REALITY CHECK: If only I could list the ways I’m disorganized, I might not be

Reality Check | Mike Taylor


1) Make list.

2) …

That’s as far as I’ve ever gotten when it comes to list-making. I am by nature lazy and disorganized and I’m sure having a few lists in my life would help assuage this situation. But I just can’t get past that first step.

My sweetie makes lists all the time. Lori makes lists reminding her to make other lists. I don’t understand this bizarre, obsessive behavior, but it seems to work for her.

She keeps white boards on the refrigerator (three of them!) filled top-to-bottom with lists of things that need fixing around the house. Some of the items on these lists have been there for years.

“Fix dishwasher,” for instance. The last time that dishwasher worked, Ronald Reagan was president.

Still, most of Lori’s “to do” list items eventually get done.

At first, I thought her lists were kind of cute. Then I realized some of these “to do’s” were intended for me. Suddenly, they were less cute.

But the white board lists are just the tip of a very large organizational iceberg. Her everyday lists — there are usually three or four of ‘em — occupy several notebook pages on the kitchen counter. These include items such as “brush cats” and “dust CD rack” and about half are checked off at any given time.

Lori works long hours at her “real” job, works a part-time second job and is an incredibly talented artist who produces beautiful (and I hope eventually lucrative so I can retire and be taken care of by a rich woman) creations.  Additionally, she maintains a household with only minimal help from my lazy self.

She’s busy. I don’t feel she needs the added pressure of having to deal with all the stuff on her to-do lists, but she keeps making them anyway; no amount of reasoning or cajoling on my part seems to dissuade her. I don’t know how she can stand all that responsibility.

Our recent up north trip, for example; in the time she spent making preparatory lists prior to our departure day, I could have packed, driven to the beach, consumed several margaritas while watching the sun set, gotten a good night’s sleep and then driven back home again.

Her vacation list covered things like “pack extra socks,” “feed hermit crabs,” “unplug iron” and “lock garage door.” There were like 80 items on her list, things that had to be taken care of before beaches or margaritas could even be considered!

My list … I’m kidding, I had no list. I just threw a couple T-shirts in my old, broke-zipper suitcase and tossed it in the trunk of the car. I forgot half the stuff I needed, sure, but I saved all kinds of time I might otherwise have spent making lists.

Instead, I watched a couple “Law & Order” reruns and went on a bike ride.

I seem to remember an Aesop fable from my childhood having to do with an ant and a grasshopper. The ant was a list-maker type; the grasshopper was not.

Things did not end well for the grasshopper.

I hate stories with morals.



1) Never read Aesop again.

2) … uh…

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