On my recent excursion to The Target to pick up my McDonald’s Headset to finally go “hands free,” I realized that I was also in dire need of an additional filing system.

(pithy aside, my brand new house phone, the only one I’m able to use in my HOUSE, is Blue Douche enabled. Which means that I can talk on the EAR PENIS but not my McDonald’s Headset. This seems like a steaming pile of bullshit, or at least, a conspiracy)

One of the many things I miss about school is purchasing school supplies. Buying them for my children isn’t nearly as full of the awesome, because, well, obviously. Their lists always require things so specific that I drive all over town in an endless pursuit of a twelve ring, three binder, red, plastic-covered notebook, wide-ruled, until I give up, convinced it’s a typo. Then I see the OTHER parents have managed to find said item and wonder what I’m doing wrong.

I digress.

Getting my corp. taxes done reminded me that my filing system of “throwing things into envelopes” was probably not going to cut it, especially if I wanted to go all official Non-Profit-ish for Band Back Together, so I eagerly went to see what else existed to make my life, well, BETTER.

It was like the heavens opened up and shone down upon me. There couldn’t have been a better day for it. I’d just gone to the Anxiety Doctor for a medication recheck, gone to the Tax Man, and was staring down the Pharmacist From Hell.

But there it was: A SALE on OFFICE SUPPLIES.

*cue choirs of angels*

I grabbed three or twelve-fifty-niner of those weird folding file folder thingies, a sassy three-ring binder – practically a Trapper-Keeper – and folders for it, a new notebook, a bigger day planner than the one I currently use, a white board for Daver and an address book. You know, the ones you use your hand to physically write a name and number next to? Oh yes. I’m proudly regressing.

I’ve somehow been placed in charge of all the stuff coming into and going out of the house. It’s amusing to anyone who knows me and annoying to me, who knows me.

When we prepared for the Great Move of Aught Six from Oak (no) Park (ing)* I in charge of sorting, organizing and packing up our condo. Daver can’t get rid of anything. He’s descended from a Pack Rat, but he’s not one himself, no, he’s merely incapable of sorting out what can stay and what should go.

So he saves it all and overlooks the glaring piles of crap.

When I was packing/sorting/cleaning the condo, I came across a receipt. Curious, I picked it up and looked at it.

Pranksters, it was three years old. Figuring that anything saved for that length of time must’ve been something good, I glanced down at it. Four items: a plastic garbage can, beef jerky, Fritos and…wait for it, wait for it….




kitty litter.

Thank the Sweet Lord of Butter that he’d saved a copy of THAT! Otherwise, I’d never have known exactly what he was buying at 1:42 PM on October 22, 2003.

What was most baffling and/or frightening was that this receipt had also managed to move to three separate apartments.

While Daver was raised by someone who is physically incapable of throwing anything away, my father recently got a label-maker for Christmas. I swear to you, eyes wide with glee, he tore into that label-maker like it was a brand-new laptop. Before the day was through, I was wearing a “Stumpy**” label, Daver had a “The Daver” label, the kids each were wearing their names, and he was upstairs happily labeling everything in his extensive file cabinet.

He takes Organization Very Seriously.

He also takes Getting Rid of Shit Very Seriously.

If he’s found something that is very clearly mine, he will happily march it out to my car the very moment I arrive, lest I forget it. Or swing it by my house. In the odd event that I do not claim it in his arbitrary time-line, he donates it to charity.

Stuff = Bullshit.

Organization = Not Bullshit.

The man has it right.

I do not happen to personally enjoy labeling things, because I have a feeling if I started, I’d probably never stop. I’d be up all night, every night, labeling individual cans of diet Coke “DRINK ME,” just because.

What, ME COMPULSIVE? Why, I never!

Also, make all the Abacus Jokes you want, but I have NO CLUE how to use the damn thing.

Also, Also: new shirt idea.


bullshit-strongerOr maybe this?

Bullshit-Makes-Me-AwesomeOr maybe something else. I dunno. Need a new idear (because my shirts aren’t Zazzle and are awesomely eco-friendly, organic, possibly made from recycled banana leaves) and screen-printed, I pay upfront, which is why I ask you guys about this stuff. You’re my brain, Pranksters. MY BRAIN.


*inside joke for anyone knows Oak Park. Parking is BEYOND bullshit in Oak Park.

**My brother nicknamed me “Stumpy.” Because I was shorter than him. I’m not exactly short: 5 foot 5 inches tall; not like 3 feet tall.

76 thoughts on “Why Yes, Yes I DO Have An Abacus. Because I Am An Adult.

  1. I would totally buy the awesomer shirt! I love The Target. I thought I was to only one who called it that. I’m not allowed a labeler. Once you start labeling the silverware people think you have problems. Whateva FUCKERS!!!

  2. A few things:

    1) Office supplies make me happy in the pants. I walk into those stores and want to buy EVERYTHING. Even stuff I know I won’t use.

    2) The shirt ideas are win.

    3) I have a rolodex. And I love it. So there!

  3. Hmmmmm…I think this may be where I confess that my husband slept on the couch last night because someone, who shall remain nameless, decided she wanted to organize her desk (I work from home. My desk is in our bedroom.) Around midnight, he comes in and I’ve got stuff scattered over half the floor.

    I blame it on the Ambien. Some people eat, some people have sex…but I “clean”. And then I can’t find any of my shit the next morning. I looked for my wedding ring for almost 2 weeks last month before I finally found it in my sock drawer in a jewelry bag.

    Totally with you on the address book and the office/school supplies. I LOVE SMELLING CRAYONS. Maybe I need that on a shirt? I SNIFF CRAYONS.

  4. Uggg, my husband is the same obsessive way about organizing and throwing things away. I hate it!!
    And i would probably get my taxes done waaaaay earlier if they had a Traper Keeper specifically designed with it in mind. With Lisa Frank stickers to go along with it all 🙂 “Unicorn means Tax Deductable!!!”

  5. I think we are married to the same man! My own (The)Dave(r) has the EXACT same problem! When moving from his apartment to mine, I found unopened mail from several years earlier. Who keeps ValPak coupons from 1996? My (The) Dave(r)! He flipped out because I threw out a $26 paystub from a part time job in 1992.
    I am the exact opposite- I throw EVERYTHING out! Too bad the shit still breeds! I throw it out, six things come back to replace it. I’ll never win.
    Good luck organizing. I try so hard, but then I’m like “ooh, a butterfly!” Maybe when you’re done, you can help me- we can look at butterlies TOGETHER!!

  6. I am the one in our office that drools over post its, sharpies, and fresh notebooks.. I walk into Office Depot and get a high… it’s a problem.

  7. I love both shirts but I wouldn’t wear it because I’m all like “OMG I might OFFEND someone!”

    I also love the office supplies. Ahhh. But yeah, WTF is with those school supply lists??

    I am addicated to my label maker. I have labeled all my light switches even. I am also of the stuff=bullship mindset…my kids will probably end up being hoarders as a result.

    I have an address book too, bu when you use one, no one is allowed to move. Then I have to find white out, white it out, let it dry, try to write over the bumpiness. Nuh uh.

    1. Errmmmm addicted. Not addicated. Bullship is bullshit. Inadvertent censor? Bu=but. I am soooo full of the win today.

      1. Which is precisely why I would buy it. Your post also reminds me that I need to make a trip to Staples. I need more journals. Also I need to do a new blog post of my own. If only I weren’t so lazy.

  8. 5’5″ isn’t stumpy, it’s a little taller than average.

    What is it with guys and moving shit that should have been tossed multiple times!? When we were dating my husband moved from an apartment into a house. About a year later after we were engaged I moved in with him (90 miles away) and a little more than a year after that he got a transfer and we moved together back to my house. When we (and by we I mean I) were packing up I discovered that he had 2 huge duffel bags full of random paper and other crap that he had never unpacked since he had moved 2 years before and he had every intention of just loading them into the moving van again as is! Needless to say almost everything in those bags went into the trash or the recycling before I was through with him.

    We also donated 2 huge bags of his clothes to Goodwill. The man had 6 pairs of jeans from high school that of course no longer fit. I know people hold onto jeans because they think they’re going to lose weight and fit them again but the problem with these is that they were at least 4 inches too short! I actually had a hard time convincing him to ditch them because they were still in good shape *eyeroll*

  9. office supply stores raise my heart rate. What will they have on sale that I NEEEEED?!?! I also love the smell of a fresh box of crayons.
    Your shirt ideas are awesome. Naturally, cuz their YOURS.

  10. Hubs doesn’t throw anything away either. And he’s descended from the worst pack rat EVER- his mother. He’s lucky I don’t throw HIM out. I like the second shirt–because all this bullshit around here has made me awesomer–just ask me! LOL

  11. Feel lucky that your husband organizes all the crap he holds on to. Mine won’t throw a thing away, but has the organizational skills of a monkey. Not that I can say much because, while I throw it away even if there is a possibility that I might need it, my organizational skills are far worse than his. (He also won’t let me within a 10 mile radius of an Office Max, because he knows better.)

    I like the “awesomer” shirt over the other one.

    1. Oh no. I must have made a mistake when I explained that. That receipt was from the FLOOR of his “office” where he piled everything: important and not, until I finally took over.

      1. I am a big fan or the =,too.

        I am also one of those that wants to wear your “Shut Your Whore Mouth” shirts, but my family would then have even more to comment on about how I disappoint them…

        1. I know. My mother would so get “that look” on her face that says “I know I raised you better than this” and my dad would do his eye-roll and throw his hands up in the air.

          But I would wear it anyway, because that’s just how I roll.

          1. Lana, I’m pretty sure my step mother would throw me out of the house, and my dad would just say the same thing that he said when I came home with blue and yellow sneakers: “You really just want people to stare at you, don’t you? Aren’t you embarassed to go out like that?”…. then I’d have to feign an apologetic smile and say, sorry dad, for giving you heart palpatations… again.

            1. My husband has a tshirt from college that I refuse to let him throw out…their intramural football team was called The 69’ers. I totally rocked that shirt until my son was old enough to read!! I figure I can get it out again when he hits 9th grade. I wanted to wear it to Christmas dinner at my grandparent’s house one year just for the shock effect (and yes, I want people to STARE…I’m quite sure that’s my mission in life).

  12. My vote is still “All of this bullshit has made me stronger?” No period. A question mark. Cause like in the Legend of Zelda as the hearts go down the man gets weaker.

  13. I have a label maker I label everything I can’t stop, it’s a compulsion. It should never have been bought for me. But my husband didn’t know what else to buy for me. And now he regrets it because every time I am mad at him I make him a label that says I’m An Asshole so he can wear it.

    I love both shirts In Pink in a Comfy roomy big girl size. I like Pink. I’m not good with decisions please don’t make me choose. Because I really do like them both.

        1. It works well he doesn’t like wearing it but when he isn’t looking I put it on his shirts. It’s very therapeutic, I would recommend it to anyone. But I seriously label way to many things. I have made labels for my daughter that say I am full of the Drama. I probably need a 12 step program.

          And I love the I-can’t phone idea. I heard they can at Verizon but I think that is a war those two are going to battle till the bitter end ha.

  14. Organizing things gives me a girly boner too! I love cleaning out closets and drawers and giving/throwing things away. My husband is a natural clutterer, but after 8 years of marriage and me throwing away things that he “needed” because they sat around too long, he is somewhat reformed.

    I’m a fan of the word “awesomer” going on a shirt somehow…

  15. I NEED the first shirt. Seriously NEEEEEDDDDDD it! And I need a couple of extra copies too, what with all the advocacy work that turns into a bunch of people whining at me over things for which I have no control!! Ack! So, yes. The first shirt. In a small, please! 🙂

  16. I am now taking the attitude that I’m not stronger because of all the bullshit in my life, I’m strong in SPITE of it all!

    Also, while I have a basic understanding of how to use an abacus, my hubby could totally give you lessons when you come visit Ohio.

  17. My husband is former Air Force. We run a tight ship around here. In fact, I trained our kitty (now 1 year old) to use the people toilet months ago: no litter box in the house.

    I like my piles of junk, but I try to keep them hidden so he doesn’t see them. LOL.

  18. Great, now I want to label all my cans of Diet Coke “Drink Me.” Where can I get me one of those fancy label maker thingies? Hm, perhaps The Target. On the hunt tomorrow.

  19. Not only would I buy one or both of the “Bullshit” shirts for myself, I would totally buy one or both for my bestie. We have both been under a pile of the bovine excrement this year and we NEED these!!

    I want to label my Coke cans with MY name so my “mini pranksters” will NOT drink them!

  20. I am totally not surprised that your life altering moment of organizational bliss occurred at Target, I think most do. That’s why you can’t leave there without spending a minimum of $100.

    I like the Bullshit…Awesomer. See how lazy I just was, I couldn’t even type out the whole thing. Weak.

    By the way, my father is EXACTLY the same way. Even with the take shit to my car or in my case, throw it in my suitcase, style of making sure I am not leaving any remnants of my crap at his house since I don’t belong there anymore. I think I prefer that to the hoarder mentality though, hoarding’s rough, seriously rough.

  21. Oh how I love my label maker….I just can’t find it most of the time.

    Also, I am dieing here about that receipt getting moved three times!

      1. I need to post a picture…my son and I have labeled our label maker!!! bwahahahaha! I completely forgot about this until I dug mine out after reading AB’s blog!!

  22. We have moved 2 times in the past 10 years with wedding presents that have NEVER made it our of their original packaging. My hubby is a hoarder so is my son. They like paper. Every flippin’ flappin’ fuckin’ little goddamned scrap gets kept. My son actually cries when I “organize” his room. I don’t know what it is. I even made them watch hoarders to shock them into throwing their shit away, it didn’t work. What am I supposed to do??? UGH MEN!!!

  23. I too, and 5’5″. We are NOT Stumpy! We are Petite… and Pretty… and anything else favourable with a P. And they’re jealous (anyone not 5’5″).
    and Bullshit = Brilliantastic!

    AND I am the least organised person I know… with the biggest desire to be organised in the Whole. Wide. World! And so I suppose you’re my husband and I’m the Daver… however… now that I need a receipt for the Plasma… you guessed it… GONE! My hoarding has not achieved it’s purpose.

  24. I admit it – little makes me happier than an accordion folder and a stack of papers that needs to go in it. If I can make a list and use post-it notes too, then holy crap what else does a woman need to make her day?

  25. I almost, sort of, kind of, unintentionally John C. Mayered you Aunt Becky. Not really though…..I was looking in the site stats to see what phrases people used to get to my blog on google search and I saw this one “aunt beckie, toothbrush”. So, I googled it and MY wee little blog came up first.

  26. Please make the second shirt. I need to buy it for my bestie who’s dad just passed away.

    Ever been to the Container Store?

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