Monday, July 18, 2011

You Are Who You Meet?

We all know those people.  The couples that after so many years together begin to merge mannerisms and facial features, until they look more like siblings than husband and wife.   Pet owners who, in both obvious and more subtle ways, have animals that mirror their owner's habits of mind and expressions.  The pert, prissy woman walking a poodle in heels (no, that was not a grammatical oversight -- in this scenario likely both the woman and the poodle are wearing shoes) or the burly guy who makes eye contact that just feels a little too much like the gaze of his bulldog, man and canine lumbering side-by-side down the street in definitive strides.   

Unsettling and a bit creepy, yes, but an undeniable fact just the same -- it is nearly impossible not to become to some degree like the people (or animals) that surround us.  I'm sure this is where adages like, "Choose your friends wisely," originated.  I'm also sure this is why perfectly normal, plain-speaking Mid-westerners start saying things like "Y'all," after visiting relatives in Texas, or "Brilliant," upon returning from a holiday in Britain.  In our unwavering independent American quest to be "unique individuals" we wake up one day only to realize, we sound just like our mothers, fathers, friends, lovers, and yes, perhaps even our Labrador retriever.  

I had one such moment today.  After returning from a leisurely lunch, lamenting the fact that my summer vacation is dwindling (less than one week left), I entered my tornado of a house and thought, "Who lives here?"  This residence cannot possibly be owned by me -- the calendar-driven, checklist loving, slightly "type A" me.  I'm organized.  I write things down and pay bills before they're due.  I was raised by a stay-at-home mother who was raised by her Slovenian Catholic mother who believed that dust was one of the seven deadly's, a neglected sin that surely deserved to be on the list just as much as lust or avarice.  

The chorus of barks emanating from the study jolts me back to reality.  Yep, I live here, but the place looks a little like, my husband's apartment when he was he and I was me -- in those long-forgotten days before we were "we."  Slightly cluttered, slightly messy, things not put away in their place, empty pizza box on the counter, unfolded heaps of clean laundry on the dining room table, books stacked everywhere, dusty, lived in, and in dire need of a vigorous vacuuming.  

You see, among the many favorable and even enviable traits possessed by my mate -- things like generosity, kindness, a wicked sense of humor, a contagious laugh and a real knack for fixing anything, from a bad day to a leaky faucet, he has also perfected something else -- the art of procrastination.  It is this art that allows him to sleep in on weekend mornings, not worrying about what he's missing or what has to be done, while I putter about (loudly) making coffee and planning how I'll use my time off.  It is also this trait that makes grocery shopping an all-day affair, and why I'm fairly certain that prior to sharing a refrigerator fresh produce never resided in his.  Despite my ongoing struggle to understand his procrastinating ways, today I realized that this very trait seems to have seeped from the very pores of his skin and burrowed itself deep into mine. 

I have officially become a procrastinator.  I am writing this blog right now, merely as a diversion to housework.  I know I should be dusting, the cobwebs and dead skin particles on dark furniture surfaces are mocking and baiting me, and yet here I sit, blogging so as not to face mopping.  Everything else on my list today is done -- 2 mile jog, 9:30 Zumba class, lunch with Kodi, schedule windshield repair appointment, and catch-up on email from the weekend - check, check, check, check, and check.  But the housework?  I just can't face it -- I don't have the energy, the will, the desire.  I'd rather listen to Pandora, blog, and aimlessly read status updates and Tweets, until my fellow procrastinator-in-crime comes home.  I really should make dinner.  But take-out is so convenient.  I really should fold and put away that laundry.  But I am on summer vacation.  I really do want my life in order before starting back to work next Monday...but how badly?  Enough to squander a summer day on housework?  Enough to pay a housekeeping service?  Enough to resign myself to living in the dust or train myself not to look at it?  

I fear there is some truth to the "you are what you eat," maxim -- in fact, it is this fear alone that stops me from surviving on a diet of ice cream, tiramisu and cocktails.  But could it also be true that , "you are who you meet?"  If this is the case, than I am truly thankful that I have chosen wisely when it comes to friends, am blessed to be surrounded by a loving family, and indeed, am sharing a life with a person who makes me want to be a better woman, and who reminds me that really there is really very little of importance in this life that can't wait until tomorrow.  

And since imitation is the highest form of flattery, I think I will let the dust settle for a few more days.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE IT.

    I'd like to talk about the pile of clean towels that moved from the laundry room in the basement to the top of the dog crate in the living room. Now, I'd like to mention the pile of clean laundry that has gone from my bed, to the floor (vacuumed, though, so at least the clothes are going on something clean) for two days now. Shall I go on? :) I get that you're a list maker and to-do-er, but this is OK. Writing is GOOD for you. You can clean tomorrow. Bottom line: something will ALWAYS be messy in the house, so if you are inspired to write...then write!