My wife organizes. That’s what she does. I’m pretty sure it’s in her blood. It, most of the time, compliments the disorganized mess that is my own life.
Her organizing is usually useful, mostly helpful, occasionally annoying and once in a blue moon fucking retarded.
As an example, she once cleaned out and reorganized my tool box while I was traveling. She did this despite the fact that she can’t locate the working end of a Philips screwdriver.
This is the story about one reorganization effort even more fucking retarded than that.
I returned from Iraq in 2004 only to learn that my wife and I would be going to Afghanistan a short 12months later for another year-long tour. We lived in Italy at the time and as our deployment date drew closer we began to discuss what we were going to take with us.
Because we were living in Italy, mailing items to ourselves via the Military Postal System was free. So while neither of us shipped boxes of lead to our future home, neither were we mindful of how much the boxes weighed.
Based on my prior deployment I knew there would be ample time for movie watching and that meant we were going to ship a significant portion of our DVD collection ahead of us. As I loaded DVD case after DVD case into a footlocker a look came across Dagmar’s face.
The wheels inside my wife’s head were spinning. All these loose, randomly stacked up DVDs were sending her OCD levels into outer space.
“There has to be a better way” I could almost hear her thinking as I stacked a copy of “Groundhog Day” atop of copy of “Pulp Fiction.”
Clearly, this was anarchy, or at least the first sign of it. Comedies were mixed in with dramas, which were also mixed in with – gasp – TV shows.
It was almost as if the terrorists had already won.
She hatched a plan then and there to fix the chaos that was our DVD collection.
That plan has been a major pain in my ass ever since.
Several hours of intensive Internet searching later she found her solution. Black DVD carrying cases that zip closed. Inside were pages with pockets where DVD jackets slid into the clear plastic-covered side and the actual DVD had a fabric pocket on the other.
She bought seven of them while having some sort of “organizer orgasm,” I think. When they finally arrived she, without anyone holding a gun to her head, spent an entire Saturday organizing them. There was a case for comedy, a case for drama, a case for comedy series, a case for romantic movies and (I’m not kidding) a case titled “Todd’s Mess,” because my collection of “Girls Gone Wild” DVDs didn’t meet her ridiculously high definition of documentaries.
Because she likes the pain I guess, she put all the subcategories into alphabetical order.
There was one flaw in the plan that was apparent to me from the moment I saw the books. They were going to be completely useless when a new DVD came into the house. A new DVD would mean a gargantuan effort to shuffle every movie so that the interloper could be cataloged in the its proper place.
Sure, she’s organized, and a bit anal but I knew the moment I saw the cases they were going to be completely worthless after 10 new DVD purchases. No one is anal enough to keep doing that time after time.
I was, of course, correct and even before we left for Afghanistan we shipped the cases and a collection of five or six new DVDs (in their original cases) ahead of us.
Several years later something else about the DVD cases became apparent — they were extremely easy to forget about and even more so today because of streaming video. We had nearly forgotten they existed until one recent weekend when the Apple TV wasn’t working and my wife was in the mood to watch something. She or I suggested getting the cases out in hopes of finding some long-forgotten gem of theater brilliance hiding inside them.
Now, in her defense, I’d been the only one to open the cases for years and I’m basically a lazy-unorganized bastard. As she will tell you, I make very little effort to ensure I put the movie back into its proper place. Some movies had magically shook loose of their sleeves during numerous moves and the whole thing looked like a library that was organized by drunk meth-addicted chimpanzees.
After several frustrating minutes and some failed attempts to find the DVD associated with the cover label, my wife declared the books to be “fucking useless” and I agreed.
“They’re a pain in the ass to keep straight, you can’t tell half the time if you’re getting the movie or the extras DVDs out,” I helpfully explained.
“That’s because you never put them back the way I told you,” she said with a smugness only an organized person can muster.
Regardless, they were a hopeless mess. So hopeless that I saw that look again, the organizational wheels in her head were shifting into high gear.
After some furious Internet searches she made the announcement. No longer were these particular DVDs sentenced to life inside the black cases. And why did I make her buy them in the first place?
She was going to remove them all and, in a very bold move, put them into DVD cases.
“No Todd,” she explained. “Not exactly like the old ones. The new ones will be the smaller CD cases like we used to keep music in.
I reminded her that the original DVD cases she had thrown away years ago would have come in handy right about now, but she insisted that they wouldn’t work. She needed small, clear cases because all the DVD jackets weren’t going to survive this round of purges. I rolled my eyes, opened a beer and gave up. She again took to furiously searching the Internet for the exact match to the item in her head.
Weeks later the 300 or so clear CD cases arrived and Dagmar commenced to furiously sorting the now-stacked DVDs into separate piles and then gingerly placing each into its new jewel case.
I foolishly considered this to be the end of it, because I hadn’t thought far enough into the organized future to realize those jewel cases would need a new home. Not only had I not considered that, but I had also not considered that the new receptacles for the cases would have to go somewhere. Preferably near the TV, Dagmar said, and yeah we were headed to IKEA because nothing less than a new book shelf was going to accomplish the goal.
Downtrodden and with heavy heart I resigned myself to my fate. IKEA does everything it can to encourage you to walk through the entire store which leads women to purchase far more items than were initially thought needed. Prior to this trip for instance, I had no idea my bathroom needed a complete redesign because the previous renters were colorblind retard monkeys or something. I thought my toothbrush holder and trash can were perfectly functional. I found out they were not.
Regardless, several hours and several hundred dollars later we were home. And thus began the task of IKEA assembly. While I contemplated what the fuck the little guy in the assembly brochure meant with his wordless instructions, I was struck by a simple fact: Here I was, 10 years removed from the time my wife decided she could improve on the worldwide practice of storing DVDs in their original cases, and I was still getting screwed.
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