Wednesday, September 12, 2012

dis--organization

i've grown used to many many things on the island - from the requisite 1 hour lateness to any social event, to the lack of any kind of formal lines in the corner store. i've even gotten used to the lack of water and come-as-you-please electricity.

but seriously, if one more person comes into my life to disorganize, i might scream.
or punch someone in the face.

i've learned to build up my tolerance walls when it's necessary - to bite my tongue and hold my fingers away from others' eyes.... but often, when i build up my tolerance wall in one area, it crashes down in another.

recently, it's been the mess.
don't get me wrong. i'm not a not-messy person. i work at the dining room table and leave my papers and books there until i get a chance to put them away. it could be days later that my stuff finds its home., but it finds its home eventually. the laundry sits in baskets until there's time, but it does get put away.

and anyway, if you come to my house, please understand i have two children at home, 94 at school and a bunch in the university. add that to all 500 of amalio's teenage BOYS and our house gets a little left behind.

but samil and amely takes showers and brush their teeth everyday. we've got the basics taken care of.

last week i implemented an organization system in the kindergarten classroom - notebooks in piles according to purpose, toys together, blocks in the corner. pretty well labeled and taught to the kids. and then the cleaning woman comes in and decides to clump everything together. in a big huge messy pile. i bit my tongue and re-organized.

and then the next day it happened again.
so i asked. wth. she says "oh i don't know what it is so i just put it away." really? when i don't know what something is, i don't mess with it. but whatever. i let it go.

until i organized the first grade classroom and the teacher, THE TEACHER, disorganized it in three seconds. and then complains about how long it takes her kids to get their notebooks. YES, friend, because they were all separated in piles and then you mixed them all together.

i might be able to handle it. except it happens in our house sometimes, too. our lovely babysitter/cook/cleaner extra-ordinaire moves things, but she knows better than to put away or shuffle... and even better, she knows that if she doesn't know, she doesn't touch.

except. there is a bizarre cultural practice of women who visit wanting to clean. for a long time i took it as an insult. as if my house wasn't clean enough for their presence to bless it, but i realized it's just how it goes. it doesn't get to me as much if i'm at home - but i don't help. if i don't ask you to clean up, don't expect me to stop what i'm doing and pick up a broom, ya know? but.

on sunday i went to church. house completely disheveled but with a plan to knock out all the laundry and put away school papers in the afternoon. imagine my surprise when i get home and the house is spotless. and my SIL sitting on the couch. bite my tongue. go about my business.

i spent the whole day doing what i do, without saying anything to SIL. when i looked for the school uniforms, couldn't find them. some of amely's skirts were in samil's pants drawer, some of samil's pants in amely's shirt drawer. the underwear in every.single.drawer they own - as if their undies drawers were not empty (i'm bad at laundry, folks). i scavenged out what they needed, shoved my fists in my pockets so as not to punch with them and went into my room.

SIL tells me, "I didn't do anything in here because i knew you'd be mad when you couldn't find anything in the morning" WHAT? really? because i just spent 30 minutes looking for my kids' uniforms but thank you for not touching my closet really.

i know i'll get over it. but it's hard when every day since amalio has had to tear the house apart looking for his papers - papers that had been neatly stacked together on the table and have somehow mysteriously been distributed through the house. and perhaps focusing on this is way easier than focusing on some of the sad stuff that happens and we deal with on a daily basis.

one day at a time people. see you soon with pictures!

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