Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I've never been comfortable with clutter. My house isn't the cleanest on the block, and no matter how often I vacuum there always seems to be a clump of cat hair under the bed. I am however, incredibly tidy. If things aren't put away, then they are in a stack somewhere. I think better when things are oriented in the vertical. I'm not one of those organizational freaks that owns stock in the Container Store. You definitely want to open drawers and cabinets quickly and with a purpose in my house, so you can dodge anything that happens to come tumbling out. I should keep catcher's mitts handy for guests. I operate on the if-I-can't-see-it-then-it doesn't-exist mentality. Having moved eight times in six years, the thing that made me the most crabby was having to unpack something that I really didn't want or need. There was a massive purge of stuff every time I had to pack, and I never regretted getting rid of any of it. I guess I didn't really need that Snoopy Post-It dispenser after all. When I moved into the house I finally purchased I didn't own an extra towel, sheet, cup, fork, or pan. If I didn't use it, it didn't come with me. It was two years before any of the furniture I purchased to furnish the house had anything inside of it. I wish it were still that way. Stuff tends to accumulate quickly when you have a place to put it. And in this town, people hand out a cup, t-shirt, or other trinket every time you walk down the street.

I was cleaning up my classroom today and realized that if you want to know what a teacher is like in real life, look around their classroom. It's very indicative of their personality. We've all had that teacher whose "decorating" consisted of a single piece of paper stapled to the center of their bulletin board and just knew that every wall in their house was painted beige. Or the scatterbrained teacher who lost their one-and-only pen promptly upon setting it down somewhere and could only imagine what their laundry room must look like. My classroom is tidy, but not spick-and-span. And I take stacking to the next level at work. One of my colleagues retired this past year, and graciously gave me all of their supplies for the class I will take over next year. It is all stacked up in my room, making me crazy. Every time I walk in, I start to hyperventilate at the prospect of trying to organize it all. As I was cleaning out my cabinets and shelves in an attempt to make room for all of it, it struck me that what I was struggling with was how to reorganize all of the materials in a way that made sense to me. There is a lot of labeling in my future.

I wish I was as good at dealing with the clutter of former relationships. It would be amazing if you could just pack the hurt feelings and ridiculousness into a box and take it to the Goodwill. No matter how hard I try, there always seems to be some remnant left over that I pack up and take with me. And then I get mad when I unpack it later. Which is what is so difficult about dating in the clearance aisle. Every person has a box of junk they don't want to part with, and may never unpack. It becomes fairly obvious how large that box is simply by reading their profile. I previously mentioned starting a Crazy Cat Lady dating site, but have since found out one already exists. There is even a website that rates women's profiles with a certain number of litter boxes as a measure of their man-hating, cat-loving proclivity. I have been on four different dating sites for three months, and it's value has been purely comedic up to now, which is good for the blog if nothing else.

My junk drawer. My friend thinks it's weird that I keep my dental floss in there.

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