April 2018

Monday, May 17, 2010

NL #21: Give it to the Postman.

NL #21: I am not tidy. If I walk into a tidy room, it somehow turns messy around me. Messy must be my aura. When I was living at home in Raleigh, neighborhood children would bring their friends to see our rooms (my siblings also have this aura.) I had a yellow shag carpet, but most people never saw it. Once I saw a smudge in the carpet near the door, and I started to lean down and wipe it. Instead, I got a broom, and when I touched that smudge, it rose like some monster from the deep: a big, brown, hairy wolf-spider. Egads. I suspect I did the same thing then that I do now when I see a spider: left the room and closed the door. I'm surprised I ever went back in.

My mother is tidy, so when my parents built the house I grew up in, they put the kids' bedrooms along a hall, with a door at the end that connects to the rest of the house so that Mom could just close off our mess. She called that hall "the zoo."

In college, my freshman roommate Angelique and I were equivalently messy. We were both out of town for Valentine's Day and the boys we were dating broke into our room, cleaned it up and decorated it. I'm still impressed.

I worked for several years at a brand new school and served as department chair for much of that time. Since we had no books our first year, I had about forty Literature and Social Studies text books stacked on my office floor, along with a pile of student papers for each class I was teaching. My office became part of the official tour. My officemate Sally tolerated the mess. Bless her.

Now at home, Ann is tidy, and she has created places where I can be messy in a way that doesn't bother her. It works, but no one visits to see my mess since it is hidden. Did I say Ann is tidy? A few years ago, when my parents were visiting, Ann bought Dad some oatmeal for his breakfast. He didn't eat any the first day and left it on the counter. She gave it to the postman for the annual food collection for the food banks the next day. More recently, a carpenter Sailor has been remodelling our downstairs bathroom so that it will be more accessible for me. Sailor put some extra tiles and plumbing parts in an old trashcan and moved it to the basement to get it out of the way. Ann emptied the trashcan when she was straightening the basement and our parts were driven to the dump during trash pickup the next morning. Oops.

Sometimes it pays to be messy. So throw your things down and flop on the nearest couch--or wallow,as my mom would call it--and read a good book. Leave your shoes by the couch when you leave. Don't make your bed in the morning or hang up your clothes at night. That's a start. Mary

1 comment:

  1. Whenever my mom told me my room was messy, I always had the excuse that it wasn't as bad as yours or Jennifer's. I'm sure Matt's was just as bad but his was so far down the hall I never got to see it.


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