16 August 2003
Dr. G's new transcriptionist is busy giving birth to a baby and is not going to be able
to do transcription for a couple of weeks. I agreed to fill in. It's not working in the
office. It's setting my own price. It will give me a few more bucks before I leave for
Australia. What the heck.
Last night after Walt and I went to a very disappointing play, and before I sat down to
rip the play to shreds in my review, we went to the office so I could pick up the tape to
be transcribed. (On our way we did a quick drive out to the country so we could check out
the rising moon and its position in relation to Mars...y'all know that on the 27th, Mars
will be closer to the moon than it has been for thousands of years, right?)
Anyway, I left Walt in the car and I let myself into the office to get the tape.
I turned on the light and turned off the burglar alarm and then went to pick up the
....off of a pristene, totally cleared desk.
My first thought was that Dr. G must think he's died and gone to heaven. Replacement #2
has probably never received his "your desk is cluttered" speech.
The thing about the look of the desk is that she has made minor rearrangements
of things. Everything that I had there she still has, but it's all put in a more logical
fashion. Not only is the top of the desk pristeen, but she has pretty much doubled her
usable work space (my biggest complaint--I couldn't get organized because I had no space
in which to work).
The look of the office confirmed what I have always known: I am genetically challenged.
Though I sprang from the loins of a woman who has never let a single tsatske look out of
place, a woman who feels her house is "full of junk" when the whole house has
less in it than my kitchen, a woman who has never had to ride herd on dust bunnies, this
organizational gene passed me by.
I have often suspected that my real mother was my aunt Betsy, an artist who
dirtied every pot in the house when she cooked, who had books standing in piles all over
the house, who would never pass the "white glove" test, and who frequently
forgot to comb her hair or get out of her bathrobe for half a day because she was so
involved in some sort of project.
How did I get her genes and not my mother's?
It frustrates me that when Walt decides to cook dinner (something he did for six weeks
after my accident), the first thing he does is spend an hour cleaning up the kitchen so he
can find space to work. Until he gets it cleaned up, it never even occurred to me that it
was messy. It was just the kind of place that I was used to working in. Unlike me, Walt,
who can be messy when he sets his mind to it, did inherit some sort of organizational
genes from his Virgo mother.
I look at "mess" and can't see the way to organize it. Usually I don't even see
it. (I can remember having a kid ask me "where is my red sock?" and answering
"It's under the chair in the living room; it's been there for a week..." On some
level my brain had registered that there was a sock there, but that registration didn't
extend to actually picking it up.)
With my impending departure for Australia and perhaps a bit inspired by Replacement
#2's organization at the office, I decided to spend today cleaning. I figured I'd take an
hour and get the kitchen counter cleaned up.
To help keep me at the task, I decided to watch the DVD I bought of the first season of
"Sex and the City" which I've never seen (I'd never seen the show at all and
wanted to find out what all the fuss is about).
I worked steadily as episode after episode played on. I only took a brief break for a
bowl of cottage cheese with pineapple around 1 p.m.. Finally, as episode #8 was ending, I
realized that my knee was starting to cry "ice bag" and I called an end to the
cleaning and straightening. I'd jettisoned 3 bags of flotsam and still didn't get the
feeling that I'd actually organized anything. All I'd done was create a bit of
clear space. I'd be willing to bet that on looking at the results of 8 hours of cleaning,
those who are not lacking in the organizational gene will wonder what in the world I spent
all that time doing.
Don't blame me for being messy. It's all my faulty genes. (That's my story and I'm
sticking with it.)