Rubble, Bugs, Food And Culture

Katie Young
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Wednesday - October 31, 2007

A spot of chaos.

We all have one. Even if you are the type of person who loves to clean, somehow there is always at least one spot in your house where the mess piles up.

For me, that place is a little table I bought at Ross specifically to keep my keys in easy reach and mail organized. It’s right inside the back door, so it’s the first thing I see when I come home at the end of the day.

But what started out as a decorative brass stand with two small bins for keeping things in has now become a pile of forgotten bobbles, empty packages and half-opened mail. On rainy days, jackets find a resting spot on top of the miscellaneous items, and anything else that doesn’t have its own home ends up on this table.

The other day I even saw a lone sock hanging off the side as if it were trying to escape from the mess. Forget about finding your keys at all. I even discovered an old water bill that I forgot to pay buried under the rubble.

I clean and clean around the little table, straightening Pono the weiner dog’s sleeping area, wiping the floor and cleaning off the kitchen counter. But my little table always stays the same.

I’ve debated getting rid of the table completely. At this point it’s an eyesore for guests, and I’m doubtful that I’ll ever be able to keep it really clean. But if I get rid of it, then where will I leave my keys?

Maybe we all need a little spot of chaos. Some of us might already have our fair share. But for those who thrive on order - for all the effort and energy those people put into being the perfect spouse, the perfect homemaker, the perfect parent, the perfect employee - maybe it just feels good to let yourself have at least one place where you can let disorder rule.

My battle with bugs.

I will never be one of those girls who can remove unwanted bugs from my house calmly. Actually, I’m one of those girls who sees a bug and screams, running in the opposite direction. Lately, I’ve had encounters with more bugs than I’d like: a giant flying roach that landed on the curtain above my bed, a spider in the shower and, last week, a centipede in the bedroom.

The centipede had its eyes on me for sure. It was scurrying down the hallway - 100 legs carrying it at warp speed - right in my direction. It stopped about five feet from where I was, pausing for a brief moment before it attacked, I guessed.

“Centipede!!!!!!!” I yelled from my end of the hall.

“What?” my fiance’ asked from the living room.

“A centipede!!!!!!!!!! Hurry! Get it!”

My man came running into the hallway to find me cowering in the corner by the bedroom door, clutching Pono to my chest.

“Pono tried to sniff it so I grabbed him!” I explained. “Now get it before it bites us!”

My fiance’ sighed and went into the bathroom to get the terminating device (aka a rolled up magazine) and did away with the vicious beast, which, by the way, was only about as big as my index finger.

Eat all your peas and carrots!

My father told me a story the other day that I thought was worth repeating here about cultural differences and lessons we learn as children.

Sitting down to dinner with a friend recently, my father said, “When I was growing up, my parents always told me, ‘Eat all the food on your plate because there are starving children in China!’”

So he asked his friend, who was born in Shanghai, China, “What did they say in your country?”

She replied, “They told us, ‘Eat all the food in your bowl. There are starving children in Africa!’”

So my father asked another friend, who is a native of Africa, the same question. This man’s reply was, “We were told, ‘Don’t waste your food like the Americans.’ “

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