Last Updated on November 3, 2019 by World's Okayest Mom
I am completely aware of how disturbing that is. Trust me, no one could be more disturbed by that fact than My Girl’s World’s Okayest Mother (that’s me!) – the woman responsible for raising her to be a caring, responsible, productive adult, one that, preferably, doesn’t collect human remains and doesn’t sew a skin suit secretly in her basement during her free time.
So, with the horrifying image on the page, let’s delve into the twisting workings of how we got there. Hold on tight.
(No, I’m not blaming him. I’m testing to see if he’s reading this and waiting for a comical reaction. And, also, maybe I’m blaming him a little.)
The Husband is the exact opposite of a collector of fingernail clippings. That, Ladies, is what you look for in a man: one who doesn’t have a stash of body parts and kills all spiders for you. I hit the jackpot. It’s not that My Husband isn’t capable of harvesting said body parts, but rather, he’s too much of a neat freak to keep them as a collection. He is the epitome of a minimalist. If we dig into his psyche, it’s not because he’s inspired to live the simple life due to his adoration of Ghandi. It’s more that the man should probably be medicated for obsessive compulsive disorder.
Most of the time, his OCD works in my favor: he can’t let a dirty dish sit in the sink, he vacuums our mud room twice daily, and he doesn’t have a man cave full of sports memorabilia or scantily-dressed calendar girls. As wonderful as that sounds, and it truly is wonderful, it’s annoying as hell sometimes, too. He’s literally yelled at me after grocery shopping for “buying too much food.” Yes, he’s grumpy when he opens the door and sees a well-stocked fridge. Basically, the man can’t abide any clutter.
It’s not just me who thinks this. Ask his mother who wonders where she went wrong. Ask his sister who wonders how that can rub off on her husband. Ask any guest at one of our BBQs who has had a plate of food they were still eating taken from their hands and tossed in the trash because The Husband was ready to clean up the mess.
But especially, ask Leslie Ann whose children call him Grandpa… though that could be more because he’s a cantankerous, old soul. But one day, Leslie Ann commented that The Husband should have his own version of the Marie Kondo class. She even went on to suggest some possible names for this show: Cleaning with The Husband… Prioritize Your Organize…We Don’t Sleep Unless It’s Clean… or my personal favorite: Cleaning with The Husband, and Other Compulsion Disorders. Is anyone from Discovery Channel reading this and taking notes?
Enter, My Girl
While The Husband could be the Discovery Channel , if A&E had Hoarders: Child’s Edition, My Girl would have a starring role, much to The Husband’s chagrin. I get that kids are good at accumulating and collecting. Don’t even get me started on the amount of stuffed animals My Girls has. But we (me more than the Husband because I think he would have a brain aneurysm if he attempted to help her with her messes) try to keep her messes to a minimum. I help My Girl purge (ok, “help” isn’t the correct term; probably “force under threat of ‘clean up this mess or I’ll dump kerosene on all the plastic horses and see how quickly Breyers plastic melts’” is more accurate) and organize her toys.
I know My Girl isn’t alone in this issue. Leslie Ann once found a bag of trash in her girl’s room. And Jane could earn a gold medal if amassing every scrap of notebook paper in human history was an Olympic event. Coming to the Summer 2020 games! Most recently, Monica related her struggle to throw away a broken hair tie. She had to tug o’ war it out of Jane’s clenched fist as there was much wailing about throwing away the elastic hair tie.
But My Girl… Oh My Girl… Her ability to hoard would keep viewers entertained and slightly disgusted for at least a dozen episodes. For example, here is a list of things I found when helping My Girl purge her desk the other day. (Mind you, this is just from her desk; I wouldn’t want to give my dear readers nightmares from the terrors found in her toy room.) (And double side note: yes, I’m totally the mother who sat with a pen and paper and wrote down every disturbing thing that came out of her desk. It’s called research.)
- A restaurant napkin – used, of course, because, ew…
- A map – I don’t even know where she got it since I dare you find a paper map at the gas station
- Multiple boxes that her toys came in – empty because by this time the original toys were lost long, long ago in the unruly clutter
- Every picture she or Jane has drawn or colored in the last 12 months – every. damn. picture.
- Half a cereal box – and not the part with the games or cartoon characters as that would make sense; but rather, the part with the nutritional facts
- A strip of wallpaper – I can’t stress my surprise enough: WE DON’T HAVE ANY WALLPAPER IN OUR HOUSE!
- A box of tinsel – you know, for those emergency times when you need to trim a tree
- A QTip – again, used, of course; why would she keep a clean one?
- Old candy wrappers – probably not that unusual, except I’ve caught her sucking on them before. So not only is My Girl a potential Hoarder, but she has the tendencies of a homeless person
As unsettling as that journey into My Girl’s cluttered mind and desk was, it pales in comparison to the other night when we were on the back deck trimming her nails. (Yes, on the back deck. It was warm out. If I can avoid vacuuming any stray nail clippings, I will. I don’t know if this habit of ours is normal or not. Feel free to comment below and let me know.) My Girl still sucks her thumb – don’t judge; we’re working on it. So a request to not paint her thumbnails is not out of the question. But that night she asked me to not trim them either. “They’re so long and pretty,” she said. Long they were. Pretty they were not. I only see creepy, serial killing, drifter when I see long nails. So the answer was a firm no.
Then she asked me if she could keep the nail clippings.
(Excuse me while I gag again with the thought of it.)
I think she was joking. I’m pretty sure she was joking. Oh for the love of the USA, she was joking. Right? RIGHT?! I can’t let my mind wander into the labrynth of hell if she wasn’t joking. So she was joking.
And just so we’re clear, the answer to that request was also NO.
Maybe I shouldn’t blame The Husband. Sometimes I think she’s leaning far into hoarder and psycho territory to compensate for his extreme neatness and minimalism. But maybe he’s a stabilizing effect in her tendency to stockpile every scrap and treasure that comes her way. Without him, maybe she could end up living in a house full of garbage bags overflowing with melon rinds and paint chips and balls of used aluminum foil, piled so high that she has to make gopher tunnels to travel from room to room. It’s safe to say I will not visit her there.
So that’s where we are. My Girl is two thumbnail clippings away from a multi-million dollar TV deal and a padded jail cell with weekly visits from Jodie Foster.