Depending upon who you talk to, I’m either the most organized or the least organized person this side of the Mississippi. If I’ve got the time, space, and energy, you’ll happily find me (on my days off) organizing shit, making it more efficient and reducing clutter. If I don’t? Well, I’m sure The Guy on My Couch or The Daver will cheerfully explain all the ways in which I am *not* organized.
It’s a good damn thing I know how to lock them out of the back end (snort) of my blog.
Anyway, by comparison, I look like (insert name of professional organizer here) compared to Daver. Looking for something on his desk is like going on an archeology expedition. Oh! Wow! There’s that stapler that’s needed staples for 4 years. And holy shit! I think this coffee cup holds a cure for the flu! And that thing I’d asked him to return – guess that’s not going back!
If you think I’m ragging on The Daver, let me tell you a little story. Gather ’round, Pranksters, because this is a good’n.
I was packing up our condo in order to move Dave for the third time in two years. He’s magically gotten a “headache” every time anyone has to put shit in boxes, leaving me and whomever else I can con into helping lug my crap around.
I’d gotten to his “office” which was really just a room with a computer that the cats peed in. The room, not the computer. The floor was, as usual, covered in paper. Daver has this thing about paper – he never knows what to recycle or get rid of so he just…keeps it. It’s not like he’s a hoarder. Not once did I see him yell, “BUT THEMS BE MAH PRECIOUS THAAAAANNNNGS,” as I removed his precious box of VHS tapes (we had no VCR) or his books of bad poetry, when I’d get down and dirty with the cleaning.
While I’d prefer to give you the mental picture of me strong-arming Daver away from a box of miscellaneous cords, yelling, “THIS IS AN INTERVENTION. LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE BECOME – TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR.”
Dave happened to be out at work when I made this particularly awesome discovery in the cat pee room/office floor, which was probably for the best, considering I spent the next twenty (two hundred) minutes sitting on our couch, staring at it, while a much younger Ben sat on the couch watching the same Sesame Street DVD over and over again (thanks to autism, I can’t even SEE an Elmo without breaking out into a cold sweat).
It was….mesmerizing – like one of those weird picture within a picture things I can never see because I’m colorblind and possibly brain-damaged.
Pranksters, I wish I had a snap to show you, but I did end up throwing it away well before I began blogging here at Mommy Wants Vodka.
What had been so sacred, so important, so revered, was a simple slip of paper. A simple slip of paper from Target. A simple slip of paper from Target detailing items Dave had, himself, purchased before we began dating, some three years prior. What, I can almost hear you ask, the hell was on this slip of paper that Dave deemed it so important as to not only keep, but MOVE three times?
In November of (counts on Fingers) 2001, Dave had bought himself a bin of kitty litter.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – why bother with kitty litter when the cats just piss all over the place anyway? The answer is, I don’t know Perhaps, Dave used it himself. Maybe he had an oil spill or really liked to hunker down and squat over a kitty shitter to evacuate his bowels. I don’t know. I didn’t ask.
And I’m damn sorry I didn’t keep the thing. I’d have framed it, like I framed the check I got from BlogHer for .01.
Sometimes, we must celebrate how ludicrous life can be.
Anyway, biology be damned, Little Ben seems to take after The Daver in more than just personality. My father, to give you an idea of the genetic soup I rose from, is the most organized person on the planet. His books are arranged on the bookshelves using the Dewey Decimal System (is that still around? I CAN’T BE SURE).
So I assumed some of this would rub off on my kid. I mean, if you tell me, “Hey, AB, go rearrange your blogroll to meet these arbitrary criteria,” I’d be halfway done before I asked myself WHY I was doing such a task. I may not be the most organized person on the planet, but I can follow directions like BOOM.
My firstborn, on the other hand, would be asked to go and clean his room, figuring that this was enough direction for a child who had my father’s genetics somewhere in his body.
I’d go and check on him a half an hour later and find that he’d carefully, painstakingly pulled out each of his Lego kits and had rearranged them to match whatever the instructional booklet showed.
Sorta like that, but less Star Wars-y.
His floor would be covered in miniature stacks of carefully laid out Legos while the rest of his bedroom appeared to have been subject to a very tiny tornado.
It was then that I realized my son would need some help with organizational skills. But how? When the kid is such a perfectionist that he has to fold and refold a shirt 26 times OR shove all of his clothes into one drawer, what do you do? I mean, he’s too young for a professional organizer…right?
Organization in school has been an issue with him for oh, I don’t know (counts on fingers) six years? I’ve tried differing systems with him – he gets too bogged down with making sure things like, “wipe ass” are on there. I’ve tried buying him a calendar-type planner so he can see what’s coming up in the future. I’ve bought him dozens of watches in the hope that if he had them, he’d be able to tell time and get his ass home in time for dinner.
The watches were gone within a few days. The planner was gone too.
Which is why, when he was invited into a program in Middle School called “AVID,” I was thrilled. It was a whole college-prep class about organization, note taking skills, and shit, I half-way wanted to sign up for it. Happily, Ben signed up for it, knowing as well as I that organization will always be a struggle for him. It made me feel a HELL of a lot better about sending the kid to middle school.
And then. And how. And why.
I got a letter from the vice-principal of the middle school. Due to lack of interest, the program won’t be offered this year.
When I stop weeping, I’ll let you know.
P.S. I know my site looks janked up – I updated to the newest WordPress and it took a shit on me. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS, WORDPRESS.
P.P.S. While at the time, I wept and shook my fists at the sky, I think I’m going to see this as an omen that I need a new site design.
P.P.P.S. Randomly, what’s an Amazon Affiliate? I’ve heard that phrase no less than three times in the past 24 hours but have NO idea what that means.