Sunday, November 6, 2011


     My family in India uses mothballs to store their clothes and to keep out mice.  If I stayed with tradition I'd still be using them to store my sweaters and other wool clothes.  But I've moved on and use cedar blocks and cedar spray in my closets and drawers.  I learned my lesson in college.
     When I packed up all my winter clothes in Ann Arbor to put in storage for the summer after my sophomore year, I generously sprinkled moth balls amongst all of my boxes.  Come August the moving company delivered the boxes to me and my roommate's new apartment.  Turns out you don't really need to use moth balls in Michigan to store your clothes for a mere three months; unless you want all of your friends to call your apartment "grandma's place" or ridicule you about how your comforter smells like an old folks home.  I was only twenty years old and had a major complex.
     Plus, it didn't help that when I went home for winter break that year, Dad had started using mothballs all over the house to "preserve" it since I was't living there full time.  He overused the mothballs in every nook and cranny he could think of.  He even put them in my bathroom sinks and the air vents.  Imagine coming home to relax from all the finals you just took only be fumigated by the strong stench of mothballs wafting through the air vents of your room when the heat came on.  Not fun.  And damn near impossible to breathe.  
     While we're on the topic--if you think that the new "lavender" scented mothballs will be ok and not stink up your sweaters.  Think again.  I tried those cute looking mothballs in the lavender colored boxes which contain the individualized packages of two mothballs in a white paper looking sachet and ended up airing out half my wardrobe for weeks before I could even think about wearing one of the mothballed items.  Uggg.  From here on out it's cedar blocks all the way.  If I ever build a new house I'll make sure it has a cedar closet or a zero sum moth population in all directions.

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