Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Qualities

Some of us have been a tad delinquent toward their collection of iron disciplines geared to mental balance, order and calm, which could well be why some of us amble into the morning with the sure sense that our head is about to explode. Not the first time, might not be the last time, and I have found that one route out of this limbo is to tidy the room where I spend far too many hours of my day. A room which, as it currently appears, might give the casual observer the distinct impression that your correspondent struggles with what might be politely called the compulsive disorder of hoarding, and which a grandmother might still refer to as an appalling case of bone idle boy-child slovenliness. A wonderful word with its origins in the Flemish for dirty, careless, neglectful and which I'd argue without any traditional evidence probably joined the perversities of the English language following the challenges to the Anglo-Saxon lifestyle that resulted from the Norman invasion of the English part of the British Isles toward the end of the eleventh century, an event that figures up there as a tragedy on a par with the defeat of Carthage by the cheating Romans at the Battle of Zama.

The argument against tidying up is the straightforward suggestion that after the deed is done a person can't find anything, and discovers himself dwelling upon the end time as he wastes valuable energy hunting down his pencil sharpener, last years birthday card, his socks and his important notes. The argument for tidying up is primarily devoted to offhand moments such as "what might others think when confronted by this kind of unhygienic chaos?" And there's always the more cheerful prospect of finding useful things that have been lost and forgotten since the last tidy up. More interesting perhaps, of those who struggle with obsessive compulsive disorders one in four males of our species attempt to conceal the disorder in bone idle slovenly hoarding behaviors. And worth recalling is the recent movement in idea around the word "slovern" which when used in the more youthful vernacular gives a description to boys suggesting behaviors that better resemble the looser loyalties found in an emerging presidential quality which when traditionally applied to girls would earn the title slut. Either way, it's been a long haul, a difficult ride along somewhat suspect paths, but there's absolutely no way I can accept the possibility of admitting to a presidential quality, so I'm pretty sure that any day now I'll be tidying my room.

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