Skip to main content

Confessions of a Reformed Neat Freak

I love cleaning. It represents the pinnacle of responsible household activity. So many things out of place, so many items crying out for categorization and proper placement. I hear your cries, my children.  I'm coming for you. I am your salvation.

I led a monkish existence when I lived alone. Only the basics survived under my roof. I allowed a bed, dining room furniture, and a futon for guests. I borrowed books from the library. My hard drive held all my movies. The hardy little PlayStation Portable served as my video game console.

Then I moved in with Fiancé. Here, I saw the peril of home ownership: stuff. SO. MUCH. STUFF. Laserdiscs, VHS tapes, DVDs, Blu-rays, boxes of paper, boxes of unknown content, textbooks, paperbacks, hardcovers, board games, pictures, shirts, sweaters, mom jeans, pants, coats, costumes, suits, XBox games, D&D paraphernalia, knick-knacks, mismatched glasses, expired alcohol, expired medicine, I've-never-seen-that-before thongs, Mason jars, office supplies...and that's not even counting an entire room of things in the basement.

My head exploded. So much stuff, none of it mine. I couldn't go on a cleaning rampage and donate everything to Goodwill.

Evolution favors not the strongest or the fastest, but the most adaptable. I adapted. I took the 65% closet space allotted to me and obsessively organized my clothing by Professional, Casual, Flirty, Formal, and Hobo. I stacked my important papers, all arranged by subject, in the space under my bedside table. I sorted what books I had by size. I won a petition for a space exclusively for my bags. I put my shoes in a space-saver and classified them according to seasonal use.

Why have I been cursed such organizational skill that my own mother sends me her stuff in advance of a trip so that I may pack her suitcase for her? Did some childhood trauma involving insight into entropy and chaos forge in me some determination to exercise control over my surroundings, preferably with the help of a label maker? Did I inherit it from my grandma, who makes a list of all the contents of the refrigerator and tapes it onto the door, for the benefit of anyone who could possibly be interested? Did I learn it from my sisters, who painstakingly organized their beauty items in small, easily accessible pink trays?

Whatever the case may be, I know I am now a reformed neat freak. Reformed neat freaks are those individuals who have no choice but to accept the lower different neatness standards of those with whom they co-habitate. We conceal our tics whenever we see stacks of board games on a chair instead of on shelves on the entertainment center. We secretly indulge in our fixation for neatness by conducting unannounced raids on cabinets and refrigerators, and throwing out items years past the sell-by date. For health! For safety! For the ability to argue for neatness by pointedly putting four bottles of grape jelly side-by-side where the culprit will see them as soon as the culprit opens the fridge! See, if the fridge had some semblance of order, one would know that one already had three bottles of grape jelly!

RRRRAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

In the meantime, I continue to joyfully clean the bathroom. A sparkling tub provides comfort and reassurance. A hair-free floor promises prosperity. Neatly lined beauty items, one side for him, the other side for me, allows for efficient ablutions. Yessss, my precioussssss, we must have the neatnessssss...

This post brought to you by Puppy Bowl IX!

Popular posts from this blog

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!


Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.

Hah!

There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:


The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…