Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'm not even the tiniest bit OCD, dangit.

MMM, so did you notice I haven't been blogging up a storm, like I sometimes do?

Well, something has come over me, and I've been feeling driven to clean things out.

No, I'm not nesting. I'm NOT pregnant. If I were pregnant, I would be lying on the couch, not cleaning anything at all, in a woe-is-me type posture (one hand slung over my forehead, one dangling to the floor), with a look of supreme, saintly patience and suffering. Or maybe I would be crouched next to the toilet in a fetal position, ready to spew my just-consumed meal. For the 8th time today. And all over my pale, saintly face, but especially around the eyes, would be tell-tale broken capillaries of the puking mama, and I would look like a rabid, saintly raccoon. And somehow, still ravishingly beautiful.

But I do not look like that. And I am not pregnant. I am just cleaning stuff. For no reason at all.

Which, for me, is WAY more unusual than just being pregnant. WAY.

And while clean stuff, I wear my new apron that my sister-in-law Jane made for me (yes, she sewed it herself) with my Nanette Lepore heels. It is super duper fab, and I can't believe I can't wear it out of the house. At least I can dress up in it and take pictures for my blog!

So, where was I? Ah yes, the cleaning spree.

The pantry
. Threw away lo-carb bbq sauce from 2004. Who wants to risk ruining dinner over small amount of calories involved in such an important condiment? Not me.

The refrigerator.

All the cabinets under all the sinks. Big job because I keep my hoarded toiletries under there. If a girl is going to store a year's worth of Sure unscented anti-perspirant and Colgate Total in her house, she cannot be lackadaisical in her organizing. Which I might have been, before yesterday.

The food storage. I reorganized and put all like items together, which should make finding black beans in an emergency situation easy-peasy. Plus, I cannot shove junk under the beds in the house, if I have already crammed every cranny of space with wheat and beans, right?

My jewelry box. Which is a big job cause I like to keep lots of crap like tiny sterling silver armadillos from when I was 10, even though I don't know where it came from, and the 50 cent piece the Tooth Fairy left me when I lost my first tooth at my Grandparents' Laytons' farm in Willcox. And a tiny, one-legged ceramic puppy that I got after mommy and me tap and ballet that we took with Melanie and Sherry at Northridge Park in 1979. Assorted locks of hair and baby teeth. Solitary gold hoops and broken silver chains (because you never know when the government will start collecting our precious metals for the war effort, like they did in WWII. Plus, you can't throw away gold. Is like using cash for toilet paper. And only Oprah can do that. Not that she does. I haven't heard anything. I'm not starting any rumors.) Also, there is the beautiful shiny wooden box that my engagement ring came in (engagement ring has been lost for 2 years). And a broken watch made in the USSR that used to be my sister Jen's, that she was going to throw it out, cause she's a little OCD; but then I kept it, because I've got whatever the opposite of OCD is. There has to be a more PC term than 'pack rat,' and if you know what it is, please let me know. And don't say 'hoarder', because the only thing worse than being called a rat is being called a... Anyhow, all my pretty jewels are there in the box, too. And much more. It is a big jewelry box. And it is packed full of crapola.

I'm also going to give away half my clothes to Deseret Industries, if I can find a few hours to go through them when Tommy isn't trying to sneak out into the street. Street-sneaking is his primary vocation, these days. I get stressed and nervous, and I start to freak out when I think about it. Even though right now he is safe asleep in his crib tent. So I won't speak of it any more. But now my eye is twitching a little. See?

I am going to go through the book shelves and cull the herd again. I have such trouble getting rid of books. Even bad ones. It is like I'm their adoptive Mother, and I have some responsibility to care for them, and keep a roof over their heads. The eye twitch is getting slightly more pronounced as I write about giving away books.

Why can't I be just a tiny bit OCD? Just enough so that as I lie in bed at night, I won't be able to sleep if the sink is full of slimy dinner dishes. So then, I'll have to get up and do them. In the morning, my kitchen will be clean, and I will be so happy about that. Life would just be...better. As it is now, I can sleep like a baby. Stinky, crusty dishes and all.

Sorry if I'm giving you nightmares, Jen.

I realize that OCD is no laughing matter for people suffering with it. What I'm saying is that in its lowest possible concentration, it might be a little bit nice. People call you 'organized, efficient, tidy, and overachiever." Instead of B-pluses, you get A's. Because who can stand B-pluses?

Me. That's who. I stood B-pluses. Many of them. Cause I didn't get all worked up and study all the time and do my reading assignments before each and every lecture, like someone I know (Jen), who I think never even got an A minus in all her years over to the BYU (Jen).

When I was about ten, Jen kicked me out of our shared bedroom for my slovenly habits. Then, I would invite my friends over to watch her clean (she was so tiny, fast, and single-minded, it was pretty entertaining). For fun, we'd sneak in and walk all over the the careful, straight lines she'd made in the carpet with the vacuum, then watch as she'd roll the vacuum back down the hall to start all over again.

This week, with all my organizing, I've been feeling a little like the mild OCD case I've always aspired to be. And my house is happy. And my husband is happy. And my kids...are not happy, because we started piano lessons again, and they don't like practicing.

Which reminds me how when I was a kid, Jen practiced circles around me on the piano, even though I have the huge, potentially wonderful piano hands, and she is 3.5 years younger than I, and eventually our teacher fired me and kept Jen as her prize pupil. Thanks, Sister Reese. I like the guitar better, anyhow.

It is really a wonder I even LIKE Jen, isn't it? But I do. Everybody does. She's quite likeable, dependable, trustworthy, etc., even if her house DOES always looks like a model home. We have so much in common, like we both can't wait to see "The Duchess" with Kiera Knightley, which was a great book. But we are Felix and Oscar. Only very recently has she stopped threatening to send the people from Mission Organization (she loves that show) over to my house and put everything I own on the front lawn (and I don't even have a front lawn, people, just rocks and creepy desert plants that look like giant spiders and can potentially kill you with their pointy poison parts, and occasionally shoot out giant, phallic growths, straight up in the air, that I find mildly embarrassing. They would give the whole yard a PG-13 rating, if yards had ratings like movies, which they don't), and then the MI people berate me for not being mildly OCD like all the people that work on that show. Even the cameraman, probly.

I told her that I always look through the peephole in my door, and if there are people with cameras on the porch, I'm not opening the door. Cause my house is NOT THAT BAD! Really, it isn't! Actually, it is sort of good. Unless you look in the drawers and closets. (Cause that's where I stash stuff. Important stuff I really, really need, like tiny,three-legged ceramic dogs from the late 70s.) But anyhow, I guess if Publisher's Clearing House comes to give me my millions of dollars, I'll miss it. Cause like I said, I'm not letting them in.

So then, I won't be rich.

All because I'm not mildly OCD.

(Except this week. This week I am a little. It has been nice.)


Heather said...

Hey, you can come and help me when your done!! I could use some organization help! Your house is beautiful!

nevadanista said...

Your story of aspiring to suffer a mild case of OCD is inspiring! I've been working myself up for weeks to go all OCD once the kids went back to school. The first day of school has come and gone, and I'm still working myself up. Maybe I will stop blog stalking long enough tomorrow to accomplish something. Today is already a loss!

p.s. I've always aspired to have a mild case of anorexia. Like maybe get by on three Lifesavers a day, only two or three days out of the week.

Alyson said...

I've read a lot of blogs lately where mothers have talked about having a sudden compulsion to clean and organize. What kind of epidemic is this? And how can I get it?

This reminds me of the episode of "Monk" where we are introduced to his brother played by John Turturro. Did you see it? His brother is a hoarder, oops, sorry you don't like that, he's a "disorganized, keeps everything from the last 30 years" kind of guy. It was funny to watch the OCD brother with the pack rat brother. Maybe you can relate and will find it humorous. And if you don't, well, at least you'd get to watch the brilliant John Turturro.

Wonderful post, yet again! :)

Leslie said...

How do you do it? I do you write this stuff? You are killing me! I'm seriously off-my-chair on-the-floor laughing!!!

sarinahbrooks said...

Wow - impressive. I just did the OCD, let's inventory the pantry. Is there a spreadhseet for year supply stuff. Where you can plug in the stuff and they give you a grade based on how much stuff ya have?
Man, you are a naughty sister too - I can just see the footprints in the freshly vaccumed love your sis had

Kari said...

I get that way, too, from time to time. And then it fades. My OCD will start the week off on Monday, but by Wednesday my pack rat tendencies will slow me down. ("Why do you need to throw that out," they will say, "when you clearly have the space to leave it right there.") If I could just happily be one or the other, I'd probably be fine.
Reminds me that I should get back to that closet I started . . .

wonder woman said...

I'm trying really hard to think of a witty comment to match, or at least come close to matching, your oh-so-clever post, but it's late and my brain's shutting down. I hate being old. So you're just getting whatever randomness comes.

That apron is dang cute! It IS a shame you can't wear it out. Surely for a ward chili cook off or something. Or making cakes for enrichment. SOMETHING. I love it. And I think that should be your new profile pic. =D Or on a domestic diva button.

I wish I were a tidier person, though I've never wished for OCD. In my mind, OCD only comes in Jack Nicholson's "As good as it gets" fashion, which is just too much for my little brain to handle.

But I am so PROUD/ENVIOUS of your tendencies this week! And if your fabulous blogging slacks a bit because of it, I will sacrifice for you. Because as not fun as cleaning is, having a clean house is SO WORTH IT.

I wish I could not go to bed till all the dishes were done. No, I can't go to bed till all the blogs have been read. In the mornings, I try really hard not to allow myself on the computer till I've started a load of laundry, the dishwasher, and vacuumed. It's usually between 10 and 11 before I get on.

So if you get your whole house organized and have some slight OCD leftover, PLEASE send it my way. Or have another giveaway that only I know about. That'd be GRRRREAT.

CASSIE said...

I am SOOO glad I am not the only one that can go to bed with the kitchen DIRTY! Doesn't bother me in the least!

Lisa said...

"over at the BYU" Why can I be just a tiny bit OCD." etc., etc. You are exceedingly hilarious.

acte gratuit said...

My tiny bit of OCD is pretty worthless. It manifests by forcing me to "rainbow orderize" my Ikea kid plates. It used to force me to "rainbow orderize" the clothes in my closet, but now with three kids, that's just too much. The plates though...the plates I can handle.

p.s. I commented on your comment awhile back, but in case you missed it, I just wanted to tell you to please schedule a lunch date for me, you and your sister, three years from now, in Carlsbad.
I'll treat. If I'm rich by then. Which I plan to be.

p.p.s. My favorite crepe combo is Nutella, banana, and whipped cream.

p.p.p.s. My favorite aunt wears her apron to Relief Society functions all the time. And it's not even cute. (Don't tell her I said that.)

Frumpy Luv said...

Love the picture - absolutely fabulous!!! I've always wanted to be compelled to keep a clean house - poor me - have not been so afflicted!!

cookingsherri said...

I just had a garage sale recently. A $420 garage sale. It was a lot of stuff I got rid of. Recently I was in the basement of a friends house helping her fix her phone (shocking that I would be of any help, but really, I got lucky, pushed the right button and the green light came on, woohoo!)and she had all her stuff from all 9 kids (only two of them are still at home). All of it. Neatly packed in boxes. The halloween costumes, old clothes, toys, games, you name it. And I nearly wept for the loss of my stuff! $420?!? I should have kept all my childrens old ratty clothes and halloween costumes and baby toys!? What was I thinking? Honestly, I was thinking of Rock Band. I want it bad. But I am waiting until November when the new and improved edition comes out. I spent some of the rest of the money on Mario Kart (including driving wheels for every family member) and Super Smash Bros. Which I hate! I keep losing because I can't figure out where my character is. I have tried different characters and I thought that would make it easier, but it isn't working. My husband says this can easily be solved by a bigger TV. That would require a bigger garage sale and I am out of junk to sell.

Adrian said...

I'm with ya! I would love to be one of those people who has perfectly organized drawers and fixed meatloaf for dinner every Tuesday, but then again, I think us "packrats" are more fun just the way we are!

P&M CLAN said...


That would be great to trade books! One little friend Ashley has my Fablehaven book. I don't know when she plans to read it. I'll ask her and let you know! Sounds like Jane and Tyler are alot alike!

McEwens said...

LOVE the picture.. you remind me of someone.... Oh yeah june Cleaver!!!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Too funny! But don't wear yourself out--the junk will wait.

Anonymous said...

you can mail ME your old clothes and you can come clean my house, too! :) can just MAIL ME your old clothes!!!

jt said...

I read the post early on I guess, cause it grew by a photo and some more one liners. You rock the apron. Congrats on getting cleaned up/out.

Brett and Shireen said...

Your room was frightening when you were young. I vaguely remember helping Jen once or twice with cleaning your room. I'm pretty sure you paid us. Or you at least baked us cookies or a frozen pizza or something. I shared a room with Jen in college for a time, and I am certain I was messier than she was, but still fairly tidy.

And if it makes you feel better, I think I got "fired" from 2 piano teachers. Actually, one was a firing, and the other was a "I strongly advise you to stop wasting your money on piano lessons for your daughter" conversation with my parents. Ouch.

I would love to see "clean sweep" on your front rocks, Kelly. Perhaps the camaras can be hidden so they can trick you into opening the door. Or, they can wait until Tommy makes a break for the street and then "attack".

Maybe you will find the engagement ring in all your cleaning. And if you get done and still want more cleaning, come on over. I've got a few closets that would make Jen crazy, and I also have the kitchen cabinet 'o toiletries as well.

shell said...

I have to agree with Alyson I also have read a lot of blogs where people are cleaning like crazy. Maybe its finally having kids constantly destroy it in the summer and now having some time to catch up with it all.

ps you look so cute in your apron.

Valerie said...

Your blog is seriously a fun read!

I love that 50's pic of you in all your domestic goodess-ness. Simply divine.

kitchenditcher said...

LOVED the description of your jewelry box!!! I'll bet I have stuff in mine that is older than you are! lol! Super great post - as always!! You da bomb!

JJ said...

I found your blog through a friend who knows your's of no importance. I just had to comment at how completely entertaining your blog is. I laugh and identify with you and I have no idea who you are. You are an amazing, funny, and thoroughly entertaining writer. Thank you for sharing your "ordinary" days with the rest of us who just can't make our own lives sound as hilarious!

chlojo said...

Don't look in my drawers either. But if you do you will find the missing toys and game pieces, Primary song book, all my buttons from new clothes, plus things that I don't even know what they are. Thanks for being my kind of normal.