In the house on Diamond Street, my mother’s office was in the second floor library. There were three fireplaces in that house and that room had one of them. Cozy and walled with bookcases, I took delight in the old oak desk where she drew for colors that the painter would use on the front of our house.
Now, my dad has that desk and my mother has an IKEA counter with cubbies to store her goodies.
Today, I cleaned it. I started putting like items in piles and she had a fit.
“How am I to ever find anything if you are doing it this way?” She wailed.
Calmly, I explained that I was going to make piles of things that were alike. I could already tell that she had a fetish for note pads of all sizes, greeting cards and pictures. Books, bills, and reams of very old handbooks lay about her study.
Mind you, the very reason her office was in such a state became evident after the cats got loose in that room. They, as kittens, tore through everything and my mother let them – she didn’t know what to do.
Behold, a few moments after her rant, we heard the syllabic doorbell. It was her very good friend who is also a good friend of my own. Distracted with the new guest, my mother sat in her front room to chat. Thus, I got full reign of the office.
Intermittent flows of notepads mixed with brand new greeting cards, Christmas cards of over ten years ago and pictures – quite a miscellaneous mixture – enraptured me to move swiftly in multiple, keep and purge piles.
When she and her friend finished their convo, my mother stepped in and gleefully exclaimed, “I can see my desk again!”
Then she praised me. Sadly, her praise has come to mean nothing to me as she derides me in the same breath.
It was done.