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I do not write this in any kind of disrespect for my wife.  Carolyn is a wonderful person that I love very much but sometimes we conflict on a few certain things.  It seems that she has freedoms that I don’t have.

Take for instance the freedom to hang clothes on doorknobs.  She can get by with it, I can’t.  It is just not an issue for her.

Our bathroom has two doors, one to enter and a second one into the reading room.  I like to close the doors when I go in, first for privacy and secondly to keep the light from shining in her eyes if she is still getting her beauty rest.  However on occasions, when I push a door it swings part of the way closed and then springs back open.  It shouldn’t do that, it’s just an ordinary house door.

What’s the problem?  The doorknob has several layers of clothes; something she has recently wore and then gently fitted around the knob to keep it handy.  If I mess with it, the stuff begins to fall off and then it becomes my responsibility to take care of the rumpled items.

I often wonder how she can continue to do this until one day I figured it out.  She has not heard the doorknob speech.

I saw the “King’s Speech” but it certainly did not move me as much as the “The Doorknob Speech” my daddy gave directly to me when I was about fifteen years old.  That speech changed me forever.

I grew up in a small three bedroom house in Alabama Village.  At the end of a short hall was an open area that was just large enough for a collection of doors, five to be exact.  Three bedroom doors, one bathroom door, and one closet door lining what would have been walls had the area been larger.  The doors allowed the family members to pass through into one of the aforementioned rooms when open or provided a little privacy when closed.

Because I was often too lazy to hunt a coat hanger, I got into the habit of hanging clothes that I may be planning to wear again on the inside of mine and my brother’s bedroom doorknob.  That seemed acceptable but it seemed to cause a problem for my daddy when I let my clothes wander out into the hall and onto the other doorknobs.

One night, after he got home from his second job of the long day, when all he wanted to do was take a bath and go to bed.  Well it probably would have been ok if there had been an item or two on my bedroom knob, maybe even the closet doorknob.

I believe he started preparing the speech when he opened his own bedroom door and knocked some of my clothes to the floor and that he finalized it when he returned to bathroom, grasped the door and more of my clothes tumbled to the floor in a crumpled heap.

After the rather long speech (in my mind) that ended with him planning to go to Bates Brother’s store the next day to buy a bunch of doorknobs and then him promising to nail them all over my bedroom wall so that I would have a place to hang my clothes.  If he had been a man prone to violence, I believe he may have considered wearing out my behind for the first time of my life that night.

I thank God that my daddy was a peaceful man but it was something about the words and the tone of that speech that got my attention that night.  To this day, if I see a doorknob with clothes hanging leisurely over it, I think the owner of that garment didn’t hear the speech and then I remember fondly how I got the undivided attention of my daddy that night.  Oh, how I wish I could see and hear him again.

by Wayne Brady 7/17/2012

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6 thoughts on “The Doorknob Speech

  1. I constructed a wall rack with clothing hooks next to the shower along with a shelf over the toilet. Objections were raised, but the hooks are filled to capacity as is the shelf.

  2. Just Love her! You will (believe me) be so so lost if you ever loose her;Wish I had more Door knobs for Paul to hang his shirts on! Or the back of the Dinning room chair; (He would do this sometimes; because we hardly ever used the Dinning Room except for Co. But had to go throught it to get to CarPort! So it became his catch all! Swee t

    Memory!

    • Mary, just because I think carefully before I hang something on a doorknob doesn’t mean I am without fault. I tend to hang clothes everywhere else in our bedroom except where they belong. There is a chair for relaxation that often is unusable because it is usually covered in several layers of my clothing and there is an exercise bike that has a seat and handle bars that make real good clothes hanging places. There is also a small table with a lamp on it that can support several pairs of pants at a time. I am only sanctimonious about the doorknobs.

  3. My mother doesn’t think so Linda. She has been impatiently waiting for it to fall apart. For 45 years! Thank God I did not come from a dysfunctional family. Ha!

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