Piling It On

REPRINTED FROM THE TOWN COURIER September 21st

Years ago, I had a sign in my office that said, “A messy desk is the sign of a genius.” Well if, like that sign, messiness was the barometer for intelligence, Mensa would be beating down my door. Daily.

Let me back up for a moment and say that I am not dirty. The camera crew for, “Hoarders: Buried Alive,” has not shown up. This is just the true story of a girl and her piles and a serious love affair with the junk drawer.

However, my true love and husband is a very neat person. The jury is still out for me on the topic of spouses with different cleaning styles. Should neat people marry neat people, and should the slightly slovenly stick with their ilk as well? If the cap on the tube of toothpaste can really make or break a marriage, do organizational opposites stand a chance?

Nature, nurture, nonsense … who knows? In my case, I have been disorganized since the day I was born. I am confident that even my baby blankets were heaped in a messy pile, which likely drove my neatnik mother insane.

And let’s face it, neatness is for wimps. Where is the challenge in having a place for everything and everything in its place? If you want a challenge, try finding a white field trip form in a pile of school papers that have been accumulating throughout the semester. That, my friends, is a character-building experience

I had never seen anyone open the mail over the trash before I met my husband. This was akin to the discovery of the polio vaccine to me. Revolutionary in its simplicity, beautiful, really, and clearly his best shot at curing the penchant for stowing that ailed me. Everything else he has tried to instill in me has fallen on deaf ears, or is hidden in a drawer somewhere.

I don’t mean to imply that he is not sentimental and just tosses everything to feed his need for an orderly world. He has saved nearly every project or card that the kids have ever made for him. He has them in one box in our closet. I, too, save all of these items, but I am not as organized about it. So, I may find an old Mother’s Day card as I am searching for a brown paper lunch bag. These random discoveries are an unexpected surprise and always brighten my day even if I vow to find a good solution for the mementos every time I run across one.

My car is a junk drawer on wheels. I have clothes, cleats, balls for nearly every sport, jackets, sweatshirts and possibly more. I can’t count the times I have claimed a moral victory after reaching deep into the crevices of the hatch and finding treasure. My greatest achievement to date was finding an unopened mouth guard and scissors to cut it down with 15 minutes before kick-off.

I clean out the food and wrappers constantly, but if my husband tries to be “helpful” and clean out the car, it will ruin my system for weeks. Although he is not buying the fact that there actually is a system, I feel stranded and helpless without all my stuff.

My piles comfort me, and I move seamlessly among the clutter and rarely lose a thing. My piles drive my husband to distraction and may possibly bring about appetite loss and migraines. Yet, with a decade of marriage behind us, we have found a compromise. He pretends he doesn’t see the piles until they begin to list under the weight of the catalogs and papers. And I make a big show of it any time I purge those piles, shredding and tossing papers with reckless abandon.

It is a silent testament to our devotion to each other, which it turns out is really not all that hard to unearth.

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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