little miss messy
New Year’s Eve J and I promised each other two things: We would marry before the end of the year and we would accept not getting anywhere apartment wise until J had handed in his dissertation. With both things out of the way, this weekend was the weekend we got back to working on the apartment. We emptied a living room that we have been using for the past 8 months, a living room that didn’t look anything like what we want it to look in the end, but a living room we have gotten used to using (a living room in which we sat and relaxed and watched 6 episodes of Extras Saturday.)
Emptying one room means finding space for all its content in another room. And in the longer run it means living with a crowded dining room until we are once again able to move things into the living room. We managed to fit most things into the dining room (the TV is under the table, the chairs are pushed up against the window – thank heaven we haven’t got a couch), but because it, as you might have guessed, ended up looking rather crowded, I decided to clean up a bit (J would say I rearranged some piles and stacks and made it look a bit different.)
At our wedding a friend of mine gave a sweet speech about how she and I used to live in the same dorm and drank a lot of coffee. And at some point she spoke about our differences. How she was the organised girl with recipes in binders and a clean room compared to my different life style. I think she put it this way: “And even though you don’t know in which stack the recipe you need is, your cooking is always great.”
I am not that big of a mess. Please believe me when I tell you that. But I will admit that around my moving out from my childhood home something changed. As a child my room was always tidy and neat and my friends mocked me when I told them I couldn’t come out and play because my mum wanted me to straighten out my room. But when I moved into my first real home – my tiny one room apartment – I left behind the weekly routine that had been ever existent in my 19 years of life. I began piling things upon each other, leaving clean clothes in the chair, tearing out recipes from magazines and news papers, but never finding a place for them. And lo and behold: I left the dishes in the sink and when I finally did the dishes, I let them air dry….
My husband (I feel giddy writing that) will tell you that before cleaning out my own stuff, I try to make him clean up his. If not once a week then every fortnight, you will hear him say: “If you’re allowed so many piles, please let me have this one. If you want to clean up, clean up your own things.” He’s right and that’s what I did – or attempted to do – today.
As I managed to reduce one pile to half its size, I suddenly realised that we (I) have a problem. In my parents’ basement are stacks and piles and boxes. We (I) have things we (I) need, things we (I) don’t need, things we (I) have forgotten we (I) have. And there is no way that all that will ever fit into the living room once we’re done with it. And as much as my parents love me, I don’t think they will ever I know they will never open their arms and allow all that stuff to move in permanently.
Maybe it is time I accept that I am now a married woman (I am going to grow tired of it eventually, but bear with me for a while) and that my space is his space and that his space is mine and that I have way more than he does, and even though I think I am entitled to more space than him, I need to think whether I will ever need the binder with notes on the “circle of fifths” that I scribbled down more than 10 years ago while doing music as an A-level and even then never really fully understood? 1 down, 806.451.374.222 more to go… I am thinking that writing thank you notes isn’t such a bad way to spend my Sunday after all.