The Problem with Closets, or, Bustin’ Loose

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Recently I received a complaint from Mr. Newman Goat. He said I’ve been crabby. He said he’s been finding me sitting around doing nothing, with a grim expression on my face, grumbling phrases like, “what a mess” and “no more storage space” and “it’s gonna take forever”. His analysis is that I’ve been suffering from deep, clinical procrastination, a medical condition not generally experienced by caprines but well known amongst adult humans.

I told him he just didn’t get it. “When is the last time YOU had to clean your closet,” was my not so clever comeback. Goats have at least two distinct advantages over humans. First, they travel light. Second, they don’t seem to have any issues with putting things off. When action is needed, things happen. Obstacles: knock ‘em down. Annoying people: head-butt them. Paperwork: eat it. Afterwards, burp and take a sunbath.

I’ve been thinking about my cluttered closets for at least a year; and if I am to be truthful, it may be closer to 3 years. I won’t admit to more than that. They remind me of my college roommate’s space. She was, quite possibly, the messiest person I’ve ever known. She slept amongst laundry, clothes hangers, books, backpacks, foodstuffs… When she entered her room, she would wave her hands and shout, “back! back!” I thought it was really funny, but I was a very neat person back then and had obviously no sympathy, and it irritated her when I laughed.

That’s the problem with highly efficient people and goats. Total lack of sympathy. They have no idea what it’s like to have to apply your foot to a door that won’t close.

Goats also love to create chaos. Quite possibly it’s because they don’t need to take responsibility for the consequences. Newman has been known to break up a civilized picnic in a matter of minutes, raiding table contents and sending diners shrieking; he has tossed the contents of visitors’ neat city cars, torn down (and eaten) signs, raided the barn loft, the tack room, the feed storage area; he’s made numerous forays into my house, re-sorting my office and living room and ending up hanging out on the sofa (love those soft cushions).

It’s not a secret that many people admire Newman. Despite the bruises he’s inflicted on me, I do too. He’s sort of a role model: he has no self-consciousness or self-doubts. Imagine not having self- doubts. He’s direct. He never lies. And when things need stirring up, by God, he stirs them up.

They say that adults need to have something repeated to them 7 times to learn it. I’ve lost count, but probably it was indeed the seventh (or seven hundredth) time I looked at those closet doors with disgust and dread. And goat-like, I decided to stir things up. I raided those closets. Tossed things right and left, and some stuff even made it into trash bags. I sorted, cleaned, and ended up with unbelievably clean closets and a house full of papers that need sorting (I draw the line at eating them). I busted loose.

Last night I had a conversation with Newman and told him how pleased I was with myself. He looked at me sideways, and just said, “caprine diem, baby, caprine diem” (those Romans were always spelling things wrong). “Now what about the rest of your house?”

Till next time,

Farmer Anne
Star Gazing Farm 501(c)3
A haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats
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