Dreaming of Total Organization
I’ve always been one of those fairly organized people, meaning I can find stuff, but it’s probably buried in a pile of crap somewhere. It is paper that haunts me most. Piles of papers to be sorted through, filed, decisions to be made. They outright taunt me. It’s quite insidious the way they sit there growing larger and larger with no hope of being stopped. What I need is a Rambo-esque, over-the-top, unbeatable tank of complete and total organization. In other words, a system. Maybe system is a strong word. A plan?
I fantasize about living in a Pottery Barn catalog (with a Victoria’s Secret swimsuit model’s torso), but nowhere do I see in those glossy photos piles of papers—candles, sure. Maybe even vintage, all-one-color magazines, but no bills stuck to crayon drawings with rice (which, by the way, I think might be a better construction adhesive than any substance known to man). PB has cucumber water-filled goblets on elegant table tops instead of cottage cheese-coated sippy cups hiding under a couch cushion with chocolate milk made four days ago. Even their bar collections of open shelving with rustic wood bases look elegant. I put a bunch of glass on a piece of wood and it looks like dishes that need to be washed or target practice for prancing kittens.
The art of solving a problem is in identifying the underlying causes, and I have decided the cause of my household disorganization is everyone I live with except me. And that includes the cats. And the dust bunnies. And the damn dish fairy who never shows up. Biotch.
And that is why I do not understand how people manage to become international terrorists or dictators or suicide bombers. Don’t they have some laundry that needs to be folded? I cannot even manage to motivate myself to negotiate the three piles of paper under my desk, and they have the time and energy to hate the whole entire world? Wow. I need a Red Bull.
I digress. Actually, maybe this does have something to do with why my house isn’t more organized. No, no, I must stick to my guns and continue to blame those around me. It doesn’t matter that my 8-year-old daughter throws everything out, as does my husband. It doesn’t matter that my three cats own no material possessions other than the Nerf blasters they have confiscated from my 4-year-old son. It does not even matter that 98 percent of the objects in this house have direct ties to things I’m going to do, was going to get to, or still mean to deal with. It’s all their fault. Plus, those previously mentioned kids ask me for stuff all day long. Like food. Who can get anything done with such demands?
Or perhaps it is my environmental guilt, if I am to be completely honest with the psychological underpinnings of the issues at hand. Even when I threw my hands up with complete and total joy at having recently shredded pounds of unnecessary papers, the moment was ruined when I realized that I could not bring myself to throw the confetti shreddings away. I mean, I could use them as packing material when I mail Christmas gifts back East. Or maybe I could glue them all together and create something new like a garbage can. (Snicker, snicker…irony.) Yeah, I could get some wax paper and spread glue on it, then…
This is it. This is the underlying cause of all paper piles and boxes of old toys and bags of perfectly good clothes that just need a new zipper or button. I cannot throw them away because I envision the garbage dump they all end up in growing ever higher, waiting for enough sunlight and oxygen to decompose. Or even if recycled, I picture the fossil fuels needs to process those empty coffee cans into something else, like a new car or earrings. Mother Earth is scolding me at every attempt at organization.
Of course, I don’t think this explains my dirty floor, but still. As long as it’s someone else’s fault, or something else in this case, I can forgive myself a moment for the file folder of statements from an account that hasn’t been active in five years. Sort of.