Monday, May 30, 2005


I came across this site this weekend and its really great. For those of us that may just not know how to get organized or those like me that need a kick in the bahonkus this is the greatest site. She is compassionate and funny and helpful.
I copied a letter written by a guy as to why they accumulate " junk" as we women call it and don't want to part with it.
Dear Friends,At the FLY Fest, Robert was a big hit with our members. He gave them alittle insight into our guys' clutter. You have asked him to write anessay about it and he has. The only part you will miss is the airguitar dance he did on stage that day. I still laugh at the thought ofthis. FlyLadyMen's StuffAt the May FlyFest in Charlotte, someone asked a question about theirhusband's clutter, and how she should deal with it. I don't rememberwhether Marla or Kelly tried to answer the question, but I didn'tthink the answer quite hit the mark, so at the end of the program theylet me on stage to give my take on the subject. I was not speakingfrom notes, and while I remember generally what I talked about, thisis by no means a transcript of what I said. But the core message isthe same. Anyway, here's what I think.When you're about to take a trip, you make preparations. You gas upthe car, you pack your bag, maybe you check the map. Anyway, you doall this before you leave the driveway. Guys' possible future livesare like that; we acquire things that are either currently useful, orthings that will surely be useful later, when we fulfill one oranother of those life missions our parents unknowingly gave us. Up tonow, the analogy to getting ready for a trip works fairly well, butright here it breaks down. If the trip gets cancelled, you don't leavethe bag packed. When the kid (who, let's say, played football in highschool) finds himself a finish carpenter, or pediatrician, orwhatever, he will probably not throw away that high school letterjacket. He's not going to wear it, but he is going to keep it, atleast for a while. And while he keeps it, to you it looks like clutter.To him, it isn't clutter. It is the smudgy ink stamp on the wrist thatsays he can get back into the nightclub of youth. To understand this,you need to understand the difference between how you stay young, andhow he does. Men, for the most part, don't use makeup. We may use hairdye, but we don't use it well. We may work out in the gym, but wedon't use body shapers or girdles. In other words, our attempts ateternal youth are less successful than yours are. And yet, our culturesets a considerable premium on youth, or at least the illusion ofyouth. Let's just say it: you fool yourselves your way, we foolourselves our way, and our way involves psychological props. As longas we don't discard that old camping equipment, we are still campers,still Boy Scouts, sort of. If we keep the letter jacket, we preservethe moment of triumph as if it were only yesterday. If we don't havethat old GTO hauled off, we tell ourselves that we might still,someday, rebuild the motor and have a muscle car again. As long as wekeep the stuff, we can still cling to the illusions.I am a mediocre bridge player but a decent chess player. I can regapthe tappets on an MG, but there are third graders who can draw betterthan I can. When people talk about me, they sometimes say that I'm ajudge and that's fine, that's how the language works, but it isn'treally true. I make my living as a judge, but that's just what I do,it isn't what I am. I don't know what I am; I like to think I'm a workin progress. But whatever it is that I presently am, I don't think itcan be summed up in one word. I don't think your guy can be, either.I'm not a judge, she's not a blond, he isn't an activist, and you'renot a ditz. But having said that, I think it is possible to say whatsomeone is not. Your guy's life still has many roads it can take, butsome of the original possibilities are now firmly in the past. Hecould still write a play, or learn Spanish, but at some point, it hasbecome a fact that he isn't going to be a professional athlete, or arock star. And yet he may still have musty old letter jacket, or adust-covered set of drums, or a box of obsolete radio parts, or awooden tennis racket. They have in fact become clutter, from themoment that he came to a fork in the road and took the path that ledsome other way. You see it. He doesn't, at least not yet. Men do noteasily come to terms with what they are not, because the illusion thatall of the possibilities are still intact is a comforting one. As longas all things are possible, we are still twenty. To look at our lifeand say that this or that thing is simply not going to happen, is toacknowledge that we aren't twenty any more.I don't know that there is anything you can do about any of this;maybe just knowing is enough. But remember, you hooked up with yourguy, and women aren't attracted by stupidity. He isn't a dimwit, buthe is willing to fool himself if you let him. The wrong way to not-lethim is to say, "Why are you keeping that old stuff? You're never goingto do anything with that!" That is wrong, not because it is incorrect,but because it won't work. Just a thought: if you get rid of the promdress, the letter jacket will probably disappear. Your home may nothave either of those things, but you know what I mean.Robert


Goody Nuff said...

Hi, Margaret! I read this article when it came in my Flylady mailings and discussed it with my husband. He is in total agreement.

I found this old blog entry of yours when I was looking up Flylady support sites. I am trying again to get my routines down.. I am a fledgling flybaby and this is my 2nd attempt to get off the ground. Are you still flying?

Quit Smoking said...

Hi, I was looking around some blogger blogs for some ideas to start my own on ebooks and you have given me some great ideas. Good blog. I will check it out every week. Thanks