Many years ago a fellow minivan-driving-mother-friend of mine sent me a link to this video:
I watched it with detached amusement. It never occurred to me that this video could in any way reflect my reality. The video came to mind again recently when another friend of mine got into my car and erupted into frank and hearty laughter. As she picked through the random assortment of things that had accumulated in my car, she gave a running commentary, punctuated with giggles:
“Oh! Good thing you have this bag of pinecones here. You never know when they’ll come in handy.”
(OK – those cinnamon-scented pine cones were acting as air fresheners, that is, when they still smelled like cinnamon. Whatever.)
“And look at all these batteries in the cup holder! I was going to go the store to buy some, but how convenient! You’ve got a bunch right here.”
“Ha ha ha! And what’s this? Ah, of course! Empty DVD cases in the side pockets!”
Side note: I’d actually cleaned out the car not too long ago. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have, and has been in the recent past!
The tragic fact of my existence is that I’m a lazy slob. Wait, I haven’t gotten to the tragic part yet. Sloth and slovenliness aren’t so terrible in and of themselves. If I could contentedly wallow in filth and disorder, where would be the harm in that? The problem is that I can never truly enjoy my entropic lifestyle, because of the other fundamental aspect of my being – neurosis. I try to laze about on my couch, amidst the piles of books, newspapers, my daughter’s violin case, and toys, but I can never fully relax, because I feel like I should be cleaning up the mess. And yet – alas – I’m too lazy to do so! You see my predicament?
After my friend roundly mocked me for the mess in my car, I went home chastened and determined to turn myself around. I was going to be organized and I was going to get all those million and one tasks that I’d been putting off done, once and for all.
The top priority on my list was to give the dogs their second dose of preventative deworming medicine. I was supposed to administer this three weeks after the first dose and they were now overdue. I was procrastinating, because they had struggled so wildly when I’d given them their first dose that half of the vile smelling medicine ended up on my clothes. This time around, I had the boys hold the dogs while I squirted the syringes into their mouths. It was a piece of cake! I gloated over the ease with which I had executed this distasteful task, and congratulated myself on a job well done.
With this monkey off my back and small victory under my belt, I was emboldened to tackle the kitchen next. I cleared out and organized two whole junk drawers and then rearranged the pantry. I realize this might not sound like a big deal, but it took me all evening. I felt like I had cleaned out the Augean stables.
Basking in the glow of my own virtue, I decided to take a break from my Herculean endeavors. This time when I relaxed on the couch, I felt like I richly deserved to put my feet up. I languidly lounged, contemplating my own moral superiority. And that’s when my dogs started to vomit frothy yellow deworming medicine. Repeatedly. All over the carpet.
The universe had spoken and cosmic order had been restored. Its clarion message to me was this: You, Adrienne, are destined to live in squalor. It is written in the stars. You clean out a couple drawers? I will rain dog puke all over your carpet. Give. It. Up.
And really…who am I to argue with this?