Honey, Do These Pants Make My .....

I'd love to be putting up riveting stuff over here, but the truth is, life isn't riveting right now. Rather, it's relatively mundane, and a bit of a mess.

And a little ADHD. A good thirty years ago I read a book called 'Side-tracked Home Executive - from Pigpen to Paradise' by two sisters, Pam Young and Peggy Jones. I'd come to realize I was not genetically geared to being a domestic goddess. These two sisters were both slobs, unorganized, with houses full of clutter and good intentions. I'm not sure, but I do believe they were the ones who gave The Fly Lady her start. I read the book, thinking "I'm not THAT bad!", and went out and bought about a gazillion index cards and a big, long box to file them in.

Every day I'd pull the cards for the day, lay them out on the kitchen counter, so I'd know what needed to be done. And I'd deal with my 'zone'. I actually kept that system up for a good amount of time, got my house under control (as much as you can with three little adversaries living under foot), and quit using it. What I learned, more than anything else - more than how to clean a toilet or organize my tupperware (see, riveting stuff!) - was that I am NOT naturally organized. Or disciplined.

Almost anyone who knows me today would disagree. But trust me on this - it's true. I'm actually more of what I call - and this is SO unladylike, but fits - a 'fart in a skillet' (not that I use that word, because 'toot' is so much better.) (If my daughter #1 is reading this, she's dying now.) It just gives too vivid of a mental picture to pass it up. I'm much more apt to start something, dig in, and like a raccoon seeing a shiny pretty, I grab it and take off in a completely different direction.

So I make lists, spreadsheets, carry notebooks and organizers and calendars and have gotten to where I can make order of a pretty big mess. But it still doesn't come naturally to me. And I'll never be a minimalist, like my daughter-in-love thinks I am. I'll just keep culling.

Which brings me - short story long - to last night. I was D.O.N.E. We'd spent hours meeting with the builders of our new home, run errands, done some desk work - which might have included paying a bill I skipped last month - spent a good amount on time on the phone talking to several people who are having a really difficult time right now. I'd cooked and cleaned up dinner. I'd seen the gymnasts win their medals, had on my pajamas and was headed to bed. Because my pajamas are stored hanging up in the closet, I looked over and saw all those pants hanging there, knowing the charity pickup was this morning. It was my best opportunity to cull them. Which would involve trying on every single pair. I hate trying on clothes. Hate, hate, hate.

I took off my pajama bottoms, and pulled on the first pair. Did not fit - too big - hurray! The next pair gobbled in all the wrong places, and required heels. I'm 5'9" tall and 61 years old. I do not wear heels. Ever. The next pair was okay. As I continued trying them on, most of the jeans either gave me muffin top, or bulged in less than stellar places, or the rear sagged, or they were ridiculous skinny jeans that I bought in a moment of insanity, and thank the Lord have never worn.

I know they're the rage, but wearing skinny jeans makes me feel like a fat flamingo. Chubby on the top, oozing out in all the wrong places, and then skinny stick legs on the bottom. Unless I want to wear the current maternity-top fashion trend (thanks, I already spent 27 months wearing those), that's just not going to work for me. I need one pair of jeans that I can wear anytime, anywhere, and not consider shoes. Because I don't care about shoes, pretty much at all.

I eventually put 75% of the slacks, pants, jeans, leggings, workout pants into the giveaway pile. At one point I stood in the closet and considered going into the living room and asking Cub Sweetheart if a pair of pants made my rear look big, but then I turned around and looked for myself. No, they didn't but it was still unattractive. I looked like someone in a nursing home walking away, down the hall, bingo cards in hand. Not wanting to hear his answer was not actually the reason I didn't ask. (He would have been politically correct and assured me they looked fine.) (Never ask your husband this - if they tell you the truth, it's hurtful, and if they lie, it's not helpful.) The real reason was that I'd already told him, an hour before, that I was going to bed. Telling my engineer-genes, naturally organized, disciplined husband that I'd seen a shiny pretty in the closet at 10:30 at night and spent an hour there instead of going to sleep as I'd told him - well, we don't have to confess all our flaws, do we?

I'm not going to go re-buy the Fly Lady's book or the other 'slob-to-organized' book either, but the next time someone tells me how organized I am, and I want to preen in the words for a moment, I'll remember last night when I stood there looking like a fat flamingo and / or bingo lady. I'll keep myself honest and humble, and tell them the truth - not so much. And I won't say anything about 'fart-in-a-skillet' because nice ladies just don't speak such words, organized or not. Some things can be written but still never spoken outloud. Even messy Pam and Peggy know that. 


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