Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Joy of Slob

I'm not an overly neat person, but neither am I a slob. On scale of 1 to 10, I'd probably rate a 6.5 on tidiness.

And for so one so neat, I seem to know an abnormally large number of untidy people. The first really untidy person I've known, is one of my best friends back home.

I remember years ago, driving around Anglesea in Australia. Anglesea is a small sea- side town in Victoria. I'd heard that my friend was staying there over the Christmas holidays, and being in the area, I decided to look for her, though I did not have her address. Unphased I drove around the sleepy town till I saw a car parked in a driveway, full of old newspapers,
My Friend's Kitchen Floor

unmarked exam papers and several half-read novels, anarchically disarranged amongst children's toys and discarded audio tapes. Between the car and the front door was a trail of old towels and kid's clothes. Eureka. I'd found her. There was no doubt in my mind, and I was right. "There you are," I said as she opened the door. "How did you find me?" she asked. "Oh", I lied, "I recognised the car."

A few years later, I hired a cleaner. I found her details from an ad in the local rag. She turned up for an interview. Her name was faintly familiar but I couldn't work out the connection.

We had a cup of tea together and she explained that she was needing some extra income as her ex was a bastard and she had no other source of income. She explained that she was a writer, and not really a domestic. She went on to say that her own house was a rubbish dump and that before deciding on taking up cleaning, she'd toyed with the idea of moving to Los Angeles and setting up a practice for people wanting to realise one's inner slob.

LippiI hired her on the spot, and after she left I realised what was familiar about her name. Her ex was in fact a childhood friend of mine, directly descended from Fra Filippo Lippi. He'd told me a few year's prior that he'd married a very untidy woman. And I'd thought he was exaggerating. See what happens when people emigrate to Australia. From angelic Lippi to Melbourne slob. Remarkable.

Then there's my husband of eight years. Of German birth. "Well at least he'll be tidy, being a German", a friend commented. ASIF! Before him I'd had an American lover with bad teeth. So much for stereotypes!

My good friend, my old cleaner, my husband - tidiness doesn't worry any of them. How can they be so messy?

But two weeks ago I had an epiphany. Husband away. No house guests ... why tidy up? Let's see what it's like to let it all go. So now, if I drop something, I wont pick it up. If I spill something, I wont wipe it up. I open the mail after work and instead of organising it into neat piles, I just leave it on the table. I've stopped making the bed. I sling dirty dishes into the sink, not even rinsing them. Instead of eating at the table, using a plate and flatware, I eat out of cartons, sitting on the couch, and when it is bed-time, I just leave the wrappings and half empty wine glass on the floor.

I throw my clothes on the floor instead of hanging them up. I leave the groceries at the front door in their plastic bags after shopping in the supermarket. If I need anything from them, I get it directly from the bags, rather than the fridge or cupboard.

When I take clean clothes from the drier, I chuck them onto one of the many piles of dirty clothes. I don't clean the grill. If I want a glass of coke, I just open another bottle, not worrying about the various half-drunk bottles lying around the apartment.

When I get up in the mornings and try to get ready for work, if I can't find clean clothes, so I just put on anything.

And guess what? I feel LIBERATED!!!!

Way to go! Now I just have to find the ex-wife of Lippi's descendant. I'm sure we can set up a successful Californian pop psychology company.

Discover you inner slob and find true happiness.

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