Posts Tagged ‘reality project’
the feedback i’ve received about the reality project falls into two categories. the first resonates most with me and goes something like,
“i love the reality project! it makes me feel better about the domestic disorder that hacks away at my sense of well-being.”
the second category of folks confess,
“i truly do not have alcoves in my home that are messy. messes make me crazy. i have to clean them. i have always been this way.”
today’s submission is from kathi, who seems to somehow fit into both of the above categories. she explains,
i do not function well in disorder. that does not mean the disorder does not exist – it just merely gets moved around a lot.
who knows what separates those who put things away from those of us who simply step over the crap on the way to something else. i cannot ponder this right now though because i am debating what is funnier — kathi’s picture below, or her cooresponding narrative.
there is one corner of my house that doesn’t get moved around a lot. it truly is a “still life.” it contains:
- loose screws
- a vac steam machine that i fell in love with for two weeks and now never use
- a mannequin with a smart tote bag over her shoulder ready to go to town, except she lost her hair
- in the mannequin’s tote bag is a knitting project that i entirely forgot that i had started
- a clean air machine that never gets plugged in (we live in the los angeles area so we certainly could use this)
- a dustbuster that i have never used but it is plugged in and draining electricity
- a tool bag that i never returned to the garage after a project completed in november of 2010
- each of the four black attache cases (on the shelf above the floor) is from a different stage in my career. i will not be returning to any of these stages, so it’s silly to save the bags
- a magazine organizer (next to the attache cases) holding nine issues of architectural digest from 2008, all dog-eared with ideas i intended to recreate in my home – as if i (a) had time to read them a second time or (b) there were a chance in hell that these ideas could actually work in this life as we know it
- and last but not least, a hot glue gun, because i am always trying to keep things “together” despite the gravitational pull toward chaos
that poor mannequin! she has ideas, she’s creative, she’s handy, she has old identities tucked into little cases, she simply cannot finish all of the projects she’s started, she’s losing her hair, and despite her craftiest hot-glue-gun attempts, she can’t seem to fix those loose screws!
i love her. she is me.
my husband and i once considered buying a house with such an open floor plan that the kitchen could be seen from almost every room of the downstairs. we both loved this house (as long as we were not the ones living in it).
we know ourselves. making kitchen messes is a skill we’ve been honing for almost 12 years now. cleaning them up is not. but, as evidenced by today’s reality project submission from tiffany, we are not alone.
what you see below is proof that we cook a lot but that we get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as humanly possible. that means that you’ll find food debris pretty much everywhere. we make the food and almost always neglect the clean up part. we can’t even be bothered to close the pantry doors!
this scene had about 36 hours more of a mess added to it before it got cleaned. that’s our reality. for us, there’s no time or energy left to clean after cooking. i imagine the kitchen cleaner at the front of the shot saying, “not dirty enough to challenge me. pile some more on before you call for my services!”
thank you , tiffany. and are those hubcaps above your stove? very cool.
i have to admit that it pales in comparison with her composition of a similar nature:
what with the pez dispenser, the pin cushion, the golf glove, the classic novel, and the dog shit bag, there is really no contest. and hey — is that crystal?
perhaps i can redeem myself in the kitchen avalanche category. we moved into our current home in september of 2008, and by early october, this stalagmite had formed from concentrated amounts of bibs, dish towels, and compact disks, as well as common kitchen items such as floaties, soccer trophies, and elastic.
i will be devastated if anyone attempts to straighten this area. i know exactly where everything is right now.
keep ’em coming folks!
what do the following items have in common?
bruce pearl bobble head
diorama of john craig’s fort
basket of lavender
they all live in the above-pictured laundry room of andrea and evoke the following questions:
- where is the laundry in this supposed laundry room?
- did your vision board include the firing of bruce pearl?
- do you make your own lavender-scented bugspray and sunscreen using your upright mixer? if not, you should (in all of your spare time).
happy weekend, folks! make many messes. take pictures of them. then leave them behind and have fun. the reality project is depending on you.
i once heard a mother describe her minivan as “a disaster preparedness kit on wheels.” hilarious! my car is really more like a snack truck that swallowed a briefcase that swallowed a sporting goods store.
it puzzles me that today’s reality project submission is the first one that involves a vehicle.
the picture below is from erica, who assures us that this is the most organized view of her car. she writes, “it almost looks pretty. no one should be deceived into thinking that my other spaces ever look this organized! the back seat truly needed to be shoveled out to get rid of food wrappers, kids’ shoes, baby blankets and other random crap. the front passenger side is no better.”
thanks for the shovel idea, erica. i’m going to try that in my back seat.
the beauty of this mess is that every aspect of erica’s life (with the exception of her husband) is represented.
“from the left: the lovely colorful cooler that transports milk for my baby boy on days when i’m at work and he’s at daycare; underneath it, the ancient breast pump that i received as a hand-me-down and may well be on it’s third or fourth baby; my blue camera case, necessary for a pivotal day in my daughter’s life; my fancy bike messenger bag with official work-related things sticking out, like books, files, pens, notebooks, and my laptop; one of my daughter’s rain boots peeking out from underneath; a pile of children’s books needed for a meeting with a fellow pastor so that we could use them to write a up a summer sunday school curriculum; underneath that pile, a plastic crate filled with all the little bits and pieces that were in my daughter’s preschool cubby; and poking out of the top of that pile, a bug catching-net that was an end-of-the-year gift from my daughter’s preschool teachers.”
thank you, erica, for taking reality on the road. and happy bug-catching!
about 3.4 times per day, i take in the cluttered chaos of our home and say to myself, “man, this place is a shit hole!” the national average for mothers is actually quite a bit higher (ten times per day). sometimes it pays to have a high tolerance for filth.
but no matter how often i am affected by domestic dissaray (actual DSMIV term?), it always comes with a sense of personal failure. rarely do i remember that this place is a fraternity house and that the odds are stacked against me. seldom does it occur to me that finding time to scrape the kids’ sticker art from the kitchen floor would mean neglecting some other responsibility or necessity, such as showing up at work or sleeping.
this is why i think my generation can greatly add to the flow of women’s progress simply by telling the truth. even the tidiest among us have at least one little corner where stuff from every category of life is thrown together like new yorkers on the subway. life is moving along too quickly to stop and sort everything out. but if we pause long enough to voice our realities, the sense of personal failure might give way to the obvious collective notion that no single person can effectively accomplish the zillion tasks that are set before modern mothers.
today’s contribution to the reality project comes from elise, who gazes upon this scene daily from her perch at the computer.
there are boxes to break down for recycling, an old microwave to dispose of, grocery bags to return to the car, and a rogue cat carrier standing on end next to it all. there are “storage” areas just like this in nurturing homes all across the country, each of them taunting us with ridiculous standards and tiresome to-dos.
i am finding that nothing combats a sense of personal failure like a sense of humor. to all the folks who are willing to unveil their messes as part of the reality project, thank you. at the very least, these scenes make us laugh (there’s no cat in the carrier, right?). at the most, they just might help us learn to stop making society’s failures our own.
sharon sent me this piece, which i am titling:
- breakfast of champions,
- who has time to clear the dishes?, or
- the goofball pulls an all-nighter.
now let’s take a little trip to the master bathroom, home to this scene i’m going to call:
- walgreens stock truck crashes into east memphis home,
- step one – chug wine. step two – remove panties. step three – apply hair removal system, or
- east(ern medicine) meets west(ern medicine).
for those of you who are playing along at home, the two most recent submissions to the reality project have involved stray skivvies. what can i say? it’s modern motherhood. not everything has its place.
perhaps the funniest thing about this recent submission to the reality project is that it came with no accompanying explanation:
i will now offer you the only plausible rationalization for natalie’s edgy little menagerie :
an oafish teenager, trapped in a middle-aged man’s body, was robbing a florida grocery store in search of the perfect tv dinner. witnesses say he was wearing a tan shirt bearing the image of a muskrat and holding a brown plaid umbrella, while peering at the contents of the store freezer through a paper towel roll scope. the suspect proceeded to a nearby beach-side condo to charge his phone, drink a beer, change into a green shirt, deodorize, and microwave his lunch. when the unsuspecting renters returned to the condo to reapply sunscreen and suction out their 8-month-old’s nostrils, they came face-to-face with the bandit. they put a pot of water on to boil and were discussing the best way to season thief stew when the suspect fled the scene.
typical case of arrested development.
lately i have been thinking about women’s progress and the gifts each generation of women has shared to improve life for the next. what do i have to offer? in a recent post i wrote for the fabulous liberated life blog, i admitted that
“the contents of my work and family life are tightly crammed into a metaphorical (and very disorganized) closet. the pacifiers and burp cloths live next to my dusty grad school diploma and laptop, which are obscuring a bunch of unread papers about the upcoming “level II beach party” that my son brought home in his school bag. i live in fear that someone will open the door of this closet and instigate an avalanche of all things dear to me.”
there are so many opportunities available to modern women. but what will i contribute to the next generation when taking advantage of these opportunities tends to yield a disorganized mishmash of overwhelming stuff?
and then it hit me (an idea… not the avalanche). perhaps my generation is charged with the important and unglamorous work of telling the truth. we can help define the problem. progress is impossible without an honest look at the current state of things. the plethora of mom blogs and parental facebook confessions speaks to the notion that our generation simply wants the freedom to come clean about the complexities of modern motherhood.
“the truth hurts,” according to an old saying. but sometimes, the truth is hilarious! some friends of mine have recently posted pictures on facebook of their own disorganized mishmashes of overwhelming stuff. these scenes represent the new normal of modern motherhood where everything does not have its place.
many thanks to lane and stiles for contributing the above pictures to what i am titling “the reality project.” let’s say there is a half-eaten sucker stuck to your uncashed paycheck or a jock strap in your fruit bowl. let’s say you’ve been walking by these scenes in your home for three days without even noticing. snap a photo and send it to me! the truth is funny. we might as well laugh. and who knows… we could be doing the next generation a favor.