I have this ludicrous idea that I have somehow fooled my family into thinking that I am “with it” and organized. My not-too-well hidden secret is that I am “messy.” There, I’ve written it. The secret is out.
As I mosey through the house I leave puddles of messiness not unlike Pigpen from the Snoopy comic strip. My messes are usually newspapers I’m reading, pages I’ve torn from magazines and thank you cards I’m in the process of completing. Occasionally there will be a tube of lipstick, my business card holder, my eyeglasses case.
My messiness is worse whenever Big Al is away on business. It’s as if I’ve convinced myself I have a few days of chaotic freedom. Unfortunately there is always an afternoon or evening of reckoning, when I dash through the house trying to clear away my piles.
A coin always has two sides and the good and bad of my personality dictates that as much as I naturally lean toward creating haphazard groupings of papers and personal items, I get a deep satisfaction from throwing things away. Often my speed cleaning efforts involve strategically placed plastic grocery bags anchored around one arm. If I have many messes there might be two bags; a bag of things to put away later and a bag of trash to throw away.
Often it’s a good system. I throw the bag of junk away before I go to bed and as I head upstairs I put the other stuff in its appropriate spots. That’s most of the time.
There have been instances where I throw away the “put away” bag and keep the trash bag. I’ll find it hanging on one of the knobs of my dresser and think “Why am I saving a bag of trash?” I’ll quickly toss it in the garbage and never give a thought to the missing bag of good stuff until days later. Then that bag of items haunts my subconscious like a half-remembered dream.
I’m currently hunting just such an elusive collection. I can clearly remember thinking “This is not a good idea!” as I hurriedly cleared the dining room table into some container. Notice how I can’t describe the container. I knew then that it was a bad idea but I was too tired to care. I think I remember even carrying the bundle to bed with me and that’s where the trail ends.
Goodbye business card case. Goodbye cool orange-colored reporter’s notebook with awesome notes for future columns. Goodbye receipts for items it’s now guaranteed I’ll have to return soon.
Page 2 of 2 - Hope springs eternal and I’m hopeful my bag of stuff will be found, just like my favorite Starbucks travel mug I was certain I had tossed but recently found under my car’s passenger seat a full three months after it went missing. Of course it was right next to my car’s trash bin.
Lori Marble writes a weekly column for the Daily News.