Monday, April 24, 2006

Organizational Envy

As promised, Allie Pleiter, author of Queen Esther & the Second Graders of Doom and Bad Heiress Day, is guest blogging for me. And she is much more humorous. Or is it just that anyone's problems are funnier than my own?

Without further ado...HEEEEERRRRRRE'S Allie!

She walked in with a color-coded computerized calendar.

Now, that’s no news to me, I’m addicted to my computerized calendar. I’m the queen of time management. A consummate list-maker. I prioritize. I live for timetables and spreadsheets.

But hers had colors. One for each family member. Oooo…

Hypnotized, I drew closer. I’m reasonably sure I even “ooo”ed and “ah”ed. I asked her how she did it, and resisted the impulse to take notes as she told me the simple instructions.

It’s amazing, isn’t it, how quickly we can crave an improvement? Even if organization was already a strength of mine, I was astounded at her “superiority” and how much I wanted it. And boy, I wanted it.

Entire industries are built on women’s ability to do this. In our area, we have a whole chain or stores devoted entirely to organization. Not that this is a bad thing, but it’s scary how easily I can be convinced that a product is just the thing to solve my organizational problem. That the end of chaos is just the right gadget away. Did I really need a saltine keeper? Or did just the concept of ever-crispy crackers lure me with its promise of better housekeeping?

It’s a false promise. If I were really committed to better housekeeping, I’d dust more than once a year. I’d clean my fridge before it resembled a science project. I’d own shelf liners and you couldn’t feed a small nation off what you’d find beneath my couch cushions.

Am I tackling any of these much-needed tasks this morning? Nope. I’m sitting at my laptop, spending a few hours trying to color-code my schedule. Because sometimes, “cool” is so much cooler than “clean.”

Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction. An avid knitter, harp player, and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools, and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, spent 15 years in the field of professional fundraising, and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The "dare from a friend" to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; BECOMING A CHIEF HOME OFFICER and FACING EVERY MOM'S FEARS, and four novels: BAD HEIRESS DAY and QUEEN ESTHER AND THE SECOND GRADERS OF DOOM out now, MY SO-CALLED LOVE LIFE coming in August, and THE PERFECT BLEND in 2007. She has been married for 15 years, is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella. Visit her website at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i'm reading queeen ester RIGHT NOW. well, not right now. i'm blogging right now. but if i weren't blogging or sleeping, that's what i'd be doing, because i just started it and it's DELIGHTFUL.