"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Joy of Disorganization

Some people are just naturally messy. I, for example, look like an unmade bed no matter how hard I try, and my thoughts jump around in peculiar ways. Every birthday and Christmas as a child, I would receive at least one present that was meant to help me organize; I still have almost all of them, strewn about in piles, collecting dust.

Oddly, I've almost always dated women who were extremely organized and they always found me frustrating, as I never knew exactly where anything was. Lori, for example, cleaned whenever she was nervous - she found it relaxing - and she was forever trailing behind me, cleaning up after me like I was a toddler who had just discovered finger painting.

There is, I suppose, a comfort one receives from knowing that whenever you want something, you can retrieve it quickly from its labeled box neatly stacked in the appropriate place. They, however, never get surprised by what they find and I find that to be a great joy that makes up for all the little annoyances, like looking for car keys among bedsheets.

I had forgotten the meaning of a term in a technical work I was reading and a quick computer search wasn't sufficient, so I wanted to go back to my college textbook in ecology. It was not where I thought it was, of course. It turned out to be under my high school yearbook, in a stack of books that don't quite fit any bookshelf, but that was not important by the time I found it, because during the search, I also found:

1) Half a scuba regulator in a box marked (by someone else) Feminine Hygiene Products. That got thrown away. See? I can clean when I want to!

2) A photo that was entirely green, with a tiny red dot. I know that that dot is me at the base of a hill in Old Montreal and I love that picture, even if no one else sees anything in it.

3) The first draft of a poem I wrote a girlfriend in college. It was awful. I hope I either gave up on it, rewrote it entirely, or sent it to the "Evil Girlfriend," who apparently had no taste and was quite delighted that I spent time thinking about her (or, as I would suspect later, laughed her head off while showing it to others).

4) A small drinking glass with bits of crepe paper glued all over it. I made it when I was maybe 4 and, for unexplained reasons, my mother kept it, so I keep it too.

5) An enormous centipede. No, really, enormous. Maybe 6 inches long. [Dispatched.]

6) A college genetics textbook, which actually had what I was looking for, thinking it was in a different book.

If I had been able to find the textbook on the first try, I would've quickly discovered it didn't have what I wanted and I would've been a little perturbed. As it was, I had a delightful treasure hunt on a rainy day.


Diana said...

I'm not a particularly organized person, that is until I am stressed and have a deadline to meet. That's when all the organization projects I have suddenly need to get done as soon as possible. Procrastination is bad for my work, but at least my house looks nice.

The treasure hunt sounds awesome. That centipede, though, ugh and yuck. I don't handle the creepy crawlies well.

SteveQ said...

I was really expecting someone to make a joke about 6 inches being enormous.

Diana said...

Give it time, Steve. I'm waiting for someone to make a wisecrack about your box of feminine hygiene products. Really? That's something you wanted to keep? Just waiting for that tampon emergency when you're wearing your pair of tight, white shorts?

Willie said...

This made my day...

"I find that to be a great joy that makes up for all the little annoyances, like looking for car keys among bedsheets."

SteveQ said...

Willie, when I was in grad school, I got in the habit of coming home completely exhausted and falling asleep fully clothed. The next morning I wouldn't be able to find my keys, which had slid out of my pocket while asleep. It happened so often that, if I couldn't find my car keys, the first thing I'd do is check the bed.

Carilyn said...

I feel exactly the same way! I get irritated at my disorganized ways, but I feel stifled by complete organization. I like all the little paths leading in random directions, and the thrill of the unexpected.