Friday, August 28, 2009

A declaration of war

Titling this post was challenging, because this topic makes me vacillate between wanting to laugh, wanting to cry, wanting to scream, and wanting to walk away (far far away) while shrugging my shoulders. In that vein, please excuse all the run-on sentences and bad grammar that accompany the following rant.

I am an untidy person...make that a very untidy person. I'm big on piles of stuff just about everywhere, because I'm a visual person. If I put something out of sight, it is out of mind until it's in sight I just don't put things away until I'm totally done with them, and I never seem to get around to being totally done with them. I know this is hideous and I'm setting a bad example for my children, yadda yadda yadda, and I'm well aware of all of that...but it seems to be my nature. Untidy just doesn't bother me until it gets really bad, at which point I usually freak out and cry and rail against the fact that I don't have enough time to organize and clean it properly (hours, since it's gotten that bad)...and then maybe I'll tidy one small portion before hiding it all behind some door. The study has been that door. Since it's gotten too cold in the extension to spend any real time there this winter (it's about 57 degrees F in there most days), I tend to dump stuff there and shut the door. Not smart. The hideousness of that room has been preying on my mind for a while now, and I've conveniently ignored it. Though untidy, I am not unclean. I cannot abide funk. The study had papers and whatnot strewn all over the floor and every other surface, but there was no old food in there or anything nasty. Just mess. Nonetheless, it was time to clean. When Markus packed the girls off to the playground last night, I rolled up my sleeves and marched in there, determined.

While we were in Sydney last week enjoying glorious sunshine and heavenly temperatures, the winter weather gods were having their way with Perth. Apparently, there was a whole lotta rain happening. It was sunny when we returned, so we were happy. This week has been busy and not a little manic, so I hadn't gone in the study all week until last night. It seems I was about two weeks too late with my determination to clean up. Somehow, the study (thankfully, only the study) flooded while we were gone. The carpet is damp, which means almost everything on the floor (including various important documents I had sorted into subject piles but not filed) was damp and--you guessed it--starting to become moldy. And the kicker? There are mushrooms growing from the baseboards. MUSHROOMS. Inside my house.

I am a displaced American Katrina person. I know all about flooded spaces, but mushrooms sprouting from the wall in a week's time? I had never heard of that. I am repulsed. I am appalled! I am furious with myself for making it all so much worse for us to clean up because we actually need to keep most of those damp, slightly moldy papers. ARGH!!

Untidy I may be, but unclean I ain't...and mushrooms from the baseboards? That's seriously unclean. This is war. War on my clutter-ous, untidy ways has been declared. I didn't cause the flood or the mushrooms, but they will spur me on to better habits. Never again!


Anonymous said...

Being the Mom, I should say something like, oh that awful house, oh that terrible flood, oh that carpet must have had mushrooms in it just waiting to be hatched. I should be supportive. I should be sympathetic. I should be helpful. But, like daughter, like Mother, I am appalled! EW! ICK! Gross me out! WAR on that closet I say! And Honey? Sugar pie? Darlin'? Where oh where did this seriously bad habit come from? I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, but I feel it is RAWTHER a distasteful habit (to be said in your best Eloise voice) to have a closet like this. Anytime. Anyplace. Anywhere. Not a lecture, you are too marvelous beyond words for anything as stern as that, but sometimes Mom's just gotta say what they gotta say.

azure said...

Okay I must be missing it... The mushrooms were growing the whole time? Or they came up after the rain storm? I'm not making the untidy connection? Wouldn't the mushrooms have grown anyway just because you were away?

Am I overthinking this?

But mushrooms in the house is well unusual....... Is that an Australia thing?Hmm...

Whatever the case may be good luck with your "battle".

Take care.

the dipe squad said...

Thanks, Azure. The untidy connection is just that the clean-up is much worse. I wouldn't have to deal with moldy papers if they hadn't been strewn on the floor when the water came, but that's where my responsibility for this fiasco ends. The mushrooms are still beyond me. I want someone knowledgeable to take a look and tell us what they are (specifically, how potentially hazardous they are for spores and whatnot). They were definitely not there before we went to Sydney! Of course, I discovered this at 5:15pm on Friday, so no word from our real estate people yet. I'm going to track her down today no matter what.

schlelly said...

OK - Now I'm creeped out. The mushrooms don't creep me out because I was a bio major and I know we deal with much worse stuff than mushrooms in our homes on a daily basis. The untidiness doesn't creep me out because I've known you and I share this affliction for many years now. What creeps me out is how I read your blog and I swear we are living the same life on different continents! I went to the dentist last week and the secretary was showing me photos of her bathroom where a mushroom sprouted all while office move was delayed because they'd had flooding (and they didn't report this but I'm certain there was a mushroom or two growing there). I've never heard of mushrooms growing in homes before and now it's happend 3 times in a week! I just recently heard about improv perfomances in train stations - did you know this when you blogged about one such performance? I met an Opera Singer on Saturday night - you blogged about the Sydney Opera house. You blogged about the time it takes to grow a lemon while I'm eating rice and thinking about my Japanese colleagues advice. I'm more and more frustrated with work and thinking about fulfilling work like being a midwife, then you blog. Finally, my hands are cold right now - you knitted hand warmers!

WHAAA?? I say WHAAA???

the dipe squad said...

Darling, you know we share a brain.
(this theory also helps me feel better about the times I don't seem to have one, because I tell myself that's when you are using it all)

azure said...

Okay I get it now. It's the combination of things that make it worse... I don't know why I couldn't make that connection when I read the original post. You know I understand the whole compounding issue better than anyone.. :-).

Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifer,

Hindsight is always 20-20. Looking back at this post from me it seems terribly harsh. Of course the flood was not your fault, the mushrooms came from the flood and what we all now know is a bad situation that was buried under house remodeling that you knew nothing of until it reigned terror on your closet. I am very sorry you are going through Katrina post traumatic stress because of the mushrooms. You didn't deserve it then, you don't deserve it now. Just because you let a few papers pile up on the floor to deal with later doesn't make you any different than the rest of us who put things away until a later date. I'll bet we all have a drawer, a closet, a locker, a car or some kind of space where we let things pile up and get to them later. When I responded, I was having a flashback to the night you were cleaning your closet in The Hague. You were so unhappy and had so much work to do, I was just wishing things wouldn't pile up like that on you so you wouldn't have to go through anything like that ever again. I am sorry I used the words "seriously bad" and "distasteful", and then magnified them one hundred fold by using the words "anytime, anyplace, anywhere." Words are usually my friends, but these words are hurtful and disrespectful, and for that I am truly sorry.