When Vinny critiques me in a way that suggests I should improve (as a wife, as a human being), I tend to immediately start hearing loud horns blaring. Sometimes it sounds like a helicopter is hovering 10ft above my head and I JUST CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING. Whatever brain space I have left is used to come up with a clever critique right back at him. Because that’s what a healthy conversations are all about, amiright?
No, WRONG. You are not right, Diana. Because chances are, he is just expressing his dire frustration with something I’ve done. Or in this case, haven’t done.
Recently I heard through the noise and I actually understood a critique that he’s apparently been telling me for years. Allegedly, I am messy and dirty and just leave things places and don’t put them away and even when I do put them away I do so with so little love and care that I might as well have not touched it at all.
(Aha!, my strategy has been uncovered.)
And by allegedly I mean it’s all true. Therefore, I have made efforts to change.
Here, I bestow upon you my cleaning diary.
- I see an item out-of-place.
- I look at it. Is it really out of place? Why does Vinny get to decide what is out of place. Maybe this is where this item is supposed to be right at this moment in time.
- I walk away.
- No wait! That is a load of chocolate-covered nonsense. It must be moved to the proper location.
- I try to send it to it’s place with an old trick of mine, telekinesis.
- Nothing happens.
- I remember that I don’t have telekinses skills anymore. Damn lightening.
- I send a signal to my brain to make me move the item to the proper location.
- My brain doesn’t respond. It is confused. It doesn’t understand why this isn’t the items place. It can be if I want it to be.
- Shut the FUCK UP, Diana’s Brain. Just shut up. This is a process of change.
- I send a signal to the agreeable side of my brain to move my legs towards the item.
- My legs move. Success! Step one done.
- I send a signal to my brain to move my hands and pick up the item.
- I send another signal to my brain to place the item in it’s “rightful” place.
- I take my magazines, books, iPad, laptop and bring it to my office.
- I come back.
- I take my dirty socks, his dirty socks, my sweatshirt, and my bra and bring it to the bedroom. I sort the dirty stuff into the appropriate places, i.e. the hamper.
- I come back.
- I sit on the couch to Facebook and forget what I was doing.
- I remember what I’m doing and continue cleaning.
- An hour has passed.
- I take the plates and cups and bring them to the kitchen. I put them in the sink because apparently that is where dirty dishes belong.
- My brain is on fire! Literally. Being neat hurts, but at least I feel accomplished.
- Eight hours later, the living room is neat.
- But not clean. Apparently this deal requires me to sweep and Swiffer, too. I almost forgot. Almost
- The brain is confused. It thinks it’s snack time.
- Maybe I’ll get to sweeping and swiffering tomorrow. Or maybe today, since I don’t want to fight. I weigh my options. To my customized broom I go.
- I sweep and swiffer. I do my best and that’s the story I’m sticking with.
- I’m done!
- Next time I vow to clean better. Next time I will not ADD and will just do it. Next time I will hire a cleaning lady and take all the credit. Mrs. Doubtfire style.
Change requires time, effort and dedication and that is probably why so many people are stuck sucking at life. But not I! I will be different. I will become neat. I will.