In case you didn’t know, I am a total neat freak. Like, the creepy kind of neat freak, almost as bad as Christian Bale’s character in American Psycho, only not so murderous. Actually, I am not so much of a neat freak, more of a tidy freak. I like for things to be in their proper places. In my house you won’t typically find cluttered kitchen counters or an off-center dining room chair. But when it comes to dust and floor-care, I tend to let things slide. And unless you visit my house within a week of cleaning day, I would advise against lifting the toilet lid. For your own sake. And, oh yeah, cleaning day only happens about once a month around here, so you figure the odds. But on the surface things appear to be quite clean and bright and that works for me. I am all about superficiality, let’s get real.
My BFF and former roommate invented a fun game. It was called, “Oooh, I’m going to move around random items in the apartment and see how long it takes Kristy to figure it out!” She just got the biggest kick out of putting household items in the wrong places. “I’m really gonna get her this time! She’s gonna flip if I swap the positions of the salt and pepper shakers!” (In case you didn’t know, the salt is always supposed to be on the right. I learned this many years ago working as a banquet server, supposedly this is intended to help blind people use the correct seasoning. Remember, people- “white on right.”) One time my roomie even put an apple where the oranges go, ahhh that one still makes me chuckle.
Recently a friend reminded me that I once vacuumed my living room DURING a party. OK, fine, it’s happened more than once. This friend also knows my mother. She wondered aloud, “How in the world did you become such a fastidious fussbudget? I mean, considering the way your mom is.” My mom. Sweet Maggi. This woman wouldn’t know an organized cutlery drawer if a fork jumped out and stabbed her hand. (In my last post my wine glass pranced around on legs, now I’ve got a jumpy fork- What is going on in my kitchen?!) Anyway, my mom has earned an appropriate nickname over the years. My husband now refers to her as Hurricane Maggi.
Our house will be in its normal state, a few toys scattered about, kids glued to the TV watching
quality educational programming Dora and then BAM! In comes Maggi. In 5 minutes flat she will have every inch of the kitchen counters covered in shopping bags, clothes, wine bottles, you name it. Granted, the bags are typically filled with gifts for my children so I am certainly NOT complaining. My mother is truly the most generous person I have ever known.
And also the messiest. To watch the woman cook is an exercise in restraint. I try my hardest to ignore the flying chicken guts as she separates chicken wings, I just tiptoe behind her to wipe the guts off the front of the toaster oven. You know, the toaster oven that is a full 10 feet away from where she is standing. As she then proceeds to peel some potatoes, I just sit back and watch. She doesn’t seem to notice as the peels pile up on the floor around her. As she gets up from her chair, she simply steps over them and never looks back. These peels and the horrific mess she has made are now invisible to her. It is not an uncommon experience to find sauce dripping from the overhead light fixture after Hurricane Maggi makes spaghetti.
Apparently when she was younger, my mother entertained the thought of becoming a stewardess. It’s probably for the best that she never did. I can just imagine her in the cute little uniform, opening an innocent can of soda, then ker-plam! dropping and spilling it all over the innocent passengers. I can even hear the disgruntled travelers, “I don’t know how she even passed her stewardess test! And did you notice the jelly stain on her lapel?” all snooty-like. I guess my mom decided that she would prefer that the people she serve and care for be asleep, so she became a nurse anesthetist. Hurricane Maggi literally puts human beings to sleep and wakes them back up again. That shit is no joke! My mom is also a retired military officer. Clearly she is a bad ass-type woman and I have the utmost respect for her. She is so cool I am confident she won’t get mad about this post…Right, Mom?
So how did I become an organized neat freak with a mom like Hurricane Maggi? Being tidy is simply my form of rebellion. I do this to get back at her. For nothing in particular. And guess what? It works!