Friday, January 21, 2022

Organizationally Challenged



By Pat Newman

I’ve always wanted to be one of those women whose shoes are arranged by color and lovingly arranged on shelves shuttered by tinted glass. Instead, I am constantly seeking two matching shoes in a two-room apartment.

It’s clear that I am not remotely related to Martha Stewart, despite my desire to build gingerbread castles at Christmas and hand-stitch the perfect fairy godmother costume for Halloween with 15 yards of pink tulle and a single needle and strand of thread.

Kitchen acumen? How about lining up my three spices in alphabetical order — cinnamon, pepper, salt?

Celebrating a landmark birthday this year traumatized me, and at the same time, woke me up. If I haven’t mastered the art of organizing in 40-plus years, it ain’t gonna happen.

Now, I treat everyday as a treasure hunt. Women who boast that if you put everything back in its place like keys, shoes, purses and dog leashes, they are just a grasp away, are sadly missing out on the game. When my playful 75-pound pup, Trapper, takes off with my sneaker, I simply present him with a baby carrot, retrieve my foot gear and look for the mate. When I have two shoes, I set them on a random shelf and invoke St. Anthony, patron saint of lost objects, to help me locate them for the next walk. Trapper and I repeat this exercise hundreds of times daily with other shoes, dish towels, mail and one day, my Passport. I pray that I don’t have to leave the country tomorrow. He chewed off the bottom part of my jaw in the photo.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss, as the philosophers have said. Sliding bills and three-page letters from the IRS into a drawer provides lots of opportunities for search and destroy missions on a rainy afternoon. Also, I discovered that two cups of coffee in the morning and tucking things away in unexpected places is good for stimulating mental cognition, like crossword puzzles.

My current lifestyle on Marco Island is nothing less than ideal. Work is fun, and anytime I get a minor case of the blahs, I go to the beach. Count one, two, three and float. Swim four, five, six and float. Repeat until healed. I am living my dream. So is organizing my flip-flops according to hues of pink in a dream closet important? Absolutely not. It’s better to stash them around my 800 square feet of living space for Trapper to sniff them out and initial them with his trademark extra-large canine tooth.

This Halloween, I’m dressing as a mime, pulling out my old striped boat shirt and spreading some white goo on my face, and Christmas castles will be simplified into Little Debbie’s Christmas Tree Farm with her delectable 3,000 calorie evergreen-shaped treats.

I may never have Carrie’s “Sex in the City” temple of shoes, but my flip flops slide just perfectly under my unmade bed.

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