Mark wandered by my desk last night and stopped, as if taking in the spectacle for the very first time. “Don’t you find it difficult to work with all of that stuff piled everywhere? How can you stand it?”
I don’t know what the hell he was talking about. My desk is covered with my life. Who’s not comfy and inspired surrounded by a pile of life?
Let’s see . . .
1) Four library books, two magazines, and one thick orange paperback guide to Roxio Creator software. I have never Roxio-Created anything, and do not even know if we have the software to which this book refers.
2) Seven now cool hand warmers of the kill-the-earth sort. I gave up on those earth-friendly boiling ones because burning the house down would be environmentally detrimental. Also, we would be homeless.
3) 67 cents in change because Maj used the last of her iTunes gift card and ran over by 67 cents. The money makes me giggle because it reminds me of the time Mark allowed Kallan on-line access to his credit card, and she just kept spending money and buying stuff until we noticed. Her explanation? “The computer said I could.”
4) A video of the last theater production the girls were in. A video for which we paid $25.00, and in which our older daughter appears wearing a fish head mask which completely covers her face and our younger daughter appears only as a shadowy badly-lit background figure. Neither girl wants to watch the video, and I wish they had mentioned that before I paid for the damned thing.
5) A thread and a needle Kallan brought to me when her talent-show costume needed alterations.
6) The large bag of assorted safety pins with which I actually made the alterations. Sewing . . . HAHAHAHA!!!
7) An empty kitchen garbage bag that I am thinking Mark placed here in hopes that I would empty the paper shredder that sits next to my desk. Whatever.
8) Three dog toys, one of which smells like peanut butter.
9) A silver bell of the “ORDER UP!” sort you might find in a restaurant. Kallan was reclined on the couch in front of the television the other night, ringing for repeated room service. Ding ding . . . “Can I have a snack?” Ding Ding . . . “Would you close the blinds?” Ding ding . . . “Can I have a Coke?” Ding ding . . . “Can you get me a blanket?” Ding ding . . . “Hey! Mom, give that back!”
10) Various bits and pieces of arts and crafts projects. The cupboard in which these items belong is directly behind me, but the girls tend to drop everything on my desk. I have an assortment of pipe cleaners, small cut-up triangles of shiny paper, scissors, glue-sticks, pompom balls in purple and green, popsicle sticks, markers, felt scraps, and silver glitter. I would put all of this stuff away, but I am tired of picking up after other people. The whole Mom thing is a pain in the ass sometimes.
11) A confiscated origami paper fortune teller like the one pictured here in which the fortunes all revolve around being injured by the person telling your fortune. Short-lived fun for Kallan, because her sister told on her immediately after Maj’s “You will be poked in the stomach” fortune was told.
12) Various folders and piles of important papers. I call this a filing system. Mark calls it piles of shit. We have agreed to disagree.
13) Notes of all sizes and degrees of legibility, two written on the backs of candy-bar wrappers. The candy wasn’t mine, but the notes are important.
14) Typed phone lists from various organizations I have belonged to over the years. Every time I call a certain friend and have to look up her number on a now ten-year-old MOMS Club list, Mark is driven a teeny bit more insane.
15) A drawing Kallan did the other night of a “cool” girl and a “stepped on” girl. The “stepped on” girl has a moon face, a rounded nose, big curly brown hair, and freckles. The “cool” girl has a thin face, a sharp little nose, straight blonde hair, and (interestingly) what appears to be a painful black eye. I asked Kallan what that was about, and she said that the “stepped on” girl got tired of being picked on and punched the “cool” girl in the face.
16) Car registration (!!!) Ok, that’s not supposed to be here.
17) An envelope of dried and pressed flowers, testily left here by Maj, who was less than impressed with the amount of fun involved in drying and pressing flowers.
18) A stale Oreo cookie. Oh wait . . . not so stale.
19) A neatly cursived note from Maj in which she informs me that she wants a bicycle for her birthday, but only if she gets to pick it out. Otherwise, cash.
20) And then there’s all the stuff that makes a desk a desk: my computer monitor and keyboard, rolls of scotch tape, my cell phone, my camera, an empty coffee cup, wires and plugs that connect who-knows-what to god-knows-where, my wedding ring (which is occasionally annoying to wear), shipping labels for the return of home-schooling items that do not belong to me but which have disappeared into my house, a fabric purple letter K, a dog leash, a headband, assorted CDs, and a china pig.
Mark says I need a system. I say I have a system.
Mark says making your outside world as chaotic as your inside world is not a system.
I beg to differ.