16 November 2010

a place for everything

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

This is a mantra of my life, right up there with "Early to bed and early to rise makes [me] healthy, wealthy, and wise." That Ben Franklin, he really knew what he was doing when he made up mantras. For me, at least. I feel a personal connection to Ben every time I look at a $100 bill. Not that I look at those often.

{And I would like to say that I lay claim to just the "healthy" part of the early to bed and early to rise promise. "Wealthy and wise" I'm not so sure about, but I'll keep going to bed at 10 and getting up at 5:20 to see if those two parts work out eventually.}

If you follow the place mantra, then you always know where your checkbook is. And your keys, cell phone, and tax documents and whatever else people tend to panic over when they can't find them.

This is a good thing, a time-saving thing, a bringing-sanity-to-your-life thing.

However, the flip side is that if you take the mantra to the extreme, then when dinner guests offer to help you clean and put away the dishes, you hover like a eagle, ready to swoop in when they put something in the wrong place. You go in for the kill, pulling a wine glass off the second shelf and putting it on the first. This tends to make everyone feel that they're being judged in a housekeeping competition.

Or you can pretend to be very laissez-faire about it all, very much like a songbird flitting around, happily trilling about everyone helping you. Then, when they're gone, you creep back into the kitchen and bring order to their well-intentioned chaos.

When "A place for everything and everything in its place" is a mantra of your life, you tend to see slightly misplaced objects as chaos.


But then one Sunday night, I didn't follow my own mantra. If I had, I would not have put my wallet on top of the toilet paper holder in a bathroom stall at O'Hare. That is not its place; my wallet does not belong there.

And now my wallet no longer belongs to me.


Obviously, this is just the beginning of my wallet story. A teaser, if you will, and I hope it makes you want to read more. If it doesn't, don't let me know; I just lost my wallet, so I can't take much more disappointing news.

1 comment:

  1. You have to finish! It's not fair to start a story like this and not tell us how it ends...



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