Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tidy Not Clean

describes me. And it is a dichotomy I find interesting. People you would would think were neither tidy nor clean turn out to have strong opinions about which (cleanliness or tidiness) is more important for their personal comfort, as do people who, in living-space-descriptive terms, have attained both.

I am tidy and not clean; I hate clutter on surfaces and things left sitting out, but dust does not worry me.

Still, I think it would be suaver (cooler, really, to dig straight to the heart of my seventeen-year-old soul) to be someone clean but not tidy -- someone who rigorously washed and dusted and swept and de-grimed, but could care less about the outward orderliness of it all, someone who left piles of books on the coffee table but each and every one of those books was dust free.

I imagine mid-century fiction identifying that attitude as one of natural aristocracy, an unconcern with outward appearances and a profound concern with inner truth. My identification may be a product of my own insecurities (a friend and I had identical Skipper dolls back in early 1983; I was convinced that hers was better) or a response to some kind of objective truth out there in the world.

Also, perhaps, it seems so much harder to me to be clean than to be tidy, and I assume that to be true for everybody, and so I admire the clean for not taking the easy way out.

5 comments:

Noko Marie said...

I don't know, but I'm so tidy not clean that I can't even wrap my head around the alternative proposal. Why be clean if you're not going to be tidy?

The Secretary said...

The Center for Commonwealth & Commonwealth Studies Presents: A Guide to the Structure of a Captain Colossal Post

1. Personal anecdote, vaguely embarrassing, disarmingly revealing, honest. Sometimes gross.

2. OPTIONAL: Reference to advice columnist, mystery novel, or New Yorker article.

3. Complaint about society's hypocrisy/idiocy/unfairness.

4. Segue to 19th century literature or 20th century philosophy.

OPTIONAL: Enigmatic photos.

The Secretary said...

5. Generosity of spirit.

Captain Colossal said...

Look, Mr. Secretary or Octopus Grigori or whatever you're calling yourself these days, this means war. Expect anonymous email tip-offs to your employers, water balloons in the parking garage, the release of poisonous spiders into your kitchen.

Captain ("Call me Cap'n") Colossal is not to be trifled with.

I'm assuming from your descent into personal attacks that you are clean and not tidy.

The Secretary said...

Good guess. Doesn't point 5 absolve me?

I thought any attention was good attention.