My friend’s mother was coming to visit. I thought he would be excited but instead he just shook his head and lamented the fact that while he had to work from his living room, his mother would be organizing the rest of his small apartment.

“What’s wrong with that?” I asked. Sometimes I wish I didn’t live in such a big house because I never seem to have it organized and the idea of ​​magical elves organizing all my cabinets and drawers was so tempting until I realized I’d have to throw out a million and one. pieces of paper, diaries, books and knickknacks and suddenly the idea of ​​magical elves organizing my house didn’t seem so tempting.

When I first moved into my house, the first thing I did was organize my kitchen. It seemed like the most practical thing to do, since it revolved around eating. And then after I put all my pots and pans away, and was busy congratulating myself on my organizational skills, I realized how stupid I had been to start my kitchen when I didn’t know how to cook and most of my meals consisted of snack food. bring.

Did I mention all the empty pizza boxes collecting dust at the bottom of my trash can? I was wondering if those magical goblins could get rid of them in time for the garbage collection days I keep forgetting. The empty sushi boxes in my car are something else. Maybe their mother or those magical goblins could get rid of them. I keep forgetting to put them in the trash can when I go to fill up my car with gas.

And that made me think of my friend’s small apartment that his mother was organizing for the tenth time since her last visit six months ago. What was left to organize?

Curiosity made me drive to his apartment. My friend was sitting on the couch in his living room, working industrially on his laptop. No one was allowed to talk to him when he was working, so his mother and I quietly went into his kitchen to assess his progress.

Have you ever seen a nest of boxes on top of more nests of boxes, and compacted into almost nothing? That was the last project of her mother. And of course, each nest of boxes had the contents listed on the outside in microscopic print so it could all fit on the little labels on the outside of the boxes.

I put on my glasses and got a magnifying glass, and I still couldn’t read the fine print. How the hell was my friend going to read what was in those boxes? My guess is that when his mom leaves, she’s going to turn those boxes upside down and put the contents of those boxes in more convenient places, like all over the counter and maybe on the first shelf of the most convenient closet.

And that got me thinking. Maybe I should hire her to organize my house. What could hurt? As it is, I have no idea where I put anything, so I wear the same two outfits every week or open the same cans of tuna when I feel like a worker or order a large pizza with different toppings. I try to alternate the ingredients to feel like I’m eating something different every night.

One day, my friend brought his mother to my house. He stopped in the doorway and his eyes lit up. I could see her mentally organizing my entire house before I even looked at the various rooms.

“What is that room?” he asked her from twenty feet away.

“Oh, that’s my office,” I answered, not realizing that I had just opened Pandora’s box.

“Can I see it? I love offices; they are always so interesting.”

What could i say? She couldn’t exactly tell her to keep her nose out of it and not touch anything, could she? No, I couldn’t do that to my best friend’s mom. She walked into my office and I could see her mentally thinking about how she would rearrange my furniture and office equipment. Then she saw what she called “garbage” on my desk and I rolled my eyes wondering what she was going to do with it.

I did not have to wait long. He looked through my “trash” and started putting them into piles. How he cataloged them is anyone’s guess. She seemed so pleased with herself that I didn’t have the heart to tell her that those piles of “garbage” represented valuable information and that my entire business would collapse without them.

When he looked up and saw my nervous expression, he said, “Why don’t you two go inside and visit us for a bit? I can keep myself busy looking at all these interesting things you have stacked up in your desk. I bet your desk drawers They also have interesting things.

I tried not to moan too loudly. The contents of my desk drawers are the heart of my business and, no, they’re not in any particular order, but I know where everything is. Or should I say, he knew where everything was.

My friend’s mother was not like the magical elves I had envisioned, creating order out of chaos. She was more like a tornado sweeping through my office creating chaos out of the chaotic order I had. I was wondering how I was going to make a living now that all my valuable pieces of information had been deleted. Maybe it was carefully discarded, but I’ll never know.

I didn’t want to seem too distressed and she assured me that everything was there, but now in its proper place and easy to find. In her own place? How would I know where the right place for her is and how long it will take me to find it?

When the two of them left, my head was spinning. How am I going to run my business? He even hid my appointment book, so I don’t even know who’s supposed to call me tonight or what topics we’re supposed to discuss. She made me sick at the thought of my clients thinking they hired an idiot and I didn’t even know how to find the things she organized.

A short time later, my friend’s mother called me to thank me for having such a great time organizing my office and to say that the next time she comes over, she would like to organize all my cabinets and drawers.

I’m seriously thinking about moving and I’m just giving my friend a mailing address so neither he nor his mom can find me. I’m also seriously thinking about getting some of those burner phones so they can’t call me asking if they can come.

But just the thought of moving and having to go through all those cabinets and drawers and find new places to put everything gives me the creeps.

Maybe I’ll keep this house to visit from time to time and rent a deposit to live.

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