One of our readers, K, submits the following to our real life/not style “This is Not a Lifestyle Blog” series.
I just took this picture of our house, and my husband and I had the following conversation:
E: (suspicious) What are you taking a picture of?
K: Our house.
E: …You’re not going to post that.
K: No. (not on my facebook page or website)
E: Good. Don’t. (he totally knows I am up to something that involves shame)
K: Why not?
E: Somebody will see it.
E: We could get in trouble.
K: (What, like the Pinterest Police will show up with a warrant to remove to Mexican sugar mold that is behind all the piles of binders?) Don’t worry, you have to have, like, cat poop on the floor before CPS will take your kids away. Clutter on the credenza is insufficient grounds for removing children from the home.
E: I still think we could get in trouble for it.
K: (laughing so hard I nearly snort)
He is lucky — if I were a truly evil wife, I would take a picture of his office. Think: trash compactor scene in Star Wars, but recreated with books, paper, and empty beer bottles awaiting recycling, including bonus items like D&D statuettes, a large papier mache volcano, musical instruments, a long cardboard tube that looks like the pipe Luke is holding in that picture, and a framed doctoral diploma.
Lucky for him, I kept it to the sideboard and my desk — my only “personal space” in the house aside from the one drawer of our dresser that only opens 5 inches before it is blocked by the foot of the bed. The desk presents a perpetual avanlanche risk, and this is better than it looks sometimes. I bark at the kids, “That is MOMMY’s space. Do not touch anything on there. It is all MAMA’s.” They are pretty compliant, save the times I have found that my address had been stamped on my desk, or when my keyboard was decorated with pencil and red pen. I do often find toys up there. The sideboard was clean two weeks ago, and now it has art supplies, a box of postcards, a pair of Doggles (our dog has been DEAD since October, and hadn’t worn said Doggles since 2004), empty photo frames waiting to be filled and hung on the wall, notebooks from my A&P classes, two piggy banks, and some tchotchkes and a lot of books on pregnancy and childbirth (this is actually their current storage location – great dining room decor, right?)
My old boss, Sara, said she read in a book that clutter represents possibility, and a too-orderly house is a sign of a person who isn’t up to anything interesting. Not sure if that’s true, but it’s a nice story to tell your messy self, right? Actually, in my case, the stacks and folders represent my classes, current and past doula client folders (the currents are in a particular spot up high on my desk and don’t filter down to the bottom), books I am reading, artwork from the kids, correspondence from family and DLSS. So, it is true that they represent all the activity and forward momentum of my life.
Thanks, K!! If you want to contribute pictures, images, or stories of your real life (not styled), send us an email at lauren(dot)clodi(dot)whitehead(at)gmail(dot)com. To see more in this series, check out our This is Not a Lifestyle Blog category to the right, or the page above.