Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Why I am the way I am...

These are my cute sisters singing. They sound awesome, by the way! I wish I could carry a tune!
Notice in this picture the brown drawer. Then look over to the top left at the lone handle.
This is my mom's kitchen. It has been this way for a good two years. I asked her why was it again, that there is one brown drawer. She had been painting and she got tired. And besides, she likes it. The handle was a trial run. She was trying to find some hardware that fit the old holes in the cabinets exactly. I told her that you are supposed to putty the old holes and make new ones. She doesn't mind, not one bit that her kitchen is a little quirky and unfinished. She thinks it's funny, I think.
And then there is my Grammy, on my dad's side. I remember her fixing some sort of hole in the wall with duct tape and a paper plate. It really didn't look that bad. I think she may have painted the paper plate. Grammy lives in a very cute white house with a pink door. It used to be a church and her bedroom is where the pulpit used to be. It is 100% charming, even if she uses duct tape for home repair.
This is why being a perfectionist is completely against my nature. I try. Really, I do. But, it really does not come naturally. Much to my husband's dismay (he wants our house to look spotless 24/7). A lot of the time I don't see the need for things to be perfect. I don't care if there is a mess once in a while. Apparently other people do. They do things that don't even occur to me to do. Like my friend Christina who folds her used grocery bags into a knot. I have always been of the "Make it work" philosophy. I don't think there is anything wrong with being the way I am, at the same time, I would hope that all of the perfectionism from the people around me can wear off on me a little. If only because I like things to be pretty. Perfectionists know how to make things pretty.
Today I'm thankful for my quirky family and the perfectionists.


mindy said...

I, too, tie my grocery bags into knots. They fit better in the cute "bag holder" that my mom gave me. ;-) But I think the original idea behind it was so that your kiddos couldn't find them and suffocate themselves. How's that for another thing to worry about?

I'm not a perfectionist in any sense of the word, either. My sister is. And I do wish my house were tidier, but I can only do so many straight hours of housework on any given day! Plus, haven't you heard the quote,

Cleaning the house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.

My mom was never much of a housekeeper while I lived at home, but now that she is retired and has no kids to mess the place up, it looks fabulous! To every thing there is a season, and this point of our lives is not the season for a tidy house!

andrea said...

The other night we were having a "slumber party" in Chickie's room. Our friends Derek and Christina were over and Chickie got all of us blankets and pillows. Obviously, it looked like a big mess. But that was the point, and we were playing in it. Chris was wanting us to tidy it while we were playing. I took the opportunity of having backups there to start a big discussion on how clean is too clean.
No matter what they said...I don't think it matters. As a kid Chris's room was always clean. They had a lady that cleaned their house and even she said his room was freakishly clean. He folds his dirty clothes for crying out loud!!! And the fact remains that no matter what he can't relax unless the house is clean. I, honestly can relax a lot more when he is out of town. But what am I to do about that? I want my husband to be comfortable in his own home. And most of all I really hate it when he tells people that our house is always a disaster...It is so not even close to a disaster pretty much ever. I just talked to my sister (not about this) and she thinks that there is no fighting how we grew up. It is our nature...well I hope not, because one of us has to give a little. Otherwise, I'm really dreading the retirement years when he is around all the time walking after me and cleaning up everything I'm using....:) HELP!!

mindy said...

yikes! he also is an only child, so he really could control his environment. No little siblings coming in to mess up your stuff. Honestly, I think it is something that is fairly hardwired into us, even irrespective of upbringing. Of the 6 kids in my family, two are obsessively (and IMHO obnoxiously at times) neat, one is fairly neat but I think a lot of that is due to his very on-top-of-things-like-housework wife, and three of us have no such delusions of tidyness. And we all grew up in the same environment.

That would be really hard to have him tell people that the house is always a disaster. :o( I know I take it very personally when David complains about the level of tidyness in the house, but I remind myself that there really are more important things than a perfect house. Yes, I have room for improvement, and it is something I work on, but I'm not going to kill myself, my sanity, or the kids' happiness by trying to achieve it. Is he good at doing stuff around the house? From what you wrote, it sounds like he walks around cleaning all the time when he is there.

andrea said...

OK I am officially feeling really guilty for complaining about my husband on my blog. I keep thinking, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" and about Suze Orman who thinks that you can't be rich unless you are clean.
The other thing is that I really believe in taking responsibility for myself and I know that while I have no control over Chris to make him suddenly relax, I do have control over myself. I just would hope that you and Katie could be wrong....that I could really change deep down to enjoy cleaning. I am digging myself such a big hole right now. Making myself sound like a big pig. I actually really like things clean and organized, but Chris likes things tidy. I don't mind if a few things are out, as long as I know it's clean underneath. For example right now I'm sitting next to a huge pile of clean laundry. Yeah, it looks messy but I like to accumulate it on the couch so I can have an excuse to sit down and watch some TV later without feeling lazy.

andrea said...

I didn't quite finish that thought...On the other hand, If Chris would walk in right now he would think the house was a disaster, even though there is nothing else out of place.

andrea said...

AAHHH! Complaining and now lying, too. What has become of me? As soon as I typed that I looked around the room. To me it was clean. But then I saw what Chris would see if he really had walked in the door....two fruit snack wrappers on the floor (I had Chickie pick those up), one pillow and blanket on the couch out of place, my keys on the floor beside my bag (which belongs in the huge bag basket), and two remotes lying haphasardly on the ottoman along with a manilla envelope(which holds the neighborhood newsletter I have been working on) and library books that haven't made it to Olivia's room. And our flip flops are casually strewn by the door. If Chris walked in the room he would pick all of those things up. Except he would not go near the laundry. So then I picked up my keys and bag and put them away, fluffed the pillow and folded the blanket. I lined up the flip flops neatly by the door (I guess I could have put them away, but we may go out later). I took the library books to Chickie's room. The remotes are still on the ottoman. I will be picking those up next. But the manilla envelope stays because I will need it shortly. And now I'm noticing that the coasters are hanging half way off the side table. AGHH. It never stops!
I feel like a crazy person commenting back and forth to myself.

Brother Man said...

Ah cleanliness. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a slob. And I don't mean a little messy or even really messy. I mean full on slob. I don't mean to be. I just do it. And I have an entirely different idea of what clean means. I remember once at Andrea's house when the whole family was over she asked everyone to help tidy up. I looked around and then said-in complete and utter honesty, "Okay, I don't mind cleaning up but you're going to have to tell me what to do because this place looks spotless." Seriously I couldn't see anything to do. Andrea laughed and had me sweep. And even then I had to pay close attention to make sure I swept everywhere since there was no visible dirt. I remember another time when I came home from my mission and we were all staying at Andrea's apartment. I got a bloody nose and was standing in the bathroom with a big thing of toilet paper hanging out of my nose. Andrea again laughed at me and said, "I forgot what a guy you are. Chris would never do that." There are serious advantages to having a neat freak for a husband. You guys always get the best room when we go to mom and dad's house because Mom freaks out that Chris will need someplace that he can keep clean and Chickie some place quiet. I always get Rose's disgustingly messy room. I wish I was less of a slob but it's hard to make things bother you when they don't. I mean if it bothered me that things were messy I'd clean up but it doesn't bother me to the point that it barely registers. It does make it stressful for me to visit people because it takes so much concerted effort to pay attention to what kinds of messes I may be making.

Brother Man said...

I once apologized to someone for our house being such a mess. Buffy looked so hurt. I didn't mean for it to be a slam on her because obviously I'm most of the problem and often not much of the solution but of course that's how she took it. And I even think that day I had been home and meant to clean up but didn't. But after that I decided I didn't care what other people thought. They didn't live in my house. So now I try to never comment to other people on the house. Of course Buffy now comments all the time about how she wasn't meant to clean and how she needs a maid so she can just concentrate on having fun with the kids and cooking yummy food.

mindy said...

Yeah, I dunno. It's just really hard to keep the house clean &/or tidy without spending ALL the time on it, or being a total wench to the kids. At least it is for me. And I'm not saying we can't strive for improvement. I know that for me, having a cleaning schedule works well because at least things get done regularly. Right now my office is such a pit of despair that I don't know where to begin. My biggest problem is that I just keep too much junk. Sigh... it's something that I struggle with as well.

mandee said...

Oh my how funny is all this talk about cleaning(or rather about NOT cleaning). I have to side with Chris and feel obligated to stick up for him. It can be seen as a 'disorder' (OCD) by some. The NEED to clean or have clean the space around you. That's what I always claim when Jammy says stuff about my cleanliness/godliness. It works most of the time--HOWEVER-- the cleaning is done by the one with the 'disorder'. Even if he does help I usually go over it after him-lol! We have learned to both give a little and somehow that makes it work. I only ask him to do the things I am willing to have half-done.

Anyway, maybe there is a need for discussion and compromise. You both live there and you both need to be comfortable.

After re-reading this I sound like a cleaning snob and I don't mean it that way, I do have my fair share of what I like to call 'clutter'. (a nice collection of clean things)


No matter the topic this just makes me love bloging even more. It's like our own personal message board. I think I am really getting to know lots about your family and friends--love it!
Have a great day new friends!

andrea said...

Sam--I think you got it right that we as women take any comment on the state of our house VERY personally.
Mandee--so DO tell, what is it that you do. What is your cleaning routine? Do you feel like you are spending a lot of time cleaning or does it just happen naturally?

Derek Hinckley said...

Hey...That's funny you mentioned Christina and her plastic bag knots! And yes, we still back you up on your "Mess Theory". You've can't be tightly wound all the time. Do you think Chris got folding his dirty laundry from me? There really is a good reason for it sometimes. Oh, i need you to encourage Christina to start a blog. She really wants to but got really mad at me the other day for going and setting one up for her. So i had to delete it. She procrastinates, especially when it's something i suggest. If it comes from you, i bet she do it that same day. funny how that works, hugh?