots of criteria and then find them in a pretty display…. <3

  • TeaCup

    Wait…I’ve read it a couple times but where did the yellow come from?? I have to know! 🙂 (also I love the books, that it the prettiest bookcase ever….mine are by color too)

  • BornSecular

    Well, we’ve been in our house for 8 years and the books still aren’t arranged at all, so I think by color is a good start at least! 😉

  • It rains so much in Seattle our decks and ground are totally clean, floor M&Ms are fine.

  • Jodi

    Who organizes book shelves at all? I mean, it’s basically uncontrolled chaos at our house…

  • Amy Secretan

    Bless Rand for his efforts to organize! The books in our house have breached the boundaries of mere mortal shelves and now live wherever they please, in whatever order they happen to land. Moving is messy, but you’ll get there! Best of luck!

  • porsupah

    I think there could be some iota of comfort in accepting that at least the new/temporary color arrangement was merely linear, and not some form of three dimensional colorspace sorting. (RGB or YUV, one would have to wonder)

  • I spent a lot of time organizing books by color in our last place (made especially difficult because of the shelf size), but when we moved in to our new home my boyfriend put his foot down and just organized by size and weight. I think the rainbow organizing looks great with the right amount of books, but too many or too few just won’t look good. Your collection is just the right size to rainbowify!

  • … but HOW did you dye your Invisalign yellow, Geraldine? HOW?!

    Also, arranging books by color would be a separation-worthy thing in my house, so really you’re the angel here for finding it in yourself to stay married to a man who would commit such a heinously indecent crime.

  • I too must know why the Invisalign is yellow in the first place?!

    I organize my books loosely by genre, then by how good they look next to each other (like, no random big skinny tall book in the middle of uniform sized-paperbacks) so I guess rainbow doesn’t make any LESS sense than my method.

  • Are the books at least alphabetised in their respective colour section? Sure, it definitely looks cool but finding anything would be an absolute mindfudge. Did you ever figure out where the yellow came from too?

  • ernie

    We lived in our house for a few years when we got a letter from the association saying neighbors were complaining that our yard was strewn with toys. I walked the perimeter of the property and there was a dump truck by the spicket that would be very hard to see, and a scooter left on the sidewalk in front of the house. While I wanted to put a sign in the yard that read ‘If you think this is bad, you should come inside!’ – I opted to tell my kids to haul every single outdoor toy/riding toy from the garage and leave it on the lawn. For days. Your neighbors should embrace your M&M eating.

  • Ruth Frank

    Was it a highlighter gone wild in your bag that dyed everything yellow? You have a lot of red books.

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  • Sue Cohen

    We once had a puppy that ate a highlighter which turned his teeth, mouth, and paws fluorescent yellow. We named him Fang. He also greatly enjoyed eating drip irrigation systems, gas grill hoses, and stucco. We found him a new home… I think Rand will probably keep you, as long as you let him keep at least his books color coordinated.

  • My books used to be sorted alphabetically by color. Then one day, my mom sorted them all by size. However, since I haven’t actually lived in her house for the last 25 years yet insist on keeping all my old books there, I’ll let it slide.

  • Stelian Mezin

    Regarding books reorganization, must agree 100% with you.
    I know how frustrating it is when someone re-organize my stuff.
    Good reason for divorce? – Certainly not.
    Good reason for “no you are so done” in all caps? – Hell yeah.
    Yes, I read his justification. Didn’t buy it.
    Still, he should get points for effort. Even if you didn’t get points for proximity when you put a Tupperware of cooked chicken in a cabinet.

  • itstoospicy

    Hahahaha we moved last year which obviously involved transferring the contents of one fridge to another. A while later I retrieved the tub of margarine out of the fridge for toast-lubricating purposes, pulled off the lid and found… well, actually, I have no idea what it was because it was so completely overtaken by mould. It looked like a brain made out of rot in every imaginable colour. It had obviously been used as a container for some kind of leftover in like, the cretaceous period and had been languishing in the fridge ever since. And it always makes me laugh to think of me carefully cleaning out the old fridge, dumping out old salad dressings, and lovingly placing this disgusting container of rotten goop in a box to move to the new fridge.

  • My husband found some kind of leftovers I’d put in the cabinet next to the fridge once, too. He laughed it off because I was pregnant, but he doesn’t know that I’d done it before — multiple times prior to pregnancy — only I was the one who found them.

    While you might not be able to find anything, I think the books look pretty! And that’s all that really matters, right? A pleasing aesthetic? Who cares if there’s any sort of intelligence behind it. 😉

    Where did the yellow come from?? I must know!

  • Jade Dsa

    Hahah you guys are hilarious!

  • I always tell myself to organize by books by color, because it would be pretty, but the fear of not finding anything stops me.

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  • I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who does things like this! I once dove head-first into the passenger-side seat of my SUV to find a french fry that had gone astray. That sucker wasn’t getting free. I definitely got some stares, too. I’m glad the move went (seemingly) well and that you’re getting a new Invisalign tray. Nobody needs yellow negativity in their life.

  • Mellifluous

    Not knowing where the yellow came from is where dreams go to die. Why would you do that? Dream killer.

  • Christine

    I work in publishing as an art director. If I came home to my books organized by color like this…. I am not even sure what I would do. My brain would be so upset and flabbergasted I think I would have a nervous breakdown. Right now my books are organized by subject matter and author. They are easy to find and reference. Which is exactly how it should be.

  • Momma Bear Life

    Wait, what was the source of the yellow?! Did you ever find it?!

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