Friends went off the air ten years ago. (Gasp - has it been that long already?) Yet I still refer to it, often. And it occurs to me that I have my own peculiar “Monica Geller-like” qualities.
Remember Monica? She was the “neat freak,” the “compulsive cleaner,” the one who categorized her towels. And while I don’t think I’m compulsive, I do think I’ve got my own unique set of cleaning quirks. And I really don’t know if they make me any neater, or our house any cleaner. I do know that while I am a fan of short-cuts and tricks that make life easier, I can’t seem to let go of these unusual habits of mine. I know they make more work for me, and yet I am compelled to continue doing them.
Here it is -- I need to rotate things. Things as in -- Shirts. Underwear. Plates. Dishtowels. Linen napkins. Bed sheets. Flatware.
Let me explain. Freshly laundered shirts and underwear are folded but not automatically placed in my son’s dresser. Instead, they are each placed at the bottom of their respective piles -- underneath the shirts and underwear that have yet to be worn.
Dishes and flatware out of the dishwasher are not just put back in the kitchen cabinet and drawer. Instead, the clean plates come out, the freshly washed plates are placed in the cabinet, and the as-yet-unused plates are now at the top of the pile and will be first used during our next meal.
And on it goes. Same steps, same process for the towels, sheets, and napkins.
On the one hand, I think my rotations make sense. Rotating items means I’m not over-using any one item. But because I’m a thinker, I wonder if there’s some sort of deeper psychological motive behind my need to rotate objects.
I am a middle-child after all, a fact that can be “blamed” for my need to please, to be diplomatic, and easy-going.
Maybe it’s because I was a public school teacher for twelve years and spent considerable effort making sure all my students were treated fairly and were given the same opportunities to read aloud, come to the board, and be an office helper.
Whatever the underlying reason, it’s “how” I do things. Maybe the “why” isn’t important. After all, Monica didn’t run around that expansive apartment of hers justifying all her cleaning habits.