Arrival of the Type A Neat Freak

I've been spending most of the day feeling guilty about not writing a new post today or responding to comments left on my previous nervous breakdown about my hair. But you see, in eight hours I'm going to be waiting at the American Airlines baggage claim at LAX because my sister arriving! I love my sister, talk to her pretty much every day and am SO excited she's coming! But I've been cleaning like a madwoman in preparation for her visit.

You know how drivers from car services hold up signs for their clients in the baggage claim? Well, I'm going to make a sign for my sister and it's going to say "Welcome, Type A Neat Freak". I know some people throw terms like "Type A" and "Neat Freak" around lightly, but I'm not kidding in my sister's case. She's so Type A that she was packed for her trip by this past Sunday. I mean, who does that?

She's seven years older than me and the poor girl had to share a room with me when we were kids. She'd have all her stuff completely organized and made her bed every morning without being told to do so. And there I'd be, sleeping with books and tossing my clothes on the floor. When we'd have to clean our room on Saturdays, all her clothes would get folded and hung up, arranged according to color and type. My version of cleaning the room was to throw everything in the closet or under the bed. Shh...sometimes that's still my version of cleaning my room. I chalk it up to my artistic temperament.

All of her natural neat-freakishness got taken to another level when she went to the military. I remember when she came back from being stationed in Germany she tried to teach me how to make a bed. I swear, she was getting off by demonstrating how to tuck the sheets in properly!

I love this about her because when I go visit her I sometimes entertain myself by torturing her. I am still a bratty little sister so I do stuff like set pens and pencils on her dining room table or put the newspaper on her kitchen counter. She'll whiz by and fold up the newspaper like she's on auto-pilot and stick the pens and pencils in a drawer.

The key to is to wait till she leaves the room and then get the paper, pens and pencils back out again. I'm telling you, she'll come back in and put everything away once more without even realizing she's done it before. It's like she has a voice in her head saying, "Mess! Must clean!" I love it!

So you see why I've been doing extra mopping and dusting, right? My sister gets sooo excited by cleaning. I, on the other hand, merely endure it. It's a necessary evil. I do it but I'm not psyched beyond belief to clean and never have been. Please don't think I'm a total slob because I'm not. I absolutely cannot stand a dirty bathroom or kitchen, but I'm definitely more laissez faire about other stuff. If there's a bunch of magazines on the coffee table I'm alright with that. If there's also a teacup, a couple of Lego action figures, an iPod, (peering over there to see what else) a Michael Clayton DVD, a black sharpie and a pack of stamps on the table, I'm ok with that too.

I sort of have to be ok with it all since I'm married to the messiest person on the planet and both of my children have, ahem, artistic temperaments too. I'm telling you, my husband should be the poster boy for, "Will not become neater after marriage". I've learned to live with his messiness, just like he lives with mine. We rub along quite nicely with our joint lack of neat-freak tendencies. But I know my sister usually wants to strangle him after about an hour. Ah, I'm sure they'll both play nice with each other over the next week. Besides, I fully intend to run her all over this city so that she'll have no chance to observe any dust bunnies that may crop up!

So, back to cleaning I go!


Lola Gets said…
Off topic, but Im first, yea! I posted a pic of me with shorter hair - go check it out!

Jameil said…
AWWW!! Love it! Can't wait to see my own sister in less than a week now! And my mom and my created family! lmao @ you, her, the paper & pencils. hilarity.
Anonymous said…
I'm fairly tidy, probably about your standard, Liz. Like most people, my major clean-ups get done when Visitors are due! I know a few neat freaks who're permanently cleaning and tidying - they're up at 6am to do two hours's housework before they go to work. Jeez, where do they get the energy? Sometimes I envy them, sometimes I think they've just got OCD!
red said…
How funny. My Mum is coming this week so I'm spending the weekend cleaning too.
Anonymous said…
I was going to defend myself but I have to clean your living room, and organize the bookshelves!!! But to your credit the bathroom is spotless!!!!
Sundry said…
Hee! I realized in high school that I could become a neat freak and I stopped myself. I have a friend who is and she actaully admitted to me once, with a truly heavy sigh that "It's such a waste of time."

She would get up in the middle of our writing group meetings to put all our shoes--which were left by the front door-in a straight line.

I do prefer a tidy house. I do have to clean the kitchen counter before I go to bed or leave for a night out.

But even when the house is perfectly clean in anticipation of a visit, there are magazines out and there is one table that's a catch-all mess. I tell myself that this makes my guests feel more comfortable. ;)

Thanks for taking the time to write.
SheWhoLives said…
LOL! Sounds like your sis knows what she's about. But please Liz, be kind to her... As a sort of neat freak myself, you don't know how much energy and endurance it takes to be that way!

Anyway hope you guys have much fun together :-)
Liz Dwyer said…
Loved the hair! It's hot!

Girl, I'm SO happy she's here! She's already plotting about organizing my bookcases. Cracks me up!

Sometimes I do envy her because her place is always so neat and tidy. And she was definitely up at 6AM -- we went running at the park and then I walked her around the neighborhood. We are having fun!

It's spring so it's time for visiting family! My mom has never been out here. I wish she'd come!

I'm SO glad you're here! And I have eight bookcases so have fun with them! LOL! And let me just say, not everyone cleans the tray tables on the airplane, m'kay!

Straightening shoes is truly neat freakish! Love it. But, I don't think I've ever had the realization that I could become a neat freak! I like a clean kitchen too. There's nothing worse than waking up to crap on the counter.

Oh yes, she definitely does! It definitely takes energy and I admire her for it. It makes me feel lazy.
Unknown said…
WHAT is it about being the younger sister? WE MUST do whatever it is we know to poke that little internal "YIKES" button before we can feel at rest! LOL! I hope you guys have fun. I LOVE when my Sissy comes, all my plastic containers get thrown out and everything organized ~ its like having my very own home improvement show in one sister!

Enjoy each other!!!
One never outgrows being a bratty kid sister. It's one of life's small compensations for having been the youngest growing up.

Have fun with the Type A Neat Freak.
Anonymous said…
I can't wait to read about your week with your sister.

Have a ball!
Miriam said…
Liz how exciting!

Is she your only sister? I also have a sister seven years apart, but we are the closest friends. Probably my only true friend. lol.

How long will she be w/you for? Is she married? Am I prying too much?

Have a wonderful time!
Ian Lidster said…
My ex wife was such a neat freak that I once said to her: "I think if you were on your deathbed you'd be worried that the house wasn't clean enough." "You bet I would," she replied. Her neat freakiness isn't the reason we divorced, by the way.
Anonymous said…
Your sister is my kindred spirit.
1969 said…
Your sister and I would not be and I on the other hand....LOL, you already know :)

Artistic Temperment over here too.

Have fun with your sis.
Anonymous said…
My little sister is like that as well. It drives me completely crazy because you can't find anything. I'll set my glasses down at her house and with in 1.8 seconds they are gone. Where did they go? Who knows? Anxious people are so annoying....

I hope you have a wonderful visit!
Anonymous said…
Without my wife I'm sure there would be stuff growing in my fridge. I too blame it on my creative side. Cleaning is time wasted when I could have been creating something (or thinking about it). The wife tolerates it because luckily I finish some stuff, sometimes.
Liz Dwyer said…
I think she should be a professional organizer! She really has a talent for it -- I wonder if it is a big sister thing.

She's been making my boys laugh a lot with tales of my baby sister brattiness. It's really funny to see them asking, "Mommy really did that?"

I have to post some more updates but we've been running wild! I haven't been home to write too much!

Yes, she's my only sister -- only sibling I have left! She'll be here till Saturday and she is married -- for 12 years now!

Now that's true neat freakiness! I'll have to ask my sister if she would worry about how messy things are after death.

I admire you, especially with a baby!

Hah! three cheers for artistic temperament. It's the way to go!

We are having such a great time together. I seriously wish she could stay two weeks instead of only one.

I'm definitely neater than my husband. He'll have crap all over the place and won't even notice.
She's doing really well at keeping her cool and not wigging out when the living room gets too messy -- although I have to go somewhere tomorrow and she's promising to wreak havoc while she's here alone!

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