Anyone who has frequented my home knows a thing or two about me. Firstly, I expect guests to stand in front of my refrigerator and ogle the multitude of photos that grace its shiny surface—because, of course, that is the very best way to become acquainted with the odd ducks who live here. That’s code for: I will be offended if said mammoth-sized shrine-to-the-family-snapshot is dismissed as a clever ruse for disguising a hideous-looking refrigerator. Never mind that that is completely true.
Secondly, the shameful coating of dust with which my furniture is often festooned doesn’t particularly bother me; although the abomination of clutter contained within my household makes me want to launch things into the yard while shrieking wholly cathartic strings of vileness regarding the aforementioned items. Not surprisingly, I’ve done just that on occasion—to the horror of many.
Thirdly, it is plain to see that I have a debilitating obsession with projects—the remnants of which lay like carnage throughout my humble abode. Heaps of I’m-planning-to-do-this and stacks of I-aspire-to-do-that patiently await me, punctuated, of course, by a deluge of I’m-in-the-middle-of-these-eleventy-seven-things that promise to exasperate me in some form or fashion before I am through. Never mind the swell of boxes that routinely topples to the floor in my dining room, mocking my inability to fulfill a promise I made to my progenies centuries ago—one that would involve actually opening the stupid boxes and conducting the certain-to-be-dazzling science experiments contained within. To be a good parent if only for the time it takes to mix and stir tiny pools of repulsiveness in a plastic cup or the ever-practical, authentic-looking petri dish provided for my convenience.
As one might expect, I re-stack the boxes when they fall and carefully place the nuggets of newly acquired science project-y whateverness atop the growing mound, vowing to follow through one day soon. If nothing else, I am well-intended.
Only recently have I come to the realization that my dear projects (even the ones within which I am completely immersed) are decidedly part of the problem (i.e. projects = clutter = the bane of my existence). Indeed, it seems I am surrounded by that which seeks to suck the joy from my world, one clump of hobby-related nonsense at a time.
Fortunately for me, however, my desire to act upon several of my New Year’s resolutions has resulted in a nesting-like flurry of activity. Translation: In the past 19 days I have finished more projects, organized more hopelessly disordered spaces and disposed of more schlock than I previously considered humanly possible. That said, one bay of my garage currently houses a dilapidated monstrosity-of-a-couch, a three-ton cabinet, a nonfunctional television set, boxes upon boxes of obsolescence I don’t even remember purchasing and a wheelbarrow teeming with artwork that my charges (gasp!) no longer deem worthy of praise. It’s like a colossal staging area for an operation to rid my world of dead weight. Naturally, I will see to it that the more purposeful items find suitable homes—which will undoubtedly gladden my heart, not only because providing for others gives me a healthy dose of the warm fuzzies, but because it is likely I will then be able to wedge at least one vehicle in our garage. Life is good.
Moreover, since the gods are clearly smiling upon me of late, I somehow convinced my better half to join me in my maddening quest for order. More specifically, I commissioned him to move large and unwieldy objects, to lug heavy boxes hither and yon and to offer suggestions as to what to do with the vast array of mystery items I harvested from forgotten corners and whatnot. Of course, his duties also included hanging massive quantities of pictures—as the man possesses an uncanny knack for doing so coupled with the fact that I possess a comparative dearth of picture-hanging abilities.
At any rate, he willingly and expertly contributed to the aforementioned picture-hanging event/circus, impressing me even further with his strange and wonderful capacity for manipulating fractions in his head and wielding the big and scary tape measure thingie like only a real fix-it guy could. What’s more, he feigned patience and understanding whenever I demanded that a certain wall hanging be repositioned an inch to the left or a smidgen to the right. Or when I argued vehemently that this piece or that piece would truly sing if only it could be nudged a bit higher, a tad lower, or perhaps “…moved over there by the lamp, instead.”
Spackling compound became his fast friend.
Indeed, I am making considerable progress on my New Year’s resolutions—thanks to my able-bodied assistant and his beloved can of Spackle.
Planet Mom: It’s where I live (issuing orders to hang ‘em high…or low, maybe).
Copyright 2011 Melinda L. Wentzel