Saturday, January 13, 2007

What a Girl Wants, What a Girl Needs

Ok, I know I'm evil for putting that Christina Aguilera song in your head, but in trying to think of a title for this post, it came to mind and made me giggle, so I kind of apologize but not really. ANYWAY, after my earlier post, I then talked to a friend on the phone, and then to another friend, and then I cleaned my kitchen (except for mopping the floor, which I will do tomorrow) including cleaning the coffee pot with vinegar, so real cleaning, not just superficial sort of cleaning, and then I embarked on the mammoth task that is Cleaning My Room.

Let me just admit it for the record that I can be a real slob. Not in an "I live in filth" sort of way - I always have a clean toilet and I do the dishes and all of the heavy cleaning sorts of things - but in terms of not putting my things away properly, yes, I am guilty. I have been this sort of a slob for my entire life. I was kept after school in elementary school for the Crime of the Messy Desk (a Crime of which I'm still guilty); since the time that I have been responsible for keeping my room clean, it has been, more frequently than not, a disaster. The problem is that rather than keeping up with straightening up, I really have no problem with throwing things willy nilly - until of course I do have a problem with the willy nilly craziness, and then I'm overwhelmed.

But also, I think part of the problem is that I find keeping every single thing in its place, well, boring. I mean, I'd much rather be doing other things.

I remember being like seven years old and being banished to my room to "clean." And I did keep at it for what seemed like quite a long time. But then I found my collection of books with records, and I decided that it would be wise to bust out my little record player and listen along/read all of them. And then I was tired and so I thought I'd just take a little rest. My mom was none too pleased when she came in to check on my progress after a long while ("You were too quiet") and found me asleep in the middle of what looked like a bigger mess than when I started.

Well, I've still got the same basic character that I had when I was seven years old. I am persistent in many other areas of my life, but I am not persistent when it comes to major straightening types of tasks. I am very, very easily distracted. And so, I began cleaning out my closet (which I've needed to do for approximately 3 months) and now the closet is mostly emptied of its wares, but I thought, do you know what? I think I'll just take a teeny break. And so I sat down to the computer, and now I'm writing about cleaning instead of just cleaning. Because I have no will-power. Cleaning is BORING. And I really don't CARE about being messy (except for when I can't find things, which is why I started this project in the first place).

The problem is, I MUST go back to the project, as if I don't, I will just end up piling everything up when it's time for bed, and then I'll be right back where I started.

I wish I were the sort of slob who was filthy and yet neat, for then I could solve my slobbiness by hiring a cleaning lady. The problem is, a cleaning lady can't do the sort of cleaning that I most need a cleaning lady to do. Oh, and I know, you'll say, but Crazy, if you hired a cleaning lady to do the heavy cleaning it would force you to keep your messiness under control. Don't think I haven't considered that, but to be honest, I think I would just do what I did when I was a kid, and shove everything in the closet or under the bed or in a box in the spare room in order to make things presentable for the cleaning lady. And then I'd not get the satisfaction of cleaning my own damned toilet.

It's really a no-win situation.


Mel said...

OMG. I had completely forgotten that day when I was held after school in 2nd grade for having a messy desk. I was so late that my mother showed up at school convinced I'd been kidnapped or something on my walk home. But since her own desk was always messy she was more mad at the teacher than at me. And now I can blame my faulty upbringing for my messy desk, right?

Dr. Virago said...

Crazy, sometimes I think you and I were separated at birth. That easily-distracted-while-cleaning thing? I do it ALL. THE. TIME. And nothing around here has a place. Drives Bullock nuts, since even his freaking woodshop is neater than the parts of the house where I've left trails of outerwear, mail, magazines, books, DVDs, and CDs. But then *I'm* the one who wants the toilet, tub, shower, and sinks kept clean, while he can stand a disgusting amount of filth, so it kind of works out.

And yeah, a cleaning person can't help if all the surfaces are covered with stuff. Sigh.

Dr. Virago said...

PS -- I tried to leave a congrats message on the post with the cryptic note of good news (yay you!) but Blogger was being weird that day. So a belated congrats!

Anonymous said...

Oh god. We have a lot in common. I'm a reforming messy. It was bad, I won't horrify you with the details. I read so many organizing and cleaning books I used to joke that I was "theoretical, not applied" when it came to housework. I finally had to make little systems and places for everything just to keep my head above water.

life_of_a_fool said...

I'm easily distracted, but otherwise opposite of you -- clutter I cannot stand, but I can live with a dirty toilet for ages.

Anonymous said...

Dr. C -

I have to say the reason I enjoy your blog so much is that, for me, it is sort of like my opportunity to watch an experiment in progress. I don't mean this flippantly (even though most of the time I'm a sarcastic ass).

My philosophy is that we humans are fully natural creatures who are fully determined - by our genetic heritage and our interactions with our environment - to be who and what we are. Each of us is "a gamble on the part of Nature in the creation of the human", to quote Hesse.

I like the fact that you're so honest with yourself and with us.