Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Disorganized vs. The Pack Rat Part 1

I am not an organized person.

I mean, I LIKE organization.

I LIKE to have my kitchen appliances in my kitchen.

I LIKE to have my shampoo on the shelf in the shower.

I LIKE to have my clothes in my closet.

Mostly. Except the half of my clothes that are upstairs in my son's closet because I DON'T HAVE a closet. The point is, organization is great, it just doesn't exactly come natural to me.

I'm the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, procrastinate until the last minute which is exactly when I do my best work, a 'what-do-you-mean-you-won't-skip-work-to-go-hiking-through-the-woods-with-me' kind of spontaneous person.

To some people spontaneous is synonymous with irresponsible.

But really, I am *NOT an irresponsible person. I get the kids fed, I keep them clothed, warm, and watered, er, I mean bathed. I get them to school on time. And don't get me started on the benefits of having a scheduled baby. But trust me, these are LEARNED behaviors for me.

*and by "not" I mean "mostly not". There have been occasions I've forgotten to have the kids use the toilet before we leave the house, take the cookies out of the oven on time, or buckle my poor unsuspecting baby into the evil swing that doesn't actually latch the tray tightly...

I'll never forget the moment it dawned on me as a newlywed that I would actually have to cook and provide meals THREE times a day EVERY day for someone. Nine years and 4 more people later and I'm still shocked at times by how OFTEN these people all need to be fed! I mean, really, three times a day, EVERY day?!

Someone shoot me now.

Or get me a dishwasher.

I'm the kind of person who has a *messy desk.

*and by messy I mean it looks like a tornado hit it. And then came back for a second round.

But I'm also the kind of person who knows exactly where something is on that same messy desk. It doesn't bug me, usually, to have all this disorganization happening. My husband would NOT call me a detail-oriented person.

For some reason, this always becomes more apparent in the car.

We'll be driving down the road and have a conversation like this:

Hubby: "What's that noise?"
Me: "What noise?"
Hubby: "That annoying little rattling noise."
Me: "Rattling? I don't hear any rattling."
Hubby: looks aghast and proceeds to fish around in the console until he makes the pennies stop bumping up against the sunglasses. "THAT rattling!", he'll exclaim as he settles back in his seat and lets his shoulders fall back down from his ears.

Huh. It IS a little quieter, I'll think to myself, realizing that the same rattling noise has probably been a constant fixture in my car for WEEKS. I don't notice those things.

Or when we are driving around with some of the extended family and someone will make a remark like, "I like the color palate on that house.", or "They really need to mow their yard!", or "What do you think of that style of garage door?".

These questions and statements jump at me like a cat on a mouse! Up until that very moment I hadn't even noticed any of those things, let alone formed an opinion about them!

"Uh. Uhm. Er. Uhhh..." Think, think, THINK! What DO I think about that garage door? It has windows. Do I like the windows? Are there too many windows? I wouldn't want my messy garage to be seen by passers-by through those windows, so maybe I don't like all those windows. Maybe fewer windows would be good?

... and by then the conversation has moved waaay beyond THAT garage door and I feel like a figure skater in the middle of a rink while Apolo Ohno zips past like he's going for gold.



Thank you, Apolo.

Now and then I think back to being a kid and having my brother always telling me to be observant and specific while we were driving. He'd pop up with these random questions here and there to get me to be more observant.

"What did that sign just say?", he'd ask, or "What color was that car that just passed us?"

"Er, um, blue?", I'd respond. Sometimes I'd actually know what the sign said, mostly because I'd been down that road a million times since I was four and could finally see over the edge of the door and out the window. This was, of course, before the carseat era. Thank goodness I wasn't subjected to that. I'd have been in a booster seat until High School.

Maybe he knew something about me that I didn't realize yet.

The point to all this? Disorganization doesn't bother me. I hardly notice details, unless it's something in the realm of art or literature/grammar/english, and even then, I couldn't tell you the "rules" of what makes it right or makes it ugly. It just feels right or it doesn't to me. I'm wired to notice things in that realm.

But here's the problem: Upon arrival at my new house on Christmas Day 2001, I stepped in and began the process of "moving in". I'd open a box, look around, open a drawer, think to myself "this'll do fine for these! I can reorganize this later!" and in whatever it was would go. Nine years later most of that stuff is in exactly the same place as it was then. Or worse, it has been shuffled from one closet to another to the basement to the back room to...

Yeah. We ran out of room to shuffle things to. SOMETHING must be done!

But this disorganized half of the marriage is exactly that: only HALF the problem!

5 comments:

Rachel said...

It's nice to know somebody else misses details sometimes too.

Anna said...

At least you've come to grips with the fact that you are disorganized. Lately I have been super duper unorganized and it's driving me a little batty. (I have a good reason though!) I finally snapped and color coordinated my undies drawer. I occasionally go on a cleaning/organizing spree. Which is why I have no clothes more then a few years old.

Yvonne said...

LoL. I love your writing style =). So many points of your post spoke to me and describe me to a T.

Nabila Grace said...

Oh I love a organized mess! I always find that I find what I'm looking for when every things a mess and never find it when it's put away. I think that that sometimes I think better when all my clothes are in my laundry basket instead of hanging in my closet! haha! :o) So good to know I'm not alone :oP The only place where everything HAS to be organized for me is...work... :o)

Beth said...

haha!! you and I definitely got cut out of the same mold! I was just trying to explain to someone the other day that there really IS such a thing as "random organization." They didn't get it, lol. :-S

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