I am not naturally tidy. I can’t iron or even fold, really. I can’t make my bed look hotel, or my towels hang just so. But do NOT sit on that plumped cushion and MUST you use that mug when I’ve lined them all up and IS it necessary for your feet to go there and that teabag to go in the sink and that apple core to go in the bin in the sitting room and that dog to be here at all? Mad. Maddened. Out. Of. Control. I am.
If you asked me I would say that I wasn’t house proud. I mean, what is there to be so proud of? The kitchen door is rotting, the bathrooms are rubbish, the layout is weird and yet. And yet. Ominously I shall repeat: and yet. If you were to visit me or live with me, you would disagree because why is that pillow case on the bed when it goes with the other set and how did this dent appear in the carpet and don’t the vegetables go in the bottom of the fridge? Not the middle. It’s a system.
My head is such a whirling, whooshing roundabout of automatically anxious thoughts and barely staved off panic that order in the house is about the only thing that makes me feel safe. It’s not that it’s crazy-tidy, it’s that everything is as it should be. Sometimes I stand in front of the linen cupboard and stare at the white, folded niceness. If I didn’t pay someone to iron and iron, I might have had a holiday this summer. But I know, in the long run which is better for my relative peace of mind. And it’s not the lapping of cool water, it’s the starchiness of cool linen.