I always loved those overly simplified “there are two types of people…” dichotomies offered in simple prose. You’re either a Starbucks guy or a Dunkin Donuts guy. Boxers or briefs. Vanilla or chocolate. Jacob or Edward. At the end of the day, these questions of preference are just that, preference. There are however, some this-or-thats with not only assumed, but science-backed implications that speak volumes about who a person is. While we can’t deduce someones probability for success based off bunny ears or up and under shoe tying, the state at which one leaves their bedroom every morning does allow us to connect some dots.
So, there are two types of people in this world, the ones who make their beds and the ones who don’t. There are those who wake up at oh six hundred hours on a strict regiment. With military precision these folks spring into action like a Jewish sleep away camp upon hearing reveille, brushing their teeth with 7.265 second time slots per bicuspid, all before serving themselves their meal prepped breakfast rations. On the other end of the spectrum, there are the snoozers. At 6:00am, their alarm goes off…at 6:07 it does so again…then once more at 6:15 and finally, toes hit cold tile floors at 6:23. Leaving his bedroom to it’s own devices, he utilizes the 15 minutes G.I. Joe devoted to cleaning his room, to sipping his coffee on the balcony. Both men make it to work on time. Both men go on to lead happy, successful lives. One mans room is pristine and void of any signs of human life. The other closes the door and leaves ground zero in all of its defunct glory. There are two types of people in this world and I myself fall into the ladder. Now don’t mistake my clutter for laziness…that’s not what I’m putting down here. Also, please don’t question my hygiene; unfolded sheets doesn’t imply unbrushed teeth. My rooms a mess because it’s MY room.
As master of my own domicile I hold these rights to be self evident, that no man shall be coerced by threat of eviction, to fluff thy pillows or make thy bed. So here’s the ode to the boy with the messy bedroom…this is what it has gotten him. Thy boy has an endless supply of “partnerless” socks. Thy boy seldom can find his belt, watch, or sweatshirt that he hath intended on wearing. Thy boy stubs his toe daily on stray textbooks and thy boy must explain to thy girl that “it’s not usually like this.” Thy boy has thus been asked to vacate his family apartment, because thy boy, while loved by thy grandparents, didn’t hold up his end of thy agreement. Thy boy is not worried and will certainly figure it out…rest assured.
While the messy bedroom has had some recorded consequence, that same messy bedroom is said to be a tell-tail sign of things other than just lackadaisical ignorance (slobbish-ness). While this is certainly not the rhetoric I deploy on my parents or grandparents (who are the ones paying the rent) science and psychology correlates messiness to creativity. While shows like Hoarders and Animal Hoarders and Chicken Teriyaki Hoarders and Moderately Used Yet Working Condition Auto Transmission Hoarders certainly give clutter a bad name, there are literally libraries worth of literature explaining that messiness shows creativity and freedom of mind. As Albert Einstein once so eloquently voiced “if a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Ok you’re right, Einstein never amounted to anything…bad example. “Being in a messy room leads to something firms, industries, and societies want more of…creativity.” That one was penned by Mark Twain, but yeah you’re right…he was an even bigger loser than Einstein. No one here likes Quentin Tarantino movies right? Django, Pulp Fiction, and Reservoir Dogs sucked so I guess we’ll just discredit QT’s opinion on this ‘mess’ of a blog post…but just for shits and gigs “the advantages of being neat and organized are often illusionary.” I’ll cut it off there and attempt to rodeo these thoughts into some form of solidarity. Being a messy person is your own prerogative and for people like me, unbothered by these things, then life goes on and the world keeps spinning. While this post could run for 500 pages in detailed recourse on why I should just tell my Grandparents that my rooms a mess because “I’ve really been getting into my art lately,” I’ll let the Ivy League doctorates explain the nuances of this topic. Here is where the ode to the boy with the messy room deviates…because thy boy realized he overlooked a crucial ingredient in the recipe to his newfound homelessness…his own impact.
Again I’m a firm believer that ones bedroom is their own sacred temple and the god you pray to within it is up to you. My kids will enjoy this luxury that I currently don’t have. I’m also not arguing my grandparents mirroring Italy and giving me the boot (get it?!?!). Their way or the high way, that’s completely understandable and I offered my apologies and they were well received and the book is closed in that regard. I am however, left here wondering why the messy bedroom bothers people so much and since I’m commuting to the city from Long Island now, those 2 hours of travel time has given me ample time to figure something out…here’s what I’m left with. IMPACT.
Have you ever heard of The Butterfly Effect? Not the crappy Ashton Kutcher movie, but the actual scientific theory of worldly happenings. The Butterfly Effect is “the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.” In the more cliche, colloquial renditioning, a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a tidal wave on the other side of the world. The Butterfly Effect doesn’t necessarily means that A directly causes Z, no, instead it explains that A caused B which forced C which eluded to D pushing E until finally….Z. To me, this is a long winded retort explaining that everything in this world has an impact. Nothing happens in a vacuum and everything, therefore, has imminent and tangible effects on the things happening both in proximity and worlds away. So, to thy boy who extinguished his rather comfortable Upper West Side abode due to a few socks running amuck in places they shouldn’t have been in…don’t get angry, but instead understand…while it may have just been a sock to you, to a 80 year old grandmother it was the final straw on an already strained living situation…don’t underestimate your impact. To thy boy who says his vote against Trump won’t matter, don’t underestimate your impact. To thy boy who throws a cigarette butt on the city street, don’t underestimate your impact. To thy boy who makes 100 cold calls a day, don’t under estimate the impact of one more. In this big bad and scary world, it’s understandable to operate as if you’re just a drop in the bucket. But in that same small, pleasant, and lovely world, understand that every breath you take leads to another…that butterfly flaps its wings and life goes on.
“Neatness, madam, has nothing to do with the truth. The truth is quite messy, like a wind blown room.”
― William J. Harris