When my uncle visited the UK in the 1930s, he threw away an empty cigarette packet. A lady, who was passing, picked it up and said “Is this yours?” My uncle replied “Yes, but I don’t want it.” The lady snootily replied “And nether do we” as she proffered the empty packet to my astounded uncle. He always claimed that this lesson on tidiness was never forgotten. I am not so sure but my uncle’s house was much tidier than ours. However, I suspect my aunt and my obsessively tidy cousin had a lot to do with that, somehow. If you are tidy like them, you will resonate with the struggles that tidy people can only understand.
1. You fear the apocalypse is near
You know when friends say that they cannot perform basic chores like doing the laundry and are not comfortable with washing machines, a shiver goes down your spine. This is when you think that the preppers are right and the end is really imminent.
2. You do not suffer from a disorder
By now, you are sick and tired of your loved ones and friends telling you that you are on the Obsessively Compulsive Disorder (OCD) spectrum. Depending on their mood, you are mildly affected or you are so deranged that you need treatment. But you only want everything nice and tidy. You fight down the resentment, dislike and even hatred.
3. You know that nobody else can meet your standards
You look at the so-called tidy room or cleaned up kitchen. You immediately see crumbs on the floor and reach for the brush. You even start thinking about cleaning down the draining board and just doing a quick tidy up. You decide that silence is golden yet again and retreat defeated.
4. You have a phobia about open drawers and cupboards
Perhaps it is a bit obsessive but how can all those things be left like that? You close them immediately. Then you have to decide whether it is worth nagging your significant other for the 1,199th time. Those drawers and cupboards cannot survive when open so you feel quite justified as you slam them shut.
5. You wish empty containers would just disappear
You see the empty packets lying around abandoned in the fridge or cabinets. They are empty so they should not be there. You cannot understand what logic or reasoning people are using when they never put them in the garbage.
6. You are tired of homeless objects
Clothes, books, dishes, and cutlery. Those lovely things once had a home. That home was comfortable and tidy! Now these objects are all like abandoned waifs and strays and you are the only one who cares about rehousing them.
7. You try so hard not to be judgemental
God knows how difficult it is! You resist for the millionth time using words like untidy, messy, dirty, sloppy when talking to your loved ones but you do not always succeed. You do wish that you could work together as a team but most of the other family members seem to be ready for an interstellar experience.
8. You could open a household cleaning store
Cleanliness is next to godliness so you have stocked up on every cleaning material imaginable. Of course you have to put up with all the jokes about opening a shop and so on. You just smile affably while you polish, tidy, dust, and wash even more.
9. You hate being invited to lunch
It does not always happen. Some of your hosts are quite tidy. But when you are invited to lunch at a messy person’s house, the torture you endure goes off the scale. You avert your eyes from the mess but it is everywhere. You try looking at the ceiling but there are cobwebs there. There is nowhere safe so you keep your eyes on your host or on your lap. I still think about my friend who had to endure lunch, knowing that the host was putting the dirty dishes in the bidet!
10. You blame the Internet
All the mess addicts you know are probably spending far too much time hanging out online. You resist the evangelical approach to try and convert them and just shrug your shoulders. Social media is just a tool to use wisely or foolishly. Now, if they only used some of that Facebook time in cleaning and tidying up, everyone would be much happier.
11. You fantasize about a huge de-cluttering event
You dream about de-cluttering. This could be the event of the year. Imagine getting rid of all that junk, housing everything decently and buying lovely storage units in which to put everything. Discarding old books, papers and clothes is a joy. Dream on!
12. You may be a little obsessive
You have to admit that life is not so black and white. But the philosophy which teaches that messiness is a problem and tidiness is the solution is still enormously appealing. Now, why can’t everyone be neat and tidy?
Featured photo credit: Topiary/xlibber via flickr.com