Monday, June 16, 2014

Ms. Strange-Clean, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the mop

As my friend told me about accidentally staying at a crack hotel in D.C. while attending a conference, I started half-listening and stooped to brush an errant pile of dust. I’d spent the whole previous weekend cleaning nonstop and couldn’t help but wonder what tiny UFO had descended from the outer reaches of space to deposit some crumbs and a dust bunny on my floor. Then, I realized there was a much greater mystery at work—who was I, and what had I done with Very Messy Meghan?
You see, I’ve never been a clean or tidy person. I once named a coffee cup of mold that had grown over some forgotten tea on the balcony of my dorm in college after discovering it. It seemed like the thing to do after such a foregone case. My clothes were always in a pile on the floor. Even a year ago, in my last apartment, I lost a can of Raid for a week in plain sight. Part of the problem is that if I leave something out, I just stop seeing it. It becomes part of the background. Part of the problem was dealing with depression. Part of it was not having nice stuff or a big-enough place to store things. It was a whole lot of things that added up to everything always being a giant mess.

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