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Suburban Island

Delusions of Future Order
Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004, 11:48 a.m.

QUESTION: How many plastic containers does one family need?

WHAT I LEARNED: Sometimes we must ignore disorder and go to lunch.

The vacation is a week past. A week of back-to-work is through. My daughter is now officially a freshman in college. My son has another blissful week left before school commences again. The house is quiet with one kid at work and one kid still in bed and one husband working some overtime. I am still trying to catch up from the double-whammy of vacation and JournalCon. This may take a while. My house is definitely crying out for some quality time. I am wondering if Clean Sweep could do a whole house instead of two rooms Ė it could be the spectacular season finale. Yes, I need to do some cleaning up and some personal possession reassessments.

De-cluttering is one of the core goals of my life Ė as yet unfulfilled. I have a real problem with papers Ė as in stacks of them, and books Ė as in I have too many and keep buying more. I have also noticed my clothes are heaping and piling because my closet cannot accommodate them. I am amazed, therefore, by the cool way that my daughter assesses her wardrobe and deletes a huge pile of clothes from it in a couple hours on a weekday night. Why canít I do that? Perhaps itís because I have suites of outfits for different weight ranges Ė perfect weight, okay weight, Iím-cheating-on-my-eating-for-a-healthy lifestyle weight, and the itís-all-going-to-hell-in-a-buggy-so-pass-out-the-pasta-and-pie weight. The last stage is the most fun and consequently, thatís where Iím malingering right now. My daughter has no sentiment attached to her clothes. On the other hand, I canít toss something given to me 15 years ago as a gift even though it really isnít my style and hasnít been worn in over 5 years.

Thereís other stuff too Ė like plastic containers. My husband likes them. We wash all the plastic containers we get from Chinese carryout, and from those delicious deli-thin sliced cold cuts that you buy from the grocery, and we save them. They come in handy but donít open the cabinet door beside the stove or youíll drown in plastic. Another thing I have noticed is that I probably have purchased 200 pairs of earrings in my life but I canít find a matching set with backs to save my life. Itís sad when you buy a pack of earrings at the beach Ė9 for $2 Ė and the wrapper says Ė teen forever on it and you just passed the big 5-0. Finding bed sheets that match becomes strangely problematic in this house too, although I like to buy sheet sets and we have more than enough to provide linen for an army of visitors. The question always come down to this Ė where are the matching pillow cases?

So, I am going to go upstairs and make my bed with the pillowcases that donít match while keeping my eyes averted from the closet area at all times. Then, and only then, will I indulge in a very late breakfast (i.e. lunch) with my son. I am going to wear those $2 earrings if I can find them. And I am not going to open the bottom right cabinet beside the stove for love or money.

image from funny-posters dot junglewalk dot com

DETAILS: Coffee: not yet + Listening to: suburban silence + Observing: household disorder + Thinking: how will I ever get this place beautified through organization + Weather: it's summer, baby.

Todayís Suburban Strategy: A dirty garden?

Todayís Scenic Cam: A restful garden view.

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