Monday, March 28, 2005

A Little Bit of Monica

Every weeknight, I settle in for an hour of Friends. If one of the episodes is a rerun, I usually don’t watch. However, due to my intermittent access to television over the years, I’ve still probably haven’t seen half of the shows. Joey and Phoebe are my favorite characters; Joey because he reminds me of my friend Ryan, and Phoebe just because you never know what is going to come out of her mouth. But the character I most resemble is Monica.

Yes, I’m a Monica. I’m an obsessive compulsive cleaning freak. In my dream world, my home is always ready for the cover of House Beautiful. Every weekend, I vacuum, scrub, dust, and wipe it to sparkling perfection. I can spend hours moving furniture or accessories from one place to another, trying to get just the right look. Having everything arranged "just so" gives me enormous satisfaction.

Like Monica, everything in my home has an appointed place. The recliner has a precise positioning that allows for it to be reclined without hitting the coffee table or blocking the sunroom door from opening. I find it vexing when Mike has disturbed its alignment. When we first met, he likened my barracks room to a museum. He even tested me by moving items to see if I’d notice. I always did. Now, he often accuses me of “hiding” things like his shoes or wallet. I always correct him: I have put them “away,” where they “belong.” (Who doesn’t agree that shoes go in the closet?)

Unlike Monica, I do not ENJOY cleaning, although Mike accuses me of it. I like having a clean house, but I don’t like making it clean. I tolerate the chores because the result is so rewarding for me.

I’ve met other Monicas. I happened to mention my cleaning frenzies to a coworker and she was excitedly sympathetic. “Do you have OCD, too?” she whispered. She wears her compulsiveness as a badge of honor. She proudly told me how all of the light switches in her kitchen (controlling the garage, kitchen, and porch lights) have to be aligned before she can leave the house. I was grateful to her for providing me some ammunition when Mike becomes frustrated with my fastidious ways. See, I could always be worse!

You might think that I was always like this, but, I wasn’t. I was a messy kid and a sloppy teenager. I was always frustrating my mother with my “half-way” cleaning jobs. I was fairly piggish in college too. In fact, the only reason my living quarters weren’t completely squalid was that my boyfriend was freakishly tidy.

I guess my Monica ways started in the military. My barracks room was the first place I ever had to myself. No family. No roommates. No housemates. No cleaning staff. I had my own bathroom, kitchenette, living area, and bedroom. As an officer, I wasn’t inspected, so I was on my own merit to keep it clean, and keep it clean I did. There is nothing like the pride of ownership to inspire orderliness. Perhaps there is a lesson there for my future children…

So, I’ve finally admitted it to the Internet world. I’m a Monica. Are you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know I love my husband, but I did get used to him being gone too. This morning I looked for the matches for twenty minutes to restart the woodstove because they weren't in their "place" this morning. ( i finally had to break out a new package) I had to put down al the toilets seats/tommy's favorite place to play) this morning and lock the bathroom doors. I had to clean up all the glasses on bedside tables and I had to get a stuffed animal out of the VCR because the ottoman had been move. *sigh* you can get used to your own way pretty quick

8:56 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I tried to post earlier, but Blogger disappeared it. So I apologize in advance if this appears twice!

I am most definitely not a Monica. More like a Rachel ... I am mostly interested in the shopping part of home care!

1:56 PM  

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