Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Tidy Gene

I was born tidy. It was in my genes. My mom was neat, and threatened to nail coat hooks on our floor if we didn't hang things up. I don't doubt she would have done it. My dad was more of a neat freak. He would have the vacuum out and be moving furniture as company was just pulling out of the driveway. We didn't see this as a bad thing, but just a "Dad thing". I think I carried on the tidy tradition as a way of adding order to any chaos in my life. Rick came into our marriage as trainable. His only sloppiness manifests itself in piles of books everywhere he parks himself. If he were Hansel to my Gretel, he would be leaving books instead of breadcrumbs. I would be following behind, stacking the books neatly, by size of course, and get us hopelessly lost. I remember my third grade teacher allowing me, during class, to arrange the books in the bookcase by size. How bizarre. I have always wondered why she did that, but it made me immensely happy at the time. Ben inherited the neat gene, and reminds me of my dad when I see him organize his things for the next day. Molly, on the other hand, inherited some mutant sloppy gene. I thought I could force her to be tidy, but was told she was messy and liked it that way. Molly ran the hurdle event on her high school track team. This came in handy when getting into bed at night, as she had to get past the moat of clothes piled around her bed. When she moved into her first apartment, I wondered what we would find under the mountain of crap on the floor. I was amazed that only sixteen years' worth of dust bunnies were residing there. My vote would have been a family of Gypsies, a marching band, some scary spiders, and perhaps Amelia Ehrhart. Go figure.

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