There are several reasons why I live alone—as an only child, I intensely value my privacy and personal space—but one reason is that I’m messy. Not “leaving the dishes from tonight to do tomorrow” messy but “leaving the dishes from Monday to do on Sunday” messy. Dishes, vacuuming, washing the sheets, picking up dirty clothes off the floor—these, for some reason, can feel like oppressive tasks even when banging out a twenty to thirty page seminar paper over the course of the weekend seems like a piece of cake.
Despite all of this, I’m not a hoarder. I don’t like my messes, I don’t find myself cultivating them, and—when I do get around to cleaning—I’m inclined to chuck even perfectly usable items into the trash just to get them out of the way. The messes in my life don’t feel like a part of me; rather, they feel like something out to get me. The brief joy of a clean apartment quickly becomes a reminder of the triumph of entropy.
I throw a lot of parties, largely to give me the kick-in-the-butt I need to get things clean. I may be able to live with my messes, but heaven forbid that anybody else get to see them. I’ve flat out kept friends on my doorstep while I ran in to grab something because I won’t let them see how I live. Messiness is a source of embarrassment, a sign that I don’t have my life fully together, an admission that my attempts at ordering, sorting, and systematizing all ultimately come to naught.