Dear Evangelically Organized,
If you are a Multi-Sized-Tupperware-Having, Tidy-Closet-Owning , Where-The-Scissors-Are-Knowing (assuming a child has not absconded with them to “give my little sister’s Barbie’s a makeover” while you read this), Meal-Planning type … go with God.
This letter is not to you.
It is only to you if you are described above AND you habitually tell people, “Oh, anyone can be organized if they just *insert your system here.*”
It is SUPER DOUBLE to you if you then give a smirky shrug and cut your eyes sideways at the lady with wild eyes, egg on her shirt, and a packed purse disgorging foreign objects from its maw in a little vomitty lost-item trail behind her. This letter is SO for you. (And PS STOP IT! THAT IS NOT ATTRACTIVE!)
Maybe you think everyone can because it comes easily to you. My mother is like this—- she puts things in order without noticing she is doing it.
It is a gift.
If it is YOUR gift, then I say to you, DO NOT take your own gift so for granted! You are actually kind of amazing. Bankers and other Captains of Industry have brains like yours. So do most of the folks in R and D, teachers, and the best military strategists. You know what goes where when. Not EVERYONE can do this.
Would Rita Streich shrug and say, OH ANYONE COULD SING THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT ARIA, IF THEY REALLY WANTED TO…
No, she would not. No more so can ANYONE martial all the physical objects in their care into beautiful, peaceful order. Could ANYONE curate MOMA? Could ANYONE be the archivist at the Vatican? No. It takes one of YOUR breed. Stop denigrating your gift by insisting any schmo could do it!
Others of you have painstakingly learned a system. It was hard for you. You are not naturally organized, and you probably look with a gimlet eye upon those other-wordly creatures whose socks gravitate naturally into pairs, then into stacks of like-colored sockly brethren, then into drawers in a neatly multi-tiered, paired sock rainbow.
So you worked REALLY hard and ingrained a bunch of habits deep within yourself and created routines and TRIUMPHED.
This is a true achievement. CONGRATS. I am proud. You are like SEA BISCUIT. It was not in your pedigree, but you were willful and ornery and mighty, and you overcame all odds.
Why denigrate your amazing accomplishment by saying, OH ANY FOOL CAN BE SEA BISCUIT IF THEY SIGN UP FOR FLY LADY OR LAY OUT ENOUGH CASH AT THE CONTAINER STORE OR FOLLOW MARTHA STEWART LIKE LEMMINGS INTO A SEA OF RIBBONS TO HANDMAKE FUDGE ORIGAMI CUPCAKE FROGS.
Not every horse can be Sea Biscuit, even the ones who really WANT to make War Admiral suck our dust.
You believe I could make my sock drawer into the platonic ideal of a sock drawer if only I wasn’t so lazy or dumb or uncaring. And yeah, okay, this IS true. I CAN lay socks in a row. I am not COLORBLIND or terminally lazy. I simply cannot KEEP them that way. Cannot. Not will not.
This is a new discovery, and is literally one of the best things I have learned in my WHOLE WHOLE WHOLE life. It is the most freeing, beautiful thing. Admitting this has been one of the nicest things I have ever done for myself.
It isn’t that it doesn’t come naturally to me. It isn’t that I am lazy. It isn’t that I don’t care. It isn’t that it is hard for me.
It is PURELY ANTETHETICAL to my nature. I can’t do it any more than whales can lay eggs or lizards can grow luxurious pink mohawks. And if I could, I suspect it would be costly. I would lose a different thing that my brain CAN do.
Not “write books.” Lots of people with neat closets write books. This is NOT me being all “Hey alla ya’ll dumb roses! I am the only Crazy Posy in God’s amazing garden! I am SooOOoooo wacky artsy, like a SPESHUL Princess Messy-Pants Posy. I cannot be CONTAINED by all your OPPRESSIVE ROSE COLORED TUPERWARES!”
No. Poseys are LEGION, and we can’t keep our sock drawers in order. The end. We have different brain chemistry, and we can do some things you can’t do, just like you can do some things we …never…can.
NOW! I am sure you mean well. I am sure you believe “ANYONE can become organized” when you say it. You are so sincere, I have no doubt that the Great Pumpkin will be visiting your patch come the end of October, and he will probably bring you this:
But the world is a wide, wide spectrum, and you are…wrong. AND YET WE BELIEVE YOU! We BELIEVE, and it makes those of us who CANNOT do what you can feel like craptastic failures. AND at the same time lessens the value one of YOUR own gifts or minimizes your amazing Sea Biscuit-worthy triumph. So. Stop it.
Meanwhile, I guess my kind will have to work on not believing the ones who simply cannot help themselves.
PS Having said all this, tomorrow I will explain how this realization and acceptance of my limitations CHANGED MY LIFE and EVEN made it possible for me to FIND CLEAN SOCKS.
Most of the time.
At which point you can throw crap at me, oh YEAH, cuz Imma go ALLLLLLLLL evangelical.
PSS Are you a Rose or a Posy or some other flower in between OR….are you Sea Biscuit?
PSSS I think I do this, too, the “ANYONE can blahblah!” thing. If it is easy for me, or if I devote my all to it and MAKE IT HAPPEN, I think anyone should be able to manage it. Do you do this?