a unique take on life from some unique women
We all have that one friend. The one who is super messy. Not in an unhygienic way, but in a uber-cluttered-living-space way. You’ll find that you hang out with them mostly because you are absolutely fascinated how they are able to function socially or even hold a job.
Well, I am that friend (and you’re welcome to my friends that I am fulfilling this role so they don’t have to).
When someone tells me they like my outfit, I reply that the mishap of my nice appearance is due to a lack of clean clothes, and my choices for today’s attire was either this cute dress, or shorts and a t-shirt with incredible pit stains. For one entire year of my life, I locked my dorm room door every single time I left it so no one could accidentally walk in looking for me and shriek in horror at the mess they’ve walked into, a shriek that my hyper imagination told me would cause someone to accidentally call to the police and end in a ticket or something for fire hazards. In fact, once when I was younger, my mom took away my room. Yes, just like taking a toy from an unruly toddler, she took away my room, and I slept on the floor of my sister’s room in a sleeping bag for the whole summer.
Fast forward a decade. Now I’m a grown-up with an absurdly spacious apartment. And with these nice new digs, I have acquired the superpower of being able to play hostess. Ipso facto, I’ve been fairly successful at keeping clutter at bay because of all these wild parties I’m so often throwing (and by “wild parties” I mean “the friend group leaving the bar because they turned the music up way too loud and coming back to my place to watch reruns of ‘The Office”). And it’s been a pretty wonderful change of lifestyle to come home from work, not having to play “Where’s That Smell Coming From?” or needing to climb Mt. Laundry to get to my bed at night.
Except for one thing: I never know where anything is.
Before, I knew where to find wearable clothes in my room. I may forget when I run out of money in my checking account, but I knew exactly which areas of my floor had clean vs. dirty clothes (similar to having a hard time memorizing sonnets for high school English class, but I can still recite the lyrics to that Savage Garden “chica-cherry-cola” song verbatim). It was incredible, actually. I considered calling up the people at Guinness Records to see if they’d be willing to come over for a demonstration. But now, without the daily visual of my dirty clothes, since my new grown-up state dictates dirty clothes now live in the bins in the laundry room, I never remember to actually do laundry. Sure, I didn’t do laundry as often as I should have, but at least I was aware of my actions.
My former messy lifestyle also made me more creative. I had to get innovative when cooking dinner based on the available clean pots and pans. It was like a math problem. And it exercised those useful problem-solving muscles in my brain that now are so loose and flabby. The other day I went out and bought a hammer, and it was until I got home I realized I could have just used the heel of a snow boot thus saving me $7. I mean, I’m losing all my quirk that made me such an adorable individual!
I don’t have the time or the patience to recondition myself to where all the “right places” for things are. When I was little, I remember someone saying, “The floor is just the biggest shelf in your house.” And it’s brilliance has stuck with me ever since. Part of me wants to return to my former way of living, where, sure it may have taken spry agility to walk across a room, but I knew the whereabouts of 99% of my belongings. Yet, another part of me does like this strange new sensation of certainty that there are clean towels in my linen closet.
I am a tortured, conflicted soul…