This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!

Go ahead, amuse me Allegra

 

 

 

Today’s guest on Go ahead, amuse me is Allegra Newman and here’s what she had to say about herself:

I juggle way more than is probably good for me. In addition to my “normal” day job at a television network, I have created two books: 365 Things to Write About, which promotes creative writing, or writing just in general, and Things to Bitch About, which promotes venting. 365 Things to Write About has its own blog (website: http://365thingstowriteabout.wordpress.com/) where my writing partner and I post examples of what we’ve written using the book, and then Things to Bitch About has its own Twitter @Thngs2BtchAbout. They both have their own Facebook pages, because like children under 12, they were freaking out about not being one of the cool kids until they were on Facebook. Whatever. If it keeps them from screaming at me, both books can have whatever they want. On top of all that, my 2012 goal is to outdo my boyfriend, who comes up with about a dozen new ideas for things he could be doing with his time other than working on a daily basis. For the past three years, I have given him blank stares every time he asks, “Want to hear my new idea?” because I know this new idea will be exciting for about three days and then it will sink into the landfill of discarded thoughts. This year, I decided to counter him by not only coming up with a new idea for myself but also following through with it. And that’s how I’ve ended up juggling writing, working, promoting books, entering local art shows, and making My Little Pony hoodies for my Brony friends. Yes, that last one is real. I have pictures of a grown man in a purple Twilight Sparkle hoodie to prove it.

Neat Freak vs. Perfectionist: There is a Difference

I would never label myself a “perfectionist,” but there are one or two people in my life who pointedly call me one, as if it is a problem, like being an alcoholic or drug dealer. Come to think of it, in their eyes, being one of those two things might be more redeemable than being someone who seeks perfection in everything they do. Which I don’t. Seriously, I’m not in denial about this. About ten years ago, I realized that my life likes to drive in the opposite direction of perfect. If there is a fairy tale life out there waiting for me, I am about six planets away from it at this point. That being said, if I ever make it to my castle, I’m arriving with a few “quirks,” and one of them is that I like a few, particular things to be cleaned or ordered a certain way. Because my name is Allegra, and I am a neat freak. Okay, so right about now, you might be thinking, isn’t that the same thing as being a perfectionist? Hardly. Perfectionists put a lot of thought into making things flawless and they strive to be Martha Stewart or June Cleaver. I just want to walk into a clean bathroom and kitchen every day. Minimize clutter on the kitchen table. And file my receipts in separate, categorized folders all year long…. But I hardly have the patience to make every single thing I do look “perfect,” as I will outline in these examples of what a perfectionist will try to achieve in her day-to-day activities versus me.

Scenario #1: When preparing dinner, a perfectionist will go to great lengths to make sure the roasted chicken and vegetables which she is preparing mirrors the perfectly basted, golden brown feast featured in the pages of Martha Stewart Living. One unsightly speck of burnt blackness on a vegetable will be promptly discarded in the trash, followed by several deep breaths to dissipate the anxiety of her mistake.

Me: My version of roasted vegetables typically comes out of the oven charred and shriveled, the broccoli is sometimes overcooked because I neglect to turn on a timer, and it all ends up on a dinner plate anyway because I am not about to go through the trouble of cooking another round of food just to make it look magazine pretty. It’s inevitably going to end up mashed together in someone’s stomach. My deep breaths come when unwashed dishes are left on the counter and in the sink by the absent-minded boyfriend. My kitchen, however, has to be spotless immediately before and immediately after I cook. Call me selfish, but I don’t really want to extend open invitations for ants, cockroaches, and mice to live rent-free and dine from our leftovers, which is why I wipe off the counters after I use them. All those little creatures make my skin crawl, and seriously, how difficult is it to put a plate in the dishwasher?

Scenario #2: A perfectionist will go to great lengths to make sure her hair is perfectly groomed, her clothes are ironed, and that she hasn’t worn the same, beautifully coordinated outfit to work in at least four weeks. Hell, she might even have one of those fancy calendars where she plans what she will wear on each day of the month or season.

Me: “Groomed” hair means a hurried wash, followed by an air dry (where the actual air sucks the moisture from my hair – it’s an amazing, time-saving concept which could make someone a fortune if they figure out a way to capitalize on it). Maybe I’ll run a comb through my hair if I remember that I actually own a comb…and a brush, both of which spend most of their time on a shelf in my closet. I really should try to use them more often, but I gave up on the battle with my hair when I finally accepted it is a stubborn mass of waviness and frizz which is going to look however it wants to, regardless of how I would like it to appear (sort of like a teenager – try making one of those perfect, and you’ll find the recipe for disaster). Most days, my unruly mane is sticking out all over the place as I fly out the door in an outfit, which I can only hope I didn’t wear the day before…or the day before that. I can’t remember what I wore to bed, much less what I wore 24-48 hours ago, but as long as I’m not getting strange or concerned looks from my coworkers, then I’m doing okay. I avoid buying clothes that require ironing, and for whatever reason, coordinating my wardrobe when it’s actually on my body doesn’t interest me, but I have dedicated time and careful thought into how my clothes are neatly folded and organized by color, style, and season in the closet and dresser drawers. I wish I could give some witty explanation for this weird contradiction, but all I can say is, welcome to me.

Scenario #3: A perfectionist will go to great lengths to make sure a holiday party that she is planning is perfectly executed with fantastic decorations from Crate and Barrel, a coordinated homemade menu, predetermined music set list, and a detailed itinerary for how the evening will go from the moment her first guest arrives. Any slight derailing of her plans can send her into a tailspin of panic, as it may ruin her guests’ perception of her as an impeccable hostess.

Me: Who cares about decorations as long as you have the three party essentials: booze, chips, and a bowl of guac. If there is enough of that to go around and the house is tidied up for guests, then my party is good to go. The neat freak in me does take a night off every now and then, you know, and alcohol is an amazing remedy for numbing my “clean” gene. Red wine spills on the carpet? Oh well. In the midst of my whiskey happiness, I say throw a wet paper towel on the floor and grab another bottle to fill the empty glass. Once everyone has left, I can wear off my buzz scrubbing out that stain with my magic OxiClean formula…In the end, I like to think of my constant need to establish patterns, clean regularly, and minimize chaos as some underlying aspect of scientific or mathematical genius which has yet to be uncovered in me…kind of like that guy from A Beautiful Mind. Maybe once I start creating secret friends who give me important missions to save the world from nuclear destruction, my criticizers will admire my organizational quirks and revel in my eccentric, clean freak glory.Until then, I’ve got a bathtub to scrub while dinner is burning around the edges.


Allegra Newman
Co-author of 365 Things to Write AboutThings to Bitch About

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go ahead, amuse me is a weekly posting I will be having featuring another funny blogger.  Or maybe not a blogger … you could just be a funny person.  So, if you would like to be featured all you have to do is email me at allfookedup@gmail.com and send me a funny post.  If I AGREE that it’s funny, I’ll simply put up your post with a short intro that you write so that my readers will check out your blog.  Of course, you also need to put up a link to my blog saying that you’re being featured over here.

See? WIN-WIN … hope to hear from you … or not!

 

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3 Comments

  1. Melanie
    May 3, 2012

    Holy heck. This is totally me. People say I’m a perfectionist but my hair is half wet at work right now, and I don’t decorate for parties. I am slightly anal retentive, but I call it “quirky.”

  2. Julie the Wife
    May 4, 2012

    Mmmm. Booze and guac.

  3. TexasTexasTexas
    May 6, 2012

    This is my husband.

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