Tuesday, June 05, 2007

most perfect of perfectionists

I’ve been thinking about how happy it makes me to open the hall closet now that it is all organized and clean and completely functional. It’s actually kind of ridiculous how happy it makes me. So I’m motivated to apply the same cleaning and organization to the rest of the house. Hey, if putting a towel away in the newly clean closet makes me this giddy, what would I be like if the entire house were in order? Mary Freekin' Poppins dancing about and singing with the birds I'd be.

Summer break, back in the days of grade school, used to be a time of metamorphosis. I always wanted to show up in September with new hair, new clothes or 20-pounds lighter. Of course, new clothes, for me, often meant spending my summer vacation behind the sewing machine. Not always a good thing - I’ll never forget that first day of school in 7th grade when the groovy pants I’d sewn split in the rear during the very first class of the day. I spent the entire day walking around with a shirt tied around my waist. (why does stuff like that always happen to me?)

I want this to be a summer of transformation. Not only to clean out clutter and organize so I can find things when I need them (I spent months looking for my son’s immunization card – I ordered a new one, and wouldn’t you know it… I found the old one in my files that very same day – the perfect place for it, actually, but I never thought to trust that I might have actually put it in the right place) So, this summer, it’s a place for everything and everything in its place. And I also want to work on dressing the place up a bit. Make every nook and cranny an intentional design decision. I’m always green with envy when I see what other people have done with their home – especially creative decorating like this. My new project: take on a tiny space a day – a junk drawer, even – until I can call this a house I’d be proud of. I house I’d invite Martha to even.

Which reminds me of 3rd grade. A girl I went to school with always showed up with perfect pigtails tied up with crisp bows to match her prettiest of all pretty dresses. I pretended she was my best friend - that I would go to her perfect perfect house for slumber parties. I imagined that if she ever came to my house, I'd have to clean and organize my room a bit. On the weekends I'd spend hours folding my socks (no sock balls because I imagined that she never rolled her socks but had drawers and drawers of perfectly folded socks). Five years later we actually became really good friends. And yes, her world was nearly just as perfect as I imagined. We're friends to this day and I'm desperate to see her house now that she has a baby. Can't still be perfect, can it??? But, alas, she lives so far away so I'll just have to imagine that even the most perfect of perfectionists allows some amount of chaos into their lives when baby arrives. That makes me feel just a little bit better about myself to think that.

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