Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Surface Detail

SPOILER ALERT: I am going to complain about all the stuff my grubby materialistic resource-hogging ugly American self has accumulated. Spare me the lecture about materialism. I will post it and mock you.
* * * * *
I have this problem with horizontal surfaces. Not a falling down sort of problem, but a management problem. With the surfaces above floor level. Or ground level, I suppose.
The problem is this: I lay objects upon them.
This should not be a problem, you say, because after all, this is the raison d'etre of such surfaces. The shelf, the table, the mantlepiece, etagiere, kitchen counter -- great advances of civilization.

Here is a lovely dining room table. This is in a much better state than usual, as 2/3 of the table surface is still visible.

I lay things upon horizontal surfaces, and I do not pick them up again.
I do not pick them up again because once they have landed on a surface, I do not see them.
Therefore I don't put them "away."
Here is a bathroom countertop. I dislike the countertop, but that is no reason to abuse it in this way. Also, why TWO bottles of rubbing alcohol?

I don't like "away," because once something is put away I forget its existence. Hence thirteen to sixteen wristwatches, at least 5 of which are nearly identical.
I found these (there are more) while cleaning out two drawers in my bedroom. Two small drawers.

One could argue that it would be better to forget the existence of hidden objects, than those in plain view. Someone might have said this to me. I can't imagine who, as there is no one presently in my range of vision.
Why are there 4 videotapes of a Civil War documentary on my sewing table? I think that's my sewing table.

I keep boxes and baskets handy to sweep off a surface when I need to use it. Those tend to fill up quickly.
At last, a surface clear of extraneous objects! Lamp, phone, intercom -- wait, the intercom became obsolete when a working phone was acquired, so that is extraneous. Damn.
Dust accounts for more mass than I want to think about.
Note: this surface is 18"x 18."
The Him made that table. It deserves better care.

Here's another surface, about two feet away from the above.
It's 17" x 28."

Yes, that's dust. All will be explained shortly.
I have been sneaky. Those last two photos were not really about the dust.

Look closely for a pair of baby shoes, and a baby bonnet.

1) My daughter is 11. 2) The shoes are mine, not hers.

They were about that pile. All of it rested upon those two smallish horizontal surfaces until about an hour ago.

Having consolidated the objects into one pile on the bed, I immediately
a) sorted them out and put them away? or
b) took a picture , and then some other pictures, and spent 45 minutes blogging about them?

Extra credit points: When next I venture upstairs, will I be surprised by the pile, having forgotten its existence? [edit: Yup. 11:42 p.m., my reaction was "oh, sh#$!" blogging about it for 45 minutes did not help me to remember.]


  1. Oh, no lectures from me! You know the old adage, "people who live in glass houses". Those pictures could very easily be of my own house. Although my youngest kid is far worse than me.

    A couple of years ago, while getting ready to put my house on the market for sale(which didn't sell, damn it), I rented a dumpster. I asked for a small one... they brought a big one (20 yard size). I filled that baby up with 1.5 tons of crap. And I bet I could do it again. BUT my basement is just about empty, my attic IS empty and my garage is empty enough to get my car inside, if I wanted it there.

  2. Things...things. I hate things. I want to be in heaven where I don't need anyTHING and I am completely unaware of time, hunger, fear of the unknown. Where I ... sorry a little depressed. But when I looked at your pictures, I did smile. "I can soooooooo top that," I said to myself. "Contest ON!" But then I started loading trash bags with junk and things didn't look half bad. So now I can't take pictures to prove my point. Damn.

  3. This is funny. But now I feel guilt.