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Married Life

Living With Messy People

My poor husband. I’m messy, you see. I’m not talking about dirty or unclean. It’s just… I thrive best in organized chaos. You should see my desk. It’s piled with papers, notepads, post-its, books, an ornament of Ganesh (no idea), a calculator, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, unopened mail, stray jewelry that I take off and never put back where it came from because that would involve actually walking into the bedroom, opening the jewelry box and putting it inside, and frankly – meh.

I'm a Messy Person

The funny thing is, I know where (mostly) everything is. My theory is that my chaos-ridden filing system must mimic my scattered brain pattern somehow, because it all makes sense to me. ‘Intuitive filing’ it’s called – and, as Time Magazine recently said “Messy is the New Neat”

Unfortunately for Den, he has to share an office with me. His side of the office features papers stacked neatly, one notebook placed at 90-degree angle to the right of his keyboard, a few key documents that he may need placed to the left and that’s it. The rest of his things are kept in a humungous filing cabinet and a series of in-trays… filed neatly like soldiers standing in a row, alphabetically, probably color-coded (I’m scared to look in there) and so forth and so on.

He tries to help organize me, which is sweet (and of course, entirely selfishly motivated) but it seems to backfire everytime. He once (some months back) moved a stack of papers off my desk and onto the carpet in an effort to get me to sort them out. The result is that we now have two piles of paperwork – one on the floor and one on my desk.

Sometimes, I do get the tidying urge. This usually happens when I have the house to myself, I can turn up the girly pop music (Read: Britney) that I am otherwise embarrassed to play and dance around the house sorting and organizing things until they are spotless. It lasts all of a week before usual anarchy resumes (or in the case of this past weekend, it lasted all of 48 hours.)

I don’t think I’ll ever change. I don’t think I could. Once, at a former job, they stupidly gave me my own office. An entire room with gleaming, available surfaces on which I could strew papers, magazines, advertising proofs, brochures and whatnot. Heaven!

I feel sterile and strange if my desk is clean. And what would life be if I couldn’t occasionally stumble across something I’d long-forgotten every now and then? It’s a lovely surprise to find something you didn’t even remember you had!

I don’t know at what point this may cause horrible, irreparable problems in my marriage. As you, dear readers, know this isn’t our only difference, I’m also a Night Owl while he’s a Morning Lark and while he’s a health freak, I’m lukewarm on the whole exercise thing.

Can neat freaks and mess-makers get along harmoniously? Are you messy? Are you and your sweetie both messy? (Lordy… I can only imagine that situation…) Are you both organizational Nazis? Or, like us, are you complete opposites and find yourselves coming to blows over the lump of clothes parked in the corner of the bedroom, the papers on the coffee table and the stack of back-issue magazines in the bathroom?

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Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


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