confessions of a neat freak, or, how I wish I could just leave my clothes all over the floor

I am a human being with flaws. I am a control freak, I drink too much coffee, I spend too much time on the internet, etc. But here is the worst one of all: I am a neat freak.

Many people would argue that this is not a flaw, but an asset. To some extent I would agree with them; I don’t have the “messy gene” that a lot of my friends have, and my apartment is always clean. However, it is that way because I am always cleaning. There is always something for me to clean. I can’t stop.

For once, I wish I could just leave something messy. I’m actually jealous when I walk into my freinds’ rooms and they have clothes strewn all over the floor or bed. I envy the people who can leave their dishes to wash until they actually feel like doing it. I¬†want to go a day without feeling like I have to clean something right away. Every morning when I change my outfit four times (as I tend to do — another flaw, whatever), I can’t just leave the discarded clothes on my bed, oh god no! They have to be re-folded or hung back up in the closet. After I have my bowl of cereal in the morning, I automatically go to the sink to wash it. If I spill something on the counter, out come the Clorox wet wipes to wipe it down. And all the hair that collects on my bathroom floor? That gets swept up at least twice a week.

I’m not saying I want to be a slob or anything. I don’t even want my apartment to be “messy,” I just want to be okay with leaving things to be cleaned up later. I would get more satisfaction out of cleaning, and I wouldn’t feel like I have some internal force compelling me to make sure every surface of my living space is spotless. I guess that’s just something I’ll have to work on.

Advertisements

an open letter to lipstick

Dear Lipstick,

I know that over the past 22 years, we have had an on-again-off-again relationship. I loved you when I was five and not allowed to wear makeup but I tried to anyway and clumsily smeared your red creamy perfection all around my lips but not actually on them. I used to watch as my mother applied you every time she left the house, her signature shade of dark red-brown, jealous that she could have you and I couldn’t.

I hated you when I was twelve and couldn’t be bothered with anything that wasn’t body glitter or Lip Smackers and didn’t smell like artificial fruit. You were no longer desirable unless you had a name like “Krazy Kiwi” or “Cool Cotton Candy.”

We were friends when I was sixteen and joined the marching band colorguard and wore cat eye makeup and dark lips for every field show. I learned how to apply you, but I never wanted you to be part of my life off the field.

Throughout college we messed around and sometimes I would cheat on you with shinier glosses that came in a squeezy tube or boasted that they would plump my lips. You helped me when I needed to look nice for my choir concerts or class presentations, but when it wasn’t a special occasion, I pushed you to the bottom of my makeup bag.

Now I think I am more mature and can approach our relationship differently. I still enjoy a little lip gloss on the side when I don’t want to get too serious, and I will never part with my Blistex Silk and Shine lip balm, but you and I are closer than ever. I feel like a grown up when I wear you, and I don’t mind working you into my daily makeup routine. I love it that I can go to the drugstore and buy a new tube of you for several dollars, and the second I put you on, my day is brightened. I love it that I can collect so many different shades of you. I love the way you look displayed on my countertop. I love it that I have finally found the guts to wear you in a shade called “Stoplight Red” and not worry that I will look whorish. I love you, Lipstick. You are no longer that thing my mom used to apply in the car mirror before we would go out to get groceries — you’re something that I wear, too, and while it may make me feel more like my mother, I am totally okay with that.

Love,
Madeline

I will remain single for eternity because of a fictional character

The internet is full of single girls complaining about being single, counting the reasons why they are single, naming all the men they wish would make them un-single, and using their singleness as a reason to cry and eat ludicrous amounts of chocolate. Disclaimer: this is going to be one of those posts. Kind of.

I’ve been single for pretty much all of my life. I should be the poster child for Unrequited Love. I’ve come to accept it and while it does make me angsty and sullen sometimes, for the most part I try to enjoy the perks of being unattached. For one, this job would be a lot harder if I had gone into it while in a relationship. Long distance is rough (I’m watching a lot of my coworkers go through it right now) and I’m not sure I would have even been willing to take this job and move twelve hours away if I had a fella back home.

I suppose I could try to attribute my singleness to something normal, like the fact that I’m a commitment-phobe (not really true), I always pick the wrong guys (kind of true), I don’t put myself out there (true), or I suck at flirting (very true), but I think I have one main problem contributing to my perpetual state of unattached-ness: I want every guy I meet to be Jim Halpert.

Hear me out. I have been watching The Office for seven seasons, and I am certain that Jim Halpert has all the desirable qualities I could ever wish for in a man.

1. He is funny without being a dick. Do you know how often I find guys like this? ALMOST NEVER.
2. His hair. It’s perfect. Enough said.
3. He takes his job seriously without being too serious. He still wants to do well at his job, and he puts in a conscious effort, but he’s not above starting an Office Olympics or making friends with his coworkers.
4. He’s a family man. (Okay, now I’m really starting to sound like a crazy single girl. I don’t need a family man just yet, but I’ll obviously need to find one eventually.) His devotion to Pam and his daughter is about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen on television.
5. Umm hi, did you even SEE the episode where he and Pam got married and he gave a toast at the rehearsal dinner?!
6. His face. In general.

So there you have it. Jim Halpert has given me unrealistic expectations about men. I know he is just setting me up for disappointment, but I can’t help it that my heart skips a beat every time he makes one of his faces at the camera. If you have found your Jim Halpert, kudos to you. I’m still looking or mine, and I’m determined to keep searching until I find him.