Saturday, December 7, 2013

Putting Some Order in My Life

I was at Marshall’s yesterday trolling for Christmas gift inspiration. I did manage to score a few things and took them to the check-out counter. It was quiet in the store – as a contented retiree I’m able to shop at a time when the rest of the world is dealing with ringing phones or maybe telling their students that staring at their crotch either means they need to put away their cell phones or they might have a bigger problem.
As the cashier rang up my purchases, she placed each one neatly to the side of her. Last came a scarf I had bought, and she added it to the pile. It was a bit folded, apparently not lying neatly enough for her, so everything stopped while she carefully straightened it out, and after a full thirty seconds she achieved a tidy square. She looked up at me sheepishly, and said, “Sorry.” I told her I understood perfectly, that I probably would have done the same. We talked about the need for order. No surprise when she said she was the youngest of thirteen, and an army child to boot. If only I had such a clear-cut explanation.
We were out for lunch when the grandkids were here recently and the table looked like it inevitably will when the majority of your dining companions are under the age of eleven. There were the restaurant’s gifts of crayons and worksheets scattered about and an occasional toy car and errant mitten. The waitress worked her way around the table, taking our orders, starting with my daughter, then me. Here’s the thing: she and I were done with our menus, so I put mine in the center of the table, starting a pile so the waitress could pick them all up at once. I waited for my daughter to do the same. And waited. I added my husband’s to the pile after he ordered. And waited for my daughter to add hers. I found I was almost drumming my fingers on the table, my need to stack was so great. I finally took hers and placed it on the others, and then gathered up discarded worksheets and returned rolling crayons to the original owner.
The problem is obviously me. My daughter was perfectly comfortable there with the happy flotsam and jetsam of life about her while I was practically gnashing my teeth. And we won’t even mention my love for a clear desk and an empty kitchen sink. 


  1. Oh my! My daughters and my husband blame my need for order on the fact that I am a Virgo and left handed. :)

  2. Well, yes, actually it does. I am also retired with a slew of grands..and grown now and quickly adding up the little greats, to date just six. I had to smile as I read this because I had just come in from asking my husband in the nicest way possible if he would please, when he finished with a dish of...whatever..would he please wipe the dish clean with a paper towel before sitting it in the sink to be washed. You see, we don't have a dishwasher..or rather I AM the dishwasher. I don't really mind because I've found that having a dishwasher was just an added step in the dance. can check ALL of the above because I clinch my jaws when I see things strewn about..AND it's gotten me in trouble at my middle daughters home. I have learned (as best I can) to control my urge to grab things and put them where they belong!
    Marty..thanks for becoming a follower I haven't been doing much on my blog lately. Life has gotten in the way this year. I try though.

  3. I know just how you feel. I talked about a similar thing with hubby this morning. I am the orderly one while he is more slapdash. Everything in it's place is my motto. Fortunately we live together quite harmoniously.... grins.

  4. You so describe me and my daughter. I'm the neatnik and she could care less! I used to think- where did I go wrong? But now I think people are just different from young on.

  5. Hello, and thanks for stopping by. Yes, I too would be straightening the pencil. Two of my four granddaughters are the same; one even arranged her crayons by number. Yes, there is a tiny number on each crayola.
    PS-Blogger is not letting me join (try again or come back later). But, I will persist.

  6. How funny! I definitely struck a chord with this one. If only the REST of the world could see how superior our methods are!
    Henny Penny, yes I also lay some of this at the door of being a Virgo. I taught next door to another Virgo (a pretty tightly-laced one) and on occasion a friend of hers would go behind her and un-position the classroom chairs as Ms. Virgo meticulously lined them up at the end of the day.
    Joanne - glad to meet you and I'm looking forward to hearing from you again.
    Mona - I hope life loosens up a bit for you so you can get back to writing. . I've found blogging to sometimes be therapeutic.
    Mary and Valerie - It's good that we've learning (or are learning!) to be flexible with our significant others.

  7. Whoops. LEARNED..... Don't you hate that we can't go back and edit a comment??

  8. If I give you free reign of my house, will you come over for a visit? LOL

  9. Ahhh! Yes, indeed, we are all different. I love neatness; but realize that it may be difficult for others and truly not important at all. Chaos has its own rewards, I've learned.

  10. Love this.Wish I could be perfectly comfortable and happy with chaos, but unfortunately I'm not one of those lucky ones!

  11. No order here, but I only let the disorder go to a certain level of chaos and then I do a blitz. Love to be tidy, but my life does not permit me to be so!


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