Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Clean Sweep

Saffy says the main reason she’s so addicted to Dr Sandra Lee aka Dr Pimple Popper is that it appeals to her sense of cleanliness.
            “Think about it,” she said the other day as we watched on YouTube Dr Lee excise a particularly huge lipoma out of a woman’s right arm. “Nothing makes me happier than a clean, disinfected surface. And what does this woman do, really? She excises infected, icky stuff out of people and leaves them clean and lipoma-less. What’s not to love?”
            I gave the matter some thought. “I bet she keeps a clean house, too.”
            “Spick and span,” Saffy told me.
            And just to prove that the Universe is always listening, on her recent birthday, one of her presents was Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’.
            “Oooh, I’ve always wondered about this book!” Saffy cooed as she gave Sharyn a hug. “Thank you, I love it! You always know what to get me!”
            Sharyn turned pink. “Yah, I know confirm you like, one! And hor, after you read, you can come over to my house and practise!”
            The days following her birthday, Saffy was unusually quiet as she dived into the book, emerging every so often to look at her surroundings with vague dissatisfaction.
            “I’m not sure I like my personal space!” she said at one stage. “KonMari says I should ask if this is how I want to live, and I think the answer is, No!”
            “What’s wrong with the way you live?” I asked.
            Saffy pursed her lips. “Well, she says I’m supposed to hold something in my hand, like…like…” She picked up a crystal paperweight from her dresser table. “Like this, for instance and you ask yourself, ‘Does this give me joy?’”
            Saffy stared at the crystal in her hand. “Nope. Not feeling anything.”
            “Your mother gave you that for your birthday,” I reminded her.
            “Well, maybe that’s why I’m not feeling anything!” said Saffy, poster girl for daughters with residual childhood issues. “This is going into a throwaway pile!”
            She’s spent days like this, standing in front of her wardrobe and holding each dress, each tee, each Victoria’s Secret panty. Next she moved onto her little bookshelf piled high with EL James erotica. After an hour, she had three books left on the shelf – her personal journal and two first editions of my novels.
Meanwhile, the throwaway pile gets bigger and bigger.
“At this rate, you’re going to have nothing left!” Amanda observed.
“KonMari says I have to visualise the life I want and actually see what I want it to be filled with!” Saffy said, blowing a strand of hair out of her face as she heaved a drawer full of tax papers onto the throwaway pile. “There, I feel better already!”
Amanda later whispered to me that IRAS might have a few things to say about the state of Saffy’s mental well-being. “And I hope ‘audit’ is not one of them!”
By the time, Saffy was done tidying, she’d hauled six huge black bin-liners down to the communal rubbish tip. She practically floated back up and into her bedroom.
“It echoes in here!” Amanda said as she looked around the suddenly empty space.
“Isn’t it fabulous?” Saffy said, her bosom rising majestically. “I feel so light! Honestly, how did I spend all that time in this room feeling so burdened by all that stuff? And now, I have to organize!”
Sharyn came over with da bao lunch from Tiong Bahru markets. “Wah, so clean and tidy!”
Saffy glowed. “Well, it’s not really tidy yet, I’ve only just thrown stuff away. Now I have to fold everything.”
Which KonMari has dictated too, and it basically involves a lot of folding of corners into rectangles so that everything stands up on its own and things are line up in neat rows where you can immediately see what each item is without having to flip.
“So lay-chay!” was Sharyn’s verdict. “I think if I teach my helper, tomorrow confirm she quit, one!”
“But look how pretty my drawers look now!” Saffy said, pulling out one drawer at a time.
Saffy’s cleaning and tidying up has been such a success that she’s offered to work on Amanda’s and my room.
“I feel joy everything I walk into my bedroom now!” she told us in a tone that Amanda later said reminded her of a Sunday session at City Harvest church.
“As long as she doesn’t start singing,” I told her.

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