Monday, June 13, 2011

A Confession

I was a teenage slob. Yes, I was.

My bedroom in my parents' home was a disaster. Well, maybe not as bad as some teenagers' rooms I've seen. No moldy food on the floor at least. My problem was that I couldn't seem to put anything away when I was done with it.

A big part of the mess was my clothing. This was way back in the (ancient) days when we females weren't allowed to wear slacks (let alone jeans) to school. It was dresses or skirts and sweaters or blouses. Many of my school outfits were wool and had to be dry cleaned when they became soiled so these items were definitely worn more than once.

For some reason I just hated to rehang clothing. (A basic unfounded fear of closets?) Items weren't thrown on the floor (I would have probably been tarred and feathered if I had done that) but draped over any available surface such as a chair or desk or bed or door knob.

Whenever I wanted to have a girlfriend stay over night with me, my mom wouldn't say yes until . . . you guessed it . . . I cleaned my room. On these occasions when I was forced to put away all my clothes, I would get out the ironing board and steam iron and carefully press each and every item before rehanging it. Other items were put neatly away in drawers or chests or bookshelves or desk wherever they belonged. I probably filled an entire large garbage bag with general debris also.

My bad habit continued when I went away to college. Bless my forgiving roommates who never complained (to me anyway) about my aversion to putting things away. Everything was where I could find it. Just not as neat and well-kept as it should have been. (Understatement.) At least I did always keep my mess on my side of the room. (Such consideration!)

For a period I lived in a sorority house. Within the large house was an apartment for a married couple. The woman had been hired as a "house mother" and unbeknownst to us made periodic checks of all our rooms when we were gone.

Guess who got called on the carpet for having the most despicably messy room our house mother had ever seen?

Am I still a slob? Nope. All those unrefined habits instantly changed when I got married. And it's not as if I married a neat-freak who told me to shape up or ship out. He has always done a pretty darn good job of picking up after himself . . . well, he takes care of his clothing and other personal items but we do have words now and then about the piles of books, magazines, and various other articles of reading/research material he likes to let accumulate to monumental proportions scattered hither and yon around the house.

So you see, my own magical transformation from slob to pretty good housekeeper wasn't brought on by outside forces. Suddenly making and keeping a home that I was proud of and that was neat and tidy was very important to me and has remained so to this day.

I still wonder why, when I entered those teenage years and became interested in clothes and concerned about my appearance, I also became so disorganized and sloppy. Why I hated hanging up clothing or returning anything to its proper place and why I studiously avoided doing it. And why did all that change when I had a home of my own?

Dunno. But I'm sure glad I got over it. I'd hate to have to confess I'm an adult slob.

8 comments:

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Cute story! I must admit, folding laundery and putting it away are most certainly my least favorite things to do. Don't know why that is either. I think more than anything I hate when 'someone' puts his dirties next to the bin as opposed to IN the bin. I mean what's another inch higher gonna hurt???

Jane said...

All part of the personality developing. For example, when I was a teenager I can not believe the horrible Junk that I ate. School lunch would be nachos and pop (I blame the school for that - why was that even an option) I would skip the home cooked dinner for a bag of cheese puffs and pop. I **gasp** smoked! Ugh. And now I am a health nut and cant even eat at someone elses house because I worry what is in the food. Is is conventional, GMO, Pesticides, organic, no HFCS, etc. Oh how the tides turn.

Susan said...

NO! I cannot believe it! I am crushed...(kidding). I was not allowed to be a slob - ever - as long as I lived at home. I am, after all, the eldest daughter of the woman who hates clutter and the man who washes the gravel in his gravel walkways. However, I have 'loosened up'. And how.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

It must just be a phase because I was the same way! LOL Why put away something when you know that you will wear it again...sometime? When you will use it again...sometime? Some of the problem for me was simply too much stuff in not enough space too. I am much better now that I am keeping my own house, but I admit that I always have a very messy corner in my bedroom... if only I had a walk in closet!!!!

Erin said...

I love it! And would you believe that I too, was just as you described, only with jeans instead of dresses! I had a "clean" pile and a "dirty" pile, so they were separate, but that's about it. I even did my own laundry and it was still that way. Draped over chairs or bookcases. I had a walk in closet in the farmhouse that was to-die for, had those swinging style saloon doors on it and I STILL didn't hang stuff up, just kicked my shoes into a pile under it and draped stuff over the doors LOL. It's true, and I can't explain my current OCD, either, there was no "traumatic" event that caused it, I just grew up I guess! Funny that I used to love to clean the house when I was a teenager, just not my room :)

Mama Pea said...

APG - Aren't we all strange? I like folding laundry . . . but dislike "putting it away!"

Jane - Omigosh, Jane! What were you thinking?? Good thing you've seen the light! I don't know of anyone who has a better diet than you now.

Susan - Washes the gravel in his gravel walkways, huh? Ooof. Sort like my aunt who ironed her husband's and son's (she had 4 boys) undershirts, underpants and socks!

Jen - The walk in closet might not do the trick. I have a daughter with a large walk in closet which she refers to as the "walk on closet" because of all the stuff on the floor!

Erin - Simply can't believe you were EVER anything less than an organized, OCD, card carrying neat freak! (The deep, dark secrets we all have!)

Sparkless said...

You won't believe me if I tell you this but I don't have a closet or anywhere to hang up clothes. I have a tub of clothes that should be hung up but are in our storage locker. I haven't looked at them in years and I should get rid of them because I'm sure they would be out of style and not fit me anyway.
I can't imagine you as a slob but if you say it was so I'll believe you. I'm always amazed at how much "adult development" there is for everyone. We don't stop changing when we become adults we just keep growing and changing right up till our deaths.
And word verification word is "subtness" hmmmm wonder what the universe is trying to tell me with that one?

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Gosh, I HOPE I keep growing and changing right up til the end. I know I want to!