Sharing a little Martha…or is it Sybil?

I just spent 2.17 minutes rearranging the silverware and utensils in the dishwasher, organizing them by type. Knowing full well I will never see those 2.17 minutes again. Working like a contestant in the final round of Minute to Win It so not to be caught re-doing a mindless job that’s already been done.

A sickness? Perhaps.

There are certain things that make my blood race through the one, tiny and obscure OCD vein hidden deep in my body. Like the bath towels folded in half, in half, in third, in third; hand towels of course, in third, in third, in half, in half. A flat sheet tightly tucked in with a nice, precise hospital corner. A pillow placed on the bed with the pillowcase opening at the bed’s edge. Grabbing a handful of forks and depositing all of them with one fell swoop, into their rightful slot in the silverware drawer.

Don’t be fooled; I’m no neat-nik. That silverware drawer? A family of four could make a meal out of the crumbs and dried splatters of milk and chocolate sauce littering the slots. If that’s not evidence enough, the children’s names written in the dust of the TV screen, dog hair balls dancing in the corners of every stair step and blobs of toothpaste and spit cemented to the bathroom sink should be quite enough to confirm my belief that life’s much too short to get knotted up about a little debris.

So why the occasional channeling of Martha Stewart?

Like most adult women struggling to understand their faults, I place the blame squarely on my mother. Making me refold towels and remake the bed when they weren’t right (you guessed it: third, third, half, half; hospital corners). Shutting down any attempt at discussion with “There’s nothing wrong with doing it right.”

But I probably need to quietly thank her for indoctrinating me with my tiny little collection of habits (BTW, the dishwasher thing — totally mine. With five kids, just getting the dirty dishes in the thing was victory enough for Mom) that typically lead to loud sighing, excessive eye rolling and dramatic gnashing of teeth on the home front. I have to believe my little obsessions are just enough to keep us off some future TLC reality series in the vein of  “This Sty We Call Home”.

And besides, don’t my kids deserve to have something to blame me for?

How about you? Giving your kids some good stuff?

4 Responses to “Sharing a little Martha…or is it Sybil?”

  1. Becky Sherer says:

    Finally, more laundry! My son is oblivious to my cleaning habits. None have rubbed off on him. In his mind, the only items worthy of prompt, thorough cleaning are tools and guns. Oh, well.

  2. Janice Crago says:

    But I’m guessing he’s a little Sybil about how those tools and guns get cleaned, yes?

  3. I’m a little bit like this myself, and I’m a guy! I still remember that, when I first moved out on my own and paid room and board to a coworker, he had one rule: let there be no dish in the sink! Even now, over 20 years later, I find myself struggling whenever another in my family leaves a dish in the sink when it could have been washed or put in the dishwasher.

    Nice finding your blog over here, Janice, too, by the way. Keep it up!

  4. Janice Crago says:

    When you uncover that little secret to get them to move the dish from the sink to the dishwasher, please share away! Thanks for stopping by!

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