Organizationally Challenged Or Just A Filthy Pig? - Learning To Cook Blog at - 301984

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Organizationally Challenged Or Just A Filthy Pig? 
May 2, 2013 2:15 pm 
Updated: May 3, 2013 4:49 pm
When I was a young man, I saw no need to keep my room clean or tidy. As long as there was a clear path to the door leading to the rest of the house from my bed, and a path from the bed to the closet, I was happy. I knew pretty much where everything I needed was, and a quick sniff would reveal if I was holding clean or previously worn clothing.

For years I happily collected and very happily cleaned nothing. Then I met the woman who was to become my wife. She Who Must Be Obeyed lived with not a wisp of hair out of place, and dirt was something that belonged in the trash can. Her philosophy was that if you hadn't used it in six months, there was no room for it in the home. By that standard, most politicians should be required to recycle their brains. But I digress. Get used to it.

How could I, "The Trash Man," woo this lovely woman? The piles of stuff had to go. All of the dirty dishes, bottles and cans, old take out containers, it all had to go. I had to organize school papers, old books and other doodads. I had to start folding and hanging cloths! Earlier I had mentioned paths between the bed and the door and the closet. Imagine teetering, three foot tall piles of records, books, papers and boxes occupying all ares not called "paths." That was what my room looked like. Now add in plates, bowls, soda bottles and cans all with varying degrees of Mycological experiments proceeding on them.

Armed with cleaning rags, 409, Windex, trash bags galore and unbounded optimism, I tackled the heap. It took two days to clean and declutter. Near the end of the second day I had made it to the bookcase next to my bed. It was a very hot day, and we didn't have air conditioning. I was sitting on my bed looking through a pile of old papers and diligently getting rid of much of my past life. I absent mindedly reached up for my bottle of Pepsi and took a big old swig of it to slake my burning thirst. But something was wrong. It was warm, and my mouth was full of furry, chunky things. Oh no! I had accidentally grabbed one of the mold experiments in progress! "Don't throw up!" I commanded myself. "You just cleaned in here."

I will never forget that experience. It taught me something. It taught me to be clean. Unlike other horrific events I had inflicted upon myself, I learned to be clean. Not fanatically clean, but acceptably clean. It did not teach me to be organized. Unlike a pig, which has no need to be organized, I see no need to be organized. Though I must admit, if I had been better organized, I wouldn't have eaten a mouthful of green, furry Pepsi.
May 2, 2013 5:40 pm
OMG! Are you my son??? My girls were messy, but clean. I never had to police their rooms for plates or glasses. My older son was a neat freak from conception and hasn't changed. My younger son and I had an ongoing battle about the state of his room. If he wanted to sleep on piles of books, records, clothes etc., that was fine with me. But there was no way I could live with a hazmat site in my home. He was forbidden to take food in there, but did. Periodic expeditions were necessary to retrieve enough dishes to serve the family dinner. It really was the only serious point of contention in the house. He finally bought his own place and it must have come with a magic elixir, because suddenly he is Mr Clean! So there is hope.
May 2, 2013 5:54 pm
I waa forced to become moderately hygieneic when, at age 14, I began working as a farmhand. It seems, the things and stuff clinging to my clothes were unacceptable and had to be returned to nature in the garage where a laundry tub of cold water waited for me to sponge bathe and then, waist wrapped with a towel, I would have to go get a real bath in hot water. As for room clutter, I was actually very good about not having any and I always swept and waxed the floor. I found out a few years later that was abnormal and unexpected behavior for a boy.
May 2, 2013 6:48 pm
Omg, you are living in the back of my house. I'm surprised to find you writing a blog on AR, hmm maybe you'll continue to surprise as you and your D average escape high school...
May 2, 2013 7:44 pm
You probably hate to hear this, but that's a sweet story. Even if you're organizationally challenged! Except for that green, furry stuff.
May 2, 2013 9:24 pm
BSM, you sound like my mom, except younger. I mean seriously. Don't you have paper plates you can serve on?!?!?
May 2, 2013 9:26 pm
Mike, waxing the floor makes perfect sense if you're going to take a running start in stocking feet! Now if you had been waxing your legs...
May 2, 2013 9:29 pm
Raedwulf, I didn't sink to a D average until my first year in college. I am not the slob you are looking for. Move along.
May 2, 2013 9:32 pm
Cookin' Cyn, I don't mind hearing that at all. It was your latest blog post that jarred that memory loose! And she still loves me even though I tax her and vex her to her limits. Not on purpose, (no one has that much talent) but all just by living.
May 3, 2013 4:35 am
My son did that to an entire house. When I moved to Bill's house Billy stayed in my house. I went to visit one day and there was a path in and out of the house and that was it. When he met my DIL and they had a child she was afraid to let me have Madeline because she thought that was how I kept my house. Oh and just breathing, that is what I say when Bill say's what did I do wrong now. My reply is always the same. You are breathing!
May 3, 2013 5:57 am
Seriously, I don't know why I have such an aversion to organization. It's not like I feel like I will die if any of my stuff gets thrown out. I'm perfectly happy when my wife does have a nervous breakdown and starts to throw ,y stuff out. As long as it isn't some thing like a book, or some gizmo. General clutter can go. I just don't see it until she points it out to me. Joey Joan, how funny that story about your DIL. Gave me a good chuckle!
May 3, 2013 11:00 am
Well Doc, I am a spice shelf organizer. All my spices are in alphabetical order. I like organization. It saves on my brain power. However, my purse is another story!
May 3, 2013 1:08 pm
LOL, Lela! I think everyone has some small spot that is disorganized. I don't think you could appreciate organization otherwise!
May 3, 2013 4:49 pm
Okay, I'll confess. It's that darn sock drawer!!
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Doc Simonson

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St. Peter, Minnesota, USA

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About Me
I'm old and smelly, kinda like a really good salami with that really nice white mould all over it.
My favorite things to cook
Meat, carbs, meat, carbs, meat, carbs and did I mention meat?
My favorite family cooking traditions
Drop a plate of Pierogis and sausages in front of me and watch my eyes glaze over in pure joy.
My cooking triumphs
Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Krautsalat. Also Edel Hirsch Gulasch was very nice. I make killer Spaetzle and Knockerl also.
My cooking tragedies
There aren't enough electrons in cyberspace! :) Actually, the tragedies usually involve well intentioned creativity out of control.
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