Unless you’ve been on a social media hiatus, no doubt you’ve heard about Bird Box, the Netflix film that has half of America scared to watch. After seeing no less than 63 posts in my Facebook feed, I had to take the plunge. I made sure to recruit my unsuspecting husband to watch with me, as I was certain I would be shrieking and losing my marbles. We settled into the couch and left the remote only inches away because, I was going to have to turn it off, right?
Perhaps we are the only two who felt this way, but we were both left genuinely stumped as to why this movie kept getting such intense reviews and leading to so many sleepless nights. There are dozens of things that scare me, but unidentified mysterious gusts of wind are not one of them. Plus, how in the world did everyone in the house race around and cover the windows fast enough to beat the “ominous presence” on the day all hell broke loose? And why did the presence not stalk that house day after day just waiting for them to mess up?
Sandra Bullock is a phenomenal actress, and her performance alone kept me hooked because I truly needed to know how the plot ended. However, where did she get the right sized clothes for her growing kids? And she was still looking like a knock out 5 years into an apocalypse, so I suppose she had a lifetime supply of mascara in her bunker? How did the blindfolds not fall off in the rapids? Also, are we the only parents whose 4-5 year olds would absolutely defy us and throw their blindfolds in our face? I guess it’s most easily summarized by saying that we tend to be pretty literal, logical people around here and thus, we were too hung up on the details to believe that any of this could actually happen. Perhaps my imagination is simply not wild enough, but beyond the kids falling into the freezing cold rapids I genuinely had no anxiety during Bird Box.
That’s where my new hero and soul sister Marie comes in. The other Netflix show making all kinds of waves this week is Tidying Up. Based on her best selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo works with families that are in need of serious purging. She enters their home, hears what is standing in the way on their path to eternal joy and then walks the couple (and sometimes their kids) through her process for categorizing and sorting items. The theory is simple; if an item doesn’t spark joy, “like holding a puppy does,” then it shouldn’t be in your home. Period.
I am an extremely tidy and neat person by nature, but talk about sending my anxiety through the roof. The gusty winds of Bird Box have nothing on Marie’s obstacles. Dresser drawers that don’t close? Piles of extension cords that are tangled into a ball? Kitchen counters covered in tchotchkes and last week’s casserole? Shoeboxes of receipts and baseball cards? This is the stuff that my nightmares are made of.
Marie opens a door and my chest literally tightens. What will she find in that closet? I might really need to close my eyes because if it’s 78 Hawaiian shirts from 1982 on wire hangers I will lose it. And when she gets to the garage. Holy moly. PAUSE. I am going to need another glass of wine for this.
Maybe it is because I work from home and realized long ago that I, personally, literally cannot think in clutter. Maybe it is because I married someone equally as obsessed with organization (I know, ladies – it’s a unicorn). Maybe it’s because this is just in my DNA and I was born knowing to alphabetize the spices on a rack procured at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Whatever the reason, laundry piles and clutter and dishes in the sink send my anxiety through the roof.
I realize it’s likely that I need therapy more than you do. And that’s okay. But while you’re hiding under your blanket on the couch terrorized by the ominous presence, I’ll do the dishes and re-organize your pantry. And all will be right in the world.