Tuesday, April 12, 2011

mess tolerance

Fundamental rule of housekeeping: first one to crack has to clean it. 

I don't know how on earth it happened, but it turns out I'm now a big loser in the mess tolerance department.  Don't get me wrong...when it comes to living with clutter, I've practiced with the best of them.  I used to be at the top of my game. As a child, I shared a room with my "neat freak" sister.  Yes, I said it.  She was a neat freak.  I, on the other hand, was not.  Ok, I was very messy.  I was perfectly happy leaving my clothes on the floor, never making my bed or putting anything back where it belonged.  I'm pretty sure I gave my sister an ulcer forcing her to live under those conditions.  The Odd Couple had nothing on us. 

We moved when I was a teenager and I got a double bonus: my own room AND it was completely out of the path of anyone going upstairs.  I was all alone at the end of the hall...you couldn't see my room unless you walked up to the door.  And let me tell you, my slovenly ways flourished under those circumstances. You couldn't even see the floor of my room through the mess...and I loved the freedom.  Eventually, even the slobbiest will crack.... it will be too messy but you are the only one left to clean it. The double-edged sword of having your own "space".  I think I hit rock bottom and the recovery began.  Little by little I realized I like things neat.  More importantly, I like them CLEAN. I became a "recovering" slob...it's still there, and always will be, but now I take it one day at a time. I have my moments, but all-in-all, I'm highly functioning.

Living with others, it is a well-known fact: that if no one "sees" it, it doesn't need cleaning.  Somehow, I'm always the one that sees it now.  This can be a problem.  You see, I have a new job...with a disgusting "community" refrigerator.  The new person can't start the precedent of cleaning out the refrigerator.. it's just  bad practice.  Days passed...months passed...doesn't anyone smell that? What's wrong with these people?  Wait it out, someone else will clean it.  C'mon...you're strong.. OMG, my lunch just stuck to the shelf.  Talking to myself: do NOT do it.  If you clean it now, it will be your job forever....You get the idea.  Know what happened?  Yeah, I cleaned it when no one was looking.  I cracked. I'm weak.

I don't know why, but I keep thinking I can wait out my family too....if I don't clean it, surely they'll get disgusted...right? If I don't do the laundry, they'll have to...right? If the dishes stay in the sink, they'll eventually have to clean up...right? It's a battle of wills (of course, I'm the only one that appears to know we're battling), and let me tell you...they're winning.  They are at the top of their game. 

But there is a ray of light... Tonight, my daughter asked if she could wash the floor before bed because it was "disgusting"...sweet music to my ears...She cracked! I won a battle! There's hope!

No comments:

Post a Comment