Posts Tagged ‘retired’

Beware the Gypsies


Posted by Mikie Baker  |  No Comments »

To put it nicely, my mother was a pack rat. My father, on the other hand, was a neat nick. I fall somewhere in between the two, though as I age, I am getting a bit obsessive about straightening up.

But, before I go any farther, maybe I should define what I mean by straightening up: it’s when you look around your abode, let out a gut-wrenching scream, jump up and dash around picking everything up that’s not where it’s supposed to be. Then you dust, vacuum and sit back down on the couch.

Straightening up is nothing akin to cleaning, which Germans do nonstop.

After my last bout of straightening up was done and I was back on the couch, I pondered when and why my cleaning skills never amounted to anything more than that. I think I’ve figured it out, so here goes:

Phase One

“Straighten up your room!” As a teenager capable of picking up after myself, I still needed the constant reminder from my father. It usually happened on Saturday morning when I was fast asleep. He’d open the door to my room and demand, “Get out of bed and straighten up this room right now or I’ll sell you to the gypsies!”

Phase Two

I never had to straighten up my closet in college because all my clothes were stored in large piles around the room. It is hard to put together that perfect outfit, you know. The day I finally ran out of clean clothes I realized I’d better straighten up and do my laundry. That’s when I asked my roommate what the difference between soak and spin was. She threw a box of Bounce at my head.

Phase Three

Ah, my own place. I can finally do what I want. Though I’m never here and only straighten up when someone is coming over, but then again, why don’t we just go out? It will be more fun anyway.

Phase Four

After finding a potential husband, I decided I would move in with him, much to my mother’s chagrin. She was worried that he’d never propose because he was already getting the milk for free. I told her to leave me alone because he picked up after himself AND knew how to do laundry.

Phase Five

Life marches on and suddenly I was surrounded by children and way too many toys. The only way to straighten up was to buy an abundance of toy boxes and locate them all over the house. Everything had to be straightened up five times a day or someone might find herself at the local emergency room because she stepped on one too many Legos.

Phase Six

It’s early Saturday morning and I can be heard to say in a loud, threatening voice, “Everybody out of bed and straighten up your rooms! And throw away any Legos you find! Or it’s off to the gypsies for you!”

Phase Seven

It’s back to the toy box stage but now I can do it with rooms! When the kids all moved out, I turned their rooms into custom storage closets systems, so I’d never have to straighten up again. Everything I don’t want to see gets thrown into their former rooms. That’s what I call a storage system!

Phase Eight

This phase is a bit ugly. One of “you” is retired. The other one still works. Hence, the retiree should be the house slave of the worker bee, right? “You’re retired and I’m still working so why the heck can’t you straighten up around here? I do know gypsies.”

Phase Nine

Home Alone. If it’s a mess, well, I guess I left it that way. Better straighten up and go on the search for a German friend who knows how to clean.

Enjoy your Spring Straightening Up.