Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fun Monday - I'm a Jerk

I love the name of this blogger: Sauntering Soul. It just conjures up an image of a very jaunty, happy person in the process of finding myself. Turns out... she's a jerk. She's also the hostess of this week's Fun Monday and wants to know just how big a jerk I am too!

I know we all try to be sweet and kind to people the majority of the time. But let's face it....we also know that sometimes we can be a big jerk. It could be that you experience road rage from time to time. Perhaps you empty the coffee pot at work some mornings and don't feel like taking the time to start a new pot for the next person. Or maybe you don't return phone calls on a timely basis when you know someone needs a response from you. Have you ever "accidentally" ruined a favorite shirt of your spouse just because you didn't care for it? Come on - it's confession time! List the small things you do that make you a jerk and elaborate just a bit on each one. Please tell me I'm not the only jerk around here!



Yes. I can be a jerk. I try not to be, but every now and then, I get the bit in my teeth and won't let go. Mostly over things that don't really matter, like how my son ties his shoes (if he's not tripping over them, who cares?). Or how the dishes get stacked in the drying rack or dishwasher. Over the difference between clean and neat. It doesn't really matter to most people, but it matters to me.

My inner jerk tends to come out as a control freak. I have been called that by my husband, my son, and someone at work (who doesn't work there anymore). I'm sure there are plenty of other people who have whispered it to themselves or to each other behind my back. I'm aware of it, don't worry. I try to control it too because I realize that in the greater scheme of things, how I want things doesn't really matter a whole lot.

But it seems to be getting worse. I guess I believe that I can tame the inner chaos by trying to control the outer chaos. I like my house clean and neat. I hate towels on the floor or on the bed. I dislike finding a sink full of dirty water and dishes sitting in it. That means I have to stick MY hand in there to clean it up because if I just left it, it would be there for days. And for all my efforts? I still have a messy house and a messy life. It's like pushing that boulder up the mountain in hell over and over again.

I have asked myself why I'm like this. I grew up in a mess. That's just the way it is when you're one of six children. If my mom worried about this the way I do, she'd be insane by now. When I lived with my first husband, he hated messes. Our house was always neat and clean - and in a weird way, I thought I'd found my soul mate. Unfortunately, the condition of the house was the only thing we came close to agreeing on. The rest of our life together was a mess. When I lived with a roomate, we were nominally messy people. She spent every Saturday morning cleaning house (I joined her), and because it was just us girls, it was enough until the next Saturday. Then her boyfriend moved in and life got a bit messier. Finally, I moved out on my own and was able to control the mess around me. My home was marvelously neat. I could relax when I was home and not feel like I had to be doing something. Now I'm married again. I have a kid. I have a dog - and four cats and a fish and life is... messy.

I try not to be too big a jerk about it, but I don't feel like I can ever relax. With the chaos all around me, my brain never seems to stop. I'm afraid it will burn out someday from constant irritation. Until that day, though... I'm trying not to be a jerk.

25 comments:

karisma said...

Believe it or not, it is fixable! I used to be just the same but have learned that its just not worth the fuss! You know no-one else cares if you are stressing, so why bother? Having said that, I still prefer things organized but I don't chuck a tanty if it isnt! (Well, okay, maybe sometimes I do, but only if its really bad! Little things slip by these days)

IamwhoIam said...

Life is messy so try to enjoy it - I want my house to be neat and clean, I just don't want to be the one cleaning it.

kitten said...

Very good post! I used to a neat freak and still am to a point, but my hubby and kids out do me.
LOL!!

Alison said...

I like a clean house also...with pets and kids this is very hard, but I try not to let it get out of hand...a quick pick up periodically keeps the chaos under control.

Celeste said...

I, too, grew up in a mess. I have a very strong "packrat" gene that I am always trying to over come.

My mother is amazed at how neat my house is, but the reality is that if I don't keep it somewhat organized (and believe me dust bunnies abound) I just can't keep the rest of my stressful life going. I do think there is a happy medium someplace.

Hootin' Anni said...

Actually, who cares if there's a messy house. 100 years from now, it'll make no difference.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

I really really wish I could be tidy. It's just not in me unfortunately.

ChrisB said...

It is only since I have become addicted to blogging that I have managed to care less about the mess around the house~ but I still hate it that I have to clear the kitchen surfaces after my hubby, and re-stack the dishwasher on the rare occasion that he ever stacks it!

swampy said...

Clean House? Isn't that an oxymoron?
Love it that we both posted Steve today. Great minds think alike, huh? And after reading your post, I think we are alike in more ways than one.
For a giggle, be sure to go back to my place to read the update. Someone is stealing Fun Monday posts.

hulagirlatheart said...

My husband is just like you. When we first met, he alphabetized his canned goods. Our first real argument happened the day he jumped me for putting the corn next to the pork and beans. After twenty years, I now control the pantry.

nikki said...

Messes are my game. I am not a neat freak at all. I can take the clutter if it means I have a few minutes to relax every night.

Karmyn R said...

Is trying to keep the house clean being jerky? Then I am guilty.

Wet towels on the floor or bed drive me crazy. I think it is just common sense to pick them up - towels leave wet spots that accumulate mildew.

And hey - dishes loaded UNPROPERLY in the dishwasher don't get as clean.

I don't think you are being a jerk. (only, because I don't want to call myself one, see)

jennifer said...

I like the way your defined Jerk as a control freak (for you). Good clarification.

Jennifer

storyteller said...

Interesting post! Your ‘control issues’ over ‘stuff that doesn’t matter’ remind me of ‘my younger self’ and I’m grateful (at my advanced age) I’ve finally LEARNED to relax. Hope you give yourself permission to relax sooner than I did ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Jo Beaufoix said...

Hooray for messy houses. (Mine is one.) I bet your idea of messy is different to mine though, hee hee.

grace said...

my house was always so neat, then I had a baby, I gave up completely, we just clean it up when someone is visiting. :-)
nice post! Relax and enjoy!

Faye said...

I completely understand your post Sayre. Most of the time we either control our inner life or ouuter life--never the two at the same time. Our childhood certainly affects how we want our lives to be ordered as adults.

Peter said...

I've never been inside the mind of a control freak before, thanks for the ride, hope you get that mess sorted.

Olive said...

Controlling person? For some reason I get accused of that and my perception is that stuff gets dropped into my lap for the purpose of keeping control. Because he does not want to do it.

Sandy said...

My mother's house? Always clean but I never remember her kissing me.

My house? Close to hovel but I kiss my baby and her baby and my hubby at least once a day each.

Sauntering Soul said...

I try to keep my house neat. I really do. But I seem to fail miserably. I was just talking to my mom about this yesterday. When she and my dad divorced last fall, she moved from their 3600 square foot house to a 900 square foot apartment. My apartment is 700 square feet. I asked her if it was easier to keep a small place or a big place clean. She said she never would have believed it but a small place she finds incredibly more difficult to keep tidy. So now I don't feel so bad. It's hard to live in a place much smaller than mine!

Patience-please said...

I love that you are trying to control to control freak in you!!! My husband wishes I had a little more ability to be neat and tidy. We used to have a sign: Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and messy enough to be happy!

Patience-please said...

I love that you are trying to control to control freak in you!!! My husband wishes I had a little more ability to be neat and tidy. We used to have a sign: Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and messy enough to be happy!

Melanie said...

I was a neat freak too. Then I became addicting to blogging. Now if I have to choose between cleaning and blogging, I blog! Way more fun!!

Our Happy Happenings

lisa marie said...

You don't sound like such a jerk to me. :) I once kept a sparkling house, with four toddlers, believe it or not. But nowadays I like my clutter. Hubby would prefer clutter to not be here. . .