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SALT LAKE CITY — He was the best of cleaners, she was the worst of cleaners; he was the one that deep cleaned, she was the one that spot cleaned; he made things shine, she left a smudge; he hated clutter, she liked things out; he cleaned up during, she cleaned up after — in short, the couple was so different, that some of their home's messiest inhabitants (5 small kids) insisted on not doing anything at all, fearing being too clean or “not-as-clean,”
He was a man with huge biceps, she had large calve muscles; irrelevant to the story, but fits with the Dickens flow. To one it was clearer than crystal that she was the “messy one.”
It was in the 11th year of marriage, 2013. Marital relations were strained, as Mrs. Brown had recently grown weary of being “out-cleaned.”
But wait! Just as she was about to relinquish her role as domestic goddess of the household, she began to notice that things were missing — and this time it wasn't her confidence. Books were missing, kids' homework was mysteriously vanishing, notes were being removed from the refrigerator; there was all of a sudden a shortage of pens, scissors, combs, hair elastics — and socks.
Determined to find the origin of these missing items, Mrs. Brown began her investigation. Just as she was about to concede to believing in the much spoken about, “sock-eating-dryer-monster,” she opened the closet to find a box where all the missing socks had been anxiously awaiting the time when they would once again be reunited with their other half.
Concern began to grow for all the other missing items. Where was their dungeon? Where were they being held captive, awaiting their rescue? Enter: the junk drawer … and then another … and another. Then there was a cabinet and bench seat; all filled with the mysteriously missing items.
Mr. Clean — um, I mean, Mr. Brown — was not so clean after all! Well, he was still clean, just not organized. This is where Mrs. Brown shined. She began to have flashbacks of being a young girl, organizing the hall closet. She would sit in the middle of the floor and post “detour” signs so as to not have any traffic pass while she was organizing.
Giddy with a new-found confidence and purpose, she sat herself on the living room floor, surrounded by her many organizers and spent the remainder of her day, lost in the beautiful art of sorting.
The next time you feel as if you are labeled as the “messy one,” remember this:
“It is a far, far better thing that I organize, than I clean; it is a far, far better rest that he clean than he organize.”
Arianne Brown is a graduate from Southern Utah University, mother to five young kids and an avid runner. Contact her at email@example.com, follow her on twitter @arimom5, or check out her blog at runariran.wordpress.com.*