Monday, November 13, 2006

Slob Outing

It's not an outing for slobs. I'm "outing" the slobs. I realize there may be some irony in this--I'm exposing the mess of my tragic private family room in a public venue, so it must somehow reflect me, too. But, honestly. It seemed the appropriate thing to do in relation to the preceding post. And in that post I proved that I should be absolved of complicity in the MESS. I assure you that I am not a white-trash mama. But my kids might fit in fine in the trailer park, or a pig sty.

After writing that post it occurred to me I should just go look around the room again to make sure I hadn't been exaggerating about how my barbaric children routinely violate their home environment (must exercise journalistic fairness). We won't even bother going into their bedrooms. Tyke's is typically better than G's, but to tell the truth Tyke is certainly no saint. G.'s room is just truly scary. The floor is his closet and the cabinets, drawers, etc. are his trash cans. If I called the Fire Department or County Health Department to do an inspection, we would surely be cited. (Ohh, there's an idea; maybe that's what I should do? But who would pay the penalty? Oh, yeah. Me.)

In my tour of the family room I realized that the same old areas have been legendary problems from Day One since we moved here. Since I'm going to "out,: I of course have to post pics.

Site #1: The "Put Away Box"

See? It really does say, "PUT AWAY" on it. But despite the fact that both of the boys are many years ahead of their grades in reading skill and comprehension, when it comes to the box they feign illiteracy. Box was partially cleaned out last night. Remaining contents of box:
  • two nice dress shirts (choir performances and dates at swank events, you know)
  • 1 completely broken microphone for computer karaoke
  • 1 stuffed bear
  • pair red Old Navy flip flops (might be mine--can't tell difference between mine and G's)
  • three broken guitar strings
  • 1 book on cool tricks you can do with magnets (the magnets have been separated from it and lost; probably they're now in the vacuum cleaner)
  • 1 half-used tin of Bed Head Shine Wax
  • 30 or 40 miscellaneous ancient homework papers (G.'s) and a printed copy of a script I wrote that keeps getting threatened to be produced on stage by the theater kids, but they keep losing the script so that will never happen
  • 1 notebook of dark, brooding, ballad-like adolescent poems that G. refuses to submit to the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival
Next, Site #2: The Dying Chair

After many weeks of shopping and deliberation, we bought this sturdy farm-style dinette set about 11 or 12 years ago. The table came with six chairs. At this time, three chairs remain intact and one is well on its way out. This is a problem for us, for we are a family of FOUR. We need FOUR chairs. The chairs have been systematically destroyed by an ADHD boy who initially could not sit still. Then, once he achieved an age when he could sorta sit still (like a year ago), he started destroying the chair via sheer powerful manlike weight and chronic twisting in the seat. As shown, the dying chair (missing one rung so far; another is halfway out and the bentwood back has broken out of its hole and can't be fixed) is being used as a clothes horse for three different fall/winter coats that of course have not been properly hung up in the closet. This actually demonstrates some advancement. Usually the coats are on the floor, not on a chair. "What, you mean it's a floor? I thought it was a closet."

Site #3: The "Computer Desk/Composer's Music Station"

You can see three or four speakers. Though they don't all show in the photo, there are, all told, six speakers. Four were brazenly stolen from parents' stereos, and two rightly belong to the computer. The damper-covers on the stereo speakers have been ripped off "so it sounds better." Behind the computer screen and to the left of it (not very visible), you see a brown thing with white masking tape stuck on it. This, friends, is my antique mahogany piano chair. Yes! That's right! A chair on top of the table! G. broke the seat (have we identified a trend here?) when he kept twisting in it and his butt broke right through the leather upholstery. The chair is really now more of a frame. So he thought, why not? Why not use the chair as a shelf instead? So he did. And on top of the chair he placed my rather expensive Sony stereo receiver, which he brazenly stole from his parents' library. And on top of that he put a CD rack and the jar that holds student pens/pencils. It gets worse. What else did I find at this station?
  • bunch of random short snippets of electronic wire
  • two pairs sunglasses; one is red and has flashing lights inside the frame, but of course they don't work anymore
  • drawer full of unlabeled floppy disks, cds, and CRUMBS from stashed SNACKS (I did not open the drawer; they just leave it that way)
  • two packets of lens tissues and one bottle of spray for cleaning glasses
  • seven seasons' worth of borrowed "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" DVDs
  • headphones (legitimate; it is a music station, after all, and the rest of us don't want to hear the noise)
  • brother's Winnie-the-Pooh ballpoint pen, gift from Disney World, under the chair
  • one inconsitent and mostly non-functional iPod whose enormous, expensive and painstakingly assembled library was accidentally erased
  • 3 video game CDs
  • guitar slide
  • dismantled fiber-optic pen parts
  • unidentifiable broken metal parts of something else
  • papers and bits of papers; printout of a Carnegie Mellon college website about the Computer Music department
  • liner notes to electric guitar strings
  • roll of masking tape that belongs in the family tool drawer
Site #4: On the Fireplace, or, I Give Up

  • Hubby's bass guitar amp; that's the one thing that actually belongs there
  • four big plastic boxes full of building blocks, Lego, army men, and assorted "precious--can't live without it" but completely unused detritus
  • box of Lego Constructionary, with most parts missing from box
  • a bike helmet that belongs in the garage
  • a bag of army men that belong to a kid not in this family
  • box for tragically cheap electric guitar recently purchased by G. (you have to keep the box, you know, but some people are too lazy to just take it to the attic)
  • the guitar itself (in its case for the first time; that's an improvement!)
  • box for the computer piano console (you have to keep the box, you know, but people are too lazy to just take it to the attic)
  • computer piano console (note: on the floor)
  • four loose, out-of-order printed piano pages for Bach's 'Toccatta and Fugue' that should be on the regular piano
  • various parts of borrowed Nintendo Gamecube and two controllers
  • USB cord that probably goes to console
  • plastic Zorro sword (bent out of shape) used for last year's Halloween
After compiling this, and seeing it all at once in concentrated horror, I really do give up.



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