Parse This, Batman

A nice person who commented on my last post left a link to a site called Fly Lady, where you can follow their daily cleaning and organizational suggestions and get your life in order. So that sounded good -- my god, you should see my desk -- so I went on over and read the first Fly Lady tip, which was to polish your sink. Even though the Fly Lady site looks like it was designed about fifteen years ago with a box of crayons and a copy of Pong, polishing your sink is not a bad tip. It forces you to actually get all the dishes out of there, though where you put them is your business -- if you're like me, your oven is already full of old newspapers, but the bathtub. . . . So I busted out the Comet and took about 60 seconds to get almost four years of whatever, coffee stains off the so-called "stainless" steel in our kitchen sink. Hey! According to the Fly Lady philosophy, smiling into your shining sink ". . . is how I get to hug you each day! That shiny sink is a reflection of the love that you have for yourself. " Fly Lady wants to keep distracting me with small successes in order to keep me from speculating about the carnage she may or may not have inflicted to earn her Butcher of Lyons-ish nickname, and the distinct shaming vibe I'm starting to feel every time I look at her tutu, her concerned expression, and her index finger, poised to shun me back to my cluttered web 2.0 hell.

Fortunately, the second day tip stopped me cold. Much like the time a grammatically impenetrable translation of The Communist Manifesto kept me from further enjoying the works of Karl Marx and Co., Fly Lady's tip #2 made me realize that she is in desperate need of a copyeditor.

Day Two: "Get dressed to lace up shoes."

Here are some possible interpretations I have come up with for this mysterious phrase:

  1. Get dressed and then put on some lace-up shoes.
  2. Put on your finery and then sit down and put some new shoelaces in your shoes that have old, broken shoelaces in them so that you can enjoy wearing them again.
  3. While you're getting dressed, put the song "Lace Up Shoes" on your Victrola and gaily prance about, delighting in the possibilities of gleaming small appliances.
  4. Get dressed up, all the way down to your lace-up shoes.
  5. God help me, I keep picturing Judy Garland in "Meet Me in St. Louis."

Fly Lady herself offers no further illumination, she just says, "Today I want you get up and get dressed to lace up shoes when you first get up in the morning. This means fix your hair and face too."

Needless to say, our kitchen sink is developing a familiar patina of neglect and the clothes in the washer smell like compost.