Friday, January 2, 2009

Cleaning Drawers


One of the disorganized drawers. Actual unretouched photo.

I have a friend who, after 10 - 12 years of marriage, couldn't live with her husband any longer. He treated her like his slave. She was to cook like Julia Child, set a table like Martha Stewart and clean his underwear drawers annually on New Year's - all of this while raising their two young daughters. This ogre was critical and demeaning and would regularly remind her of the gravy train on which she was riding. His guests in their home were pot-smoking, chauvinistic banker types, which is a really interesting mix of descriptors, don't you agree?

In the end, all she could remember about him were the "fucking drawers."

This is a story from about 12 - 15 years ago and I still remember it every single year at this time. Now it is the new year and I make myself a slave to cleaning my drawers. Every time I open one of my drawers at this time of the year, I feel shock and awe at the chaos and completely inept and worthless as a human being. I'm a lousy Virgo. Virgos don't keep drawers like mine. They should be neat and organized and mine aren't - without a great deal of effort - unnatural effort on my part, I should add. And I have no one to make my slave, to shame or to bribe into organizing my drawers. Nor have I ever expected that.

I've learned to keep the important things organized for the most part - my client's projects, my money and my ex-husbands (ok, that is not funny.) But, drawers are a separate matter. They are hidden from public view. Only I know the truth.

In a way, I love the metaphor. They are the Jungian shadow of housekeeping, the secrets we keep, the sublimated matter. The dark side of my life. Who needs Bluebeard for a husband when I have my own voice to torment and demean?

Then, again, maybe I need to stop analyzing and just clean my drawers.

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