In Search of a Left Brain

Frits –

My storage room is a swirling vortex of doom. 

As is my closet. And my office. And my office closet. 

My kids' rooms are slightly better. Sometimes. But I must tell you that I haven't ever thought of these spaces as natural disaster areas. I've thought of them as "I'm sorting, a'ight?" You know, a work in progress. Something that I'm going to get to as soon as I'm done cleaning the pantry. And organizing my files. And putting up the summer fruit. And fixing the vacuum. And weeding. And running the kids everywhere. And planning the week's meals. And dragging everyone through homework. And doing church stuff. And vocalizing so I stop sounding like a little old Barry Manilow. And writing, writing, writing. Especially the silly book that keeps eluding me for no reason that I can discern.

But as soon as all of that is done? Yeah, I'm totally on the storage room.

The thing is, none of this is a mess to me. I know where everything is. I know how to get to it. And the various tottering Pisa-esque piles are brilliantly situated and balanced. To my right brain there is an order to my disorderliness. And it seems okay. I mean, the main portions of my house–the parts that visitors see–are perfectly clean and acceptable. So it's all good, right? Miss Manners would approve.

Yeah, that's what I used to think, bless my heart. And then the bug-zapper-guy came. (You may recall Wednesday's post on bugs and my general loathing of them.) A guy whose job it is to find the nooks and crannies of my house and spray them to within an inch of their corners.

Nooks and crannies? You mean, like, the bug-zapper-guy has to be able to access them?


Suddenly, as this bombastic basher of bugs swarmed through my cottage with his little non-toxic-chemical spray (there's an oxymoron in there somewhere), I became acutely aware of my home through HIS eyes. Because he was going to see ALL of it.


I morphed into a gibbering idiot. As in: "See, my kid just moved back from college for a bit because, well, you don't need to know that, but there's a bunch of stuff here that usually isn't, and OMIGOSH, can you believe how much more stuff a kid can come home with than they left with? And plus everyone is a hoarder in this house. Well, not really, but sort of. I mean, my people are sentimental, right? They can't let go of stuff, like this little bit of old carpet from my youngest's bedroom. He wants to keep it for posterity. And other stuff too. Plus I'm sorting, and well, you know what THAT does to a place, right? Heh heh. Um. Right. So, here's the kitchen. We had a party for my kid last night, and, well, . . . "

Yeah. The man nodded politely and stepped around a bag of charcoal that had spent the week hanging over the edge of the "Grandma Bench" working up its courage to be moved to the garage. He totally didn't need to know any of this stuff. So I went and sat on my bed going "Lalalalala!" (fingers-in-ears) until he was done. Then I paid him and he left and I am SO not calling that company ever again.


I have a sister-in-law and a friend whose houses are so clean and organized you could perform surgery right on the kitchen floor. I shall never be like that. I try. But my brain hurts whenever I focus in that direction. I simply cannot compute it. I don't know how floor corners never have a speck of dust in them. Or bathroom door bottoms don't have scuff marks from boys kicking them to try to motivate sisters to vacate the premises. Or how junk drawers stay organized–or even non-existent. I simply don't get it.

I'm in the market for a left-brain.

Let me know if you find one. I'll see if I can clear some space for it.

About Janiel 433 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. Yeah, my whole house looks like your storage room, and no children around to blame it on. I try to blame it on the dogs, but no one believes me. (Yes, it’s their pile of unread library books on the dresser…they always pick out more than they can read!)

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