Tuesday, September 07, 2004

my room explodes weekly

I'm not exactly what you'd call a neat person. When I say neat, I mean orderly or tidy, not "oh, she knows how to skate backwards with her eyes closed, she's neat."

I'm not a complete slob. It's not like I leave half eaten sandwiches all over the house. It's just that my room tends to be cluttered. The whole "putting things away in their proper place" is completely lost on me, and always has been. I think that's why I misplace things so often. My brain is always jumping to something else before I can put something back where it belongs.

Remember in elementary school when the teacher would inspect everyone's desk? My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Castrejon, had an interesting inspection method. She'd walk around the room, peeking in and out of desks, and if she deemed the desk too messy she'd dump it on the floor.

My desk got dumped on the floor almost every time. I suppose I should have been embarrassed, crawling around on the floor, knee-deep in old spelling tests, but I always thought it was kind of funny. Even now, the thought of a grown woman tipping over a child's desk makes me laugh. I don't want you to think that what she did was out of cruelty or the need to humiliate a child. She actually had a good idea. It was much easier to tidy up the desk once all the crap had been dumped out.

My room at home wasn't much better. In fact, if I remember correctly, I was sent to clean it every Saturday. My dad would go to work in the morning and say, "This room had better be spotless when I get home," but hours later he'd come in and I'd inevitably be sitting in a pile of clothes, reading some forgotten book that I had just unearthed from my closet.

Things aren't much different now. My room is often a cluttered mess. The biggest difference is that I clean it now without being told. I let things stack up throughout the week (or longer). Clean clothes piled on the dresser, papers scattered on the desk, towers of books stacked precariously wherever there's room. But at some point, usually when I'm supposed to be doing homework or something, I'll stop everything because I've realized what a mess my room is.

I did this last night. I was supposed to be reading Heart of Darkness (dear god, NO MORE), but instead I spent an hour cleaning. I changed my sheets, I put my books back in the bookcase, I straightened up my desk, I dusted, I THREW STUFF AWAY, and that almost never happens. I even went into the bathroom and refolded and rehung the handtowels.

I don't know where these little bouts of OCD come from, or why they pop up when they do, but one thing about them is always the same.

Febreze. I'm obsessed with the stuff. I spray it on everything, my bed, my carpet, my dog. I am exactly like those weirdos in the commercials who keep sniffing their Febrezed items over and over.

Maybe if I talk about it enough, they'll send me some free Febreze or something.

Anyway, I don't worry too much about my cluttered ways anymore. My friend Amy said she was the same way in elementary school, with the messy desk and the messy room, and her teacher told her parents that messiness is a sign of genius.

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