I make lists. A lot of them. Pro and con lists. To-do lists. Long lists. Short lists. Lists of kinds of lists…you get the idea. Lists — I dig them.
My love of list-making makes one thing perfectly clear: I’m kind of anal retentive. Or to put another way (a way that notably does not contain the word “anal”) I’m hyper-organized.
On its surface, hyper-organized seems like a nice thing to say about someone. It makes it seem like that person really has his or her stuff together. This person is neat, tidy, efficient, thorough and someone you’d want to double-check your tax return for errors.
I am not this person.
I am hyper-organized in the “I just cannot have enough lists” kind of way. Hyper-organized in the “I must put explanatory Post-It notes on all of these piles of paperwork even though I know what they are” kind of way.
This is the crazy way.
This is the “If you give me a label maker, I will label everything in the house (including the label maker) kind of way.”
It’s hell to live with this kind of organized because this kind of organized just won’t quit. It does not take breaks. It does not let up.
This kind of organization does not believe you can simply skip vacuuming one week. Yeah, that’s right. I can’t go more than one week without vacuuming the entire apartment. It’s not a big deal, you say? No one would notice, you say? Wrong. It would be a big deal. To me — admittedly, the only person who would notice.
I can’t help it.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been obsessed with tidiness. I honestly never remember being told to clean my room because that would have been a pointless directive –it was already clean.
Obviously I would put my toys away immediately after I was done playing with them. I mean, how else would I know where they were the next time I wanted to play with them?
Also, do on a more practical note, do you know how incredibly easy it is to lose a Barbie shoe? It’s really, really easy. Those things are smaller than a thumb nail, even my thumbnail which is unusually, eerily tiny.
So in my solid 8-year-old reasoning, it only made sense to put things away. If I didn’t want all of my precious Barbies walking around in one shoe like a bunch of hot mess crackheads, I had to put my Barbie shoes away. Where they went. In a box with the rest of my Barbie accessories, which, incidentally was labeled “Barbie stuff” because I couldn’t spell accessories. (I was eight years old, for God’s sake).
This made perfect sense to me.
The idea of not putting something away where it went was foreign and unnerving to me even as a kid. Everything had a place to go–so you put it there. Duh.
You didn’t just leave toys setting around all over the place. This was not a zoo. You were not some sort of animal.
I realize this is making Kid-me sound like some sort of bizarre sociopath, but in my defense, I did do some normal kid stuff, like protest about dusting. I stinking hated dusting. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why my dad kept building houses with so many things that required dusting and why my mother (to add insult to injury) kept filling these houses up with more furniture and knick knacks that required even more dusting. It was like they were playing some sick mind game where no one was the winner, because everyone was dusting. All the time.
My hatred of dusting aside, neatness was very big with me. The idea of “where it goes” was very important to me. Strangely important. I would put toys away at my friends’ houses. Toys I didn’t even play with, just because they weren’t put away. Again, weird.
In any event, the weirdness persisted (much like my chronic klutziness which I secretly hoped was just a symptom of my awkward adolescence that I would one day grow out of).
This “where it goes” thing means I don’t allow anything to set anywhere it is not supposed to be. You can’t just keep shoes in the middle of the living room floor. Are you crazy? I don’t care if you’re going to wear them tomorrow. Or even later today. You have to put them away. Where they go. In the closet. In the bin for shoes.
I’m aware this is strange. I’m also aware that this little obsessiveness compulsive streak of mine is really super annoying to everyone who is not me.
For this reason, I have the utmost respect for anyone who was able to live with me and not smother me in my sleep with a freshly laundered pillow (I’m also very big on laundry).
Hopefully people continue to be so understanding because this OCD-ness of mine does not seem to be getting better with age. In fact, it only seems to be getting worse.
If it keeps up at this pace, I’ll be, far and away, the neatest old gal in the nursing home. I’ll be easy to spot–I’ll be the one dusting my walker and barging into my cohabitants’ rooms to better organize their pill bottles.
By the way, I’m warning everyone in advance, someone should stop this from happening. I will be so annoying. You have no idea.
(Also, nursing home, it’s really irresponsible to allow me to touch anyone else’s pills. Seriously, that’s messed up…)