There are certain activities that for me epitomize a perfect late spring day. Gardening would be a good example. Running and taking a nap afterwards with all the windows open is another, more preferable one. Especially the nap bit. I quite like those. For preference, preceded by a couple glasses of refreshing post-run box wine.
It is probably goes without saying that major cleaning/organizing” projects do not fall into the category of “perfect late spring day activities; nevertheless, big organizing projects tend to be the order of the day on most days off this season. I suppose that it has to do with all that social conditioning about spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is most definitely a less perfect form of perfect activity, but it is most thoroughly a thing of the season for people of a certain age.
Being the perpetual overachiever in all matters pointless and quotidian, I decided of a late spring weekend to try to get all of the things done. And by all of the things, I do mean all of the things.
Because apparently if you leave the weekend without feeling like your muscles have gone jelly, you’re a lazy sack of crap. At least that’s what the voices in my head keep assuring me.
I started reasonably enough on Saturday with some housekeeping interspersed pecking away at my Work In Progress. “Reasonably enough” falls under the category of potential famous last words. I should have probably run screaming the second that I realized that my plans were “reasonable enough.” Instead I started cleaning and reorganizing the bedroom I share with my husband, a pit bull and a very large, very fluffy orange cat.
There are two basic categories of messy people. The first is the simple lazy/unhygienic messy person. I am not that person. That person leaves crap lying everywhere, presumably out of the mistaken belief that if you refuse to see it, it will just go away. Pro tip: absolutely nothing works that way. Not even cats. Actually, refusing to see a cat will just get you a tripping induced visit to the ER. Because that’s just how cats roll.
The second category of messy person is your busy/overcommitted type. This is my personal métier. I know it’s a humble-braggy sort of bullshit thing to say, but it’s true. I got a lot of shit going on. So does my husband. Balls get dropped. Balls that make it look like a paper bomb went off in your house.
The bedroom is always pretty much the worst of the semi-controlled chaos for me. I suppose it’s largely because it isn’t a company room, and I don’t have to let people in to see how I actually live. The problem isn’t helped by the fact that I use our bedroom as a mini office. (Yes, I am aware of how stupid that is, but my actual office has nothing for me to sprawl on, and I’m lazy.) So there were clothes piled here and there, receipts, reference books, entertainment books, crafts, forgotten notes and other sundries to contend with. Also the dust.
I am allergic to dust. It makes my eyes swell and my lungs go into conniptions, which may contribute to my somewhat chaotic ways. I persisted through the swelling, through the cat delivering a truly blistering fart in a poorly ventilated room, through ten pages of writing.
A clean bedroom and a bunch of fresh writing.
It probably made me a bit cocky.
Strike that. It definitely made me cocky because when I woke up the next morning, I genuinely believed I could clean another room, do all the laundry, run three miles, garden for three hours and still write another ten pages.
That’s not crazy, right? Right? Eye of the tiger! Clear eyes! Full heart! Can’t lose! Woo!
I did get through the run just fine. I did immediately after succeed in starting up the laundry. Then I thought it would be a great idea to clear saplings. Not just regular weeding. No. That’s not simple enough. Saplings.
To be clear, I have the upper body strength of a two-year-old, and my husband was ass deep in reorganizing the garage and would not be available to help. He said so when he saw me walking out of the shed with the mega sized pruning shears and a manic glint in my eyes.
Here’s how the conversation went:
“You understand I won’t be able to help you break all that down.” He said in that high pitched voice reserved for people sprinting top speed down the primrose path to perdition.
“Uh huh.” I said, merrily hacking down another mulberry sapling and adding it to the already impressive pile of tree waste I’d gathered.
“So you’re going to break all that down?”
“Yup. That’s the plan,” I said, hacking away.
“OK, then,” he replied.
I’m fairly certain psychic powers aren’t a thing, but I did sense a certain “It’s your funeral” vibe from that “OK, then.”
Reality started dawning about an hour later when my blood sugar crashed, and I realized we had no food that didn’t require cooking in the house. I decided to solve the problem by treating myself to a little Taco Hell. Because I deserved the diarrhea, apparently.
Mainly, Taco Hell is the sort of place you do in drive through form. I suspect it’s got something to do with keeping one’s shame eating nice and private, but we live a few blocks away from that bastardized tex-mex pit of despair, so I thought it would be a good idea to walk and just eat there. Why I thought that was a good idea is a bit of a mystery. But there you have it. A short while after putting away my pruning shears, I was surrounded by a sea of elderly Swedish-Americans and the stink of cheap ground beef, which smells curiously like paradise when you’re running on fumes.
Because I’m health conscious, I ordered the gorditos meal and an extra-large bladder buster of Mountain Dew (yes, that’s a real unit of measurement. Because I said so), and went down to the cleanest, most vacant part of the joint. This is where the story takes a sharp left turn into the regrettable, and not because I was fixing to put a down payment on shitting my pants later. It’s because my straw rolled of my tray and onto the floor.
The rule for things that fall onto the floor in fast food restaurants is simple. You burn them. With fire. It’s the only way to keep from being patient zero in an outbreak of Captain Trips. You cannot mess around with this stuff, people.
Naturally, I immediately leaned over to pick the (still packaged. I’m not that far gone) straw off the floor. Which caused my head to make sharp contact with the edge of the nearby table. The crack of bone on dirty table, well, it was audible. As was the high pitched helium sucking “eeeeeeeeeeee” I emitted afterwards.
There were elderly Swedish-Americans staring at me. Concussing myself publicly in a cheap fast food restaurant wasn’t one of my better moments. Though, why Taco Bell thinks it’s copacetic to give ten inches separation between tables in the land of the obese is utterly mystifying.
I returned to my tasks with a belly full of regret and the promise of a goose egg on my forehead. I probably should have broken down the saplings I’d already culled and retreated to Netflix, laundry, and chilled boxed wine. But I didn’t. I also didn’t clean another room, or put away the laundry I’d washed and dried, or even put some more time into the old writing. I did get a corker of a headache and a bunch of blisters. I also completely overdosed on adulting, and was completely useless around the house the rest of the week.
The moral of this story is that I don’t know the moral of this story. Don’t bite of more than you can chew? Don’t pick up things off the floor in Taco Bell? Drink more box wine? Whatever. You decide. I’m going to go on a run. And then clean. And garden. And do some laundry. And work on my D & D campaign. And work on my comic book.
I may have a problem.