I’m a neat freak. I can’t help it, I just am. God made me this way. I’m extremely organized and my house is pretty much always in perfect order. I may even be a little OCD if you really want the truth.
I know, I know, it’s not normal. It’s not what’s important, it’s sweating the small stuff, and it’s why I identify with Martha (not Mary) in the Bible.
I’m not proud of it. And I work hard at trying to let it go, and not worry about the things that don’t matter.
One of my mom’s best friends, Miss Annelle (she’s from Mississippi and has known me since I was 6 months old), has a saying for people like me – she calls us ABC-123. Yep, that’s me.
And, my two sons are just like me.
When my oldest son, Josh, was little, I kept his shoes in the closet by the front door. One day, when he was around three, we walked in the house and he took off his shoes and put them in the closet next to each other. I was about to close the door when he looked down, and seeing that one of the shoes was crooked, he bent over and fixed it so that both shoes were perfectly straight.
Uh-oh, I thought to myself. He’s gonna be just like me.
And he is. His new wife, Jenna, told us over Christmas that she can barely put down a candy wrapper before he’s whisking it off to the trash.
My youngest son, Jake, didn’t begin to exhibit these qualities until he was older. He was probably a teenager when I first noticed that the clothes hanging in his closet were organized by color (like mine are). And this week, when I was helping him move into his room for college, I started to hang up his clothes and he stopped me. “Wait”, he said. “I need to put them in order by color”. Wow, I thought to myself….he’s just like me too. This can’t be normal!
I realize as I am writing this how weird it probably sounds to most of you. The normal ones.
I think I get it from my mom. She’s ABC-123 too, right, Miss Annelle?
I have often wondered what makes us this way.
My husband is not like us. And yet, after living with me all these years, he has come to appreciate my neatness. It’s even rubbed off on him a little. Well, maybe just a teeny, tiny little bit. And he has told me that he appreciates knowing that he can invite his friends or neighbors inside our house anytime and not worry about what it will look like.
Sure, I can let things go a little. Sometimes. For a brief period of time.
And then, it will start to drive me crazy and I will have to clean and organize everything again. It’s like I can’t think straight. I’m the same way at work. I cannot stand my desk to be a mess. My co-workers look at it and say, “What are you working on?” I’ll have one file out at a time, and everything else is put away.
So, what about you? Are you ABC-123? If not, what are you?
I don’t know what Miss Annelle calls everyone else…..I will have to ask her.
She probably just calls them normal.
Image credit: ABC-123 by Dreamstime.com.