I’m a keeper. I like to hold on to things for their possibilities. I never want to give up on something. It’s the Special Education spirit in me, that everything and every person is worth something, worth holding onto.

So, it’s hard for me to purge, to rid myself of excess. This week I’ve had a crash course. I came home on Tuesday to my entire kitchen displaced to my dining room. Painters had been in to finalize some work that was done 2 weeks ago. They moved everything and when I say everything I mean even the dirty dishes that were in the sink. I was first shocked at first and thought I had been evicted or robbed. I had no idea the painters were coming on Tuesday, but when I looked around and saw the smooth walls and smelled the fresh coat of paint I relaxed and then I became embarrassed. Strangers had to move my dirty dishes. I immediately felt guilty. I saw the painters outside the next morning on my way to work and they asked how the job looked. I skipped the question and went straight to apologies. The painter said he didn’t mind and wanted to make sure it looked good. I again stated my apology and into my car quickly. I then came home that night and cleaned the kitchen. It wasn’t on my to do list for the day, but I was forced.

I was forced tonight too when M. and L. descended upon my apartment to organize and rid my place of things unnecessary. It was difficult to watch and listen to at times, good friends mumbling over the lack of organization. L. said, “You’ve got a lot of nice shit. You need to have places for everything.” I’ve got company coming tomorrow night and M. and L. jumped onto the “clean sweep for Anna” show. I thought all morning about how I could convince them not to come and then at lunch today they told me they were in their cleaning clothes. “I can’t believe I have enlisted my friends to clean my house,” I said. “You didn’t really enlist us,” said L. and she was right. They decided to get this done. It’s all fair in love and domesticity as I’ve spent hours helping decorate M. her home and helped L. paint a room and cooked her and her husband many a dinner. I just have no knack for cleaning and purging and therefore good friends come to your rescue when you don’t even ask. And you know you have good friends when they are willing to go through your shit and order hamburgers in which they have to eat on their laps in the living room because there is shit on the dining room table. I know at least, I won’t be purging these friends. Thanks to L. and M., my house now shines.

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