Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Unintended consequences

Some people have made it a goal to be "the good girl" or the "rule follower".  Sadly, that has never been an aspiration of mine.  Mediocrity is just fine with me.  I've found when you perform too well, people start having expectations of you and the bar keeps raising higher and higher.

But I have noticed a strange consequence of living in a motorhome...it is forcing me to be a better person than I ever intended to be.  How is this so?  Well, let me relate a few instances to you to give you an idea of what I'm talking about here.

I've always taken a "live and let live" approach to housework. We had lots of dishes and big countertops that allowed me to ignore them until absolutely necessary.  And we had a dishwasher then!  I hated loaded and unloading the dishwasher...like that was so much work.  But when you live in a small space it's harder to ignore the mess.  So, I've learned it's easier to just do them as soon as the meal is done.  And I mean wash, dry and put away.  All these things done one after the other.  This is just so freaky for me!

I spotted a magazine the other day that proclaimed all the secrets to working in a small kitchen.  I flipped through it and thought..."you have NO idea what a small kitchen really is".  To use my microwave I need to remove the frying pan.  To use the oven I need to remove the Dutch oven, two pans and some cookie sheets.  To use the stovetop I need to remove the countertop!  To do dishes also necessitates removal of the countertop.  Now THAT'S a small kitchen!  But I digress.

Today was laundry day.  Here's another arena where out of sight is out of mind for me...or it was back in the Big House. We had tons of clothes (some of them even fit) so it wasn't necessary to do laundry that often.  And when I did I prefered to let them "linger" a bit in the dryer.  Sometimes in the washer also, to the point an odor developed and they needed to be washed again.

There's generally a laundry area in the RV parks, which I find are much cheaper and cleaner than in the general public.  I've found myself with a "laundry kit" that's ready to go once a week.  I would imagine if I just stuck them in the washer and/or dryer and left them sitting there for a day or two I'd have some angry residents.  So, now I have to do everything in an orderly and timely manner...not normal at all.

 We have room for a tall narrow clothes hamper, about the size of a kitchen trashcan.  When that's full, generally once a week, I strip the sheets, grab all the towels and off I go.  It goes in, it gets put in the dryer (or hung up on the line if I'm so lucky), when it's dry the bed gets made, the towels hung up and clothes put away.  It's really not such a bad job, it's just that I've never done it all in succession before.

Putting things away when I'm done is not a natural state for me.  But with very limited room to live in, I've learned to just suck it up and do it.  It has now become a habit and I don't really think about it much.  I have developed a system of using decorative boxes for storage during projects.  We both have one for holding all our comfort junk. This is so it looks nice, but also for during transit things don't fly around.

I tend to work on a project now until it's finished, or at least have it contained in a small work bin or basket.  It's a far cry from the former huge open studio where things could be spread  out.  Odd thing is, I actually get things done now as opposed to having fifty half started ideas laying around.  Hmm..that's odd.

Being organized and having things ready for meals was never a big priority for me before.  Left Brain was often gone for various periods of time when he drove tour bus and it was easier to eat out or order pizza than to cook.  I wonder if they are still in business?  I hadn't learned to appreciate the fine art (and fun) of cooking at the time. 

Now I always have a list going and if I need to take an inventory of what's on hand, well...that's not a big deal.  I tend to go through the cookbooks (the few that survived) and pick out three or four recipes I want to try.  Then I compile a grocery list for them.  If the recipe is a winner, it gets put into the computer.  Eventually it is my goal to have most, if not all, recipes on the computer to eliminate the storage of books.

The oddest change of all is in my attitude.  I was never what you might call a patient person, some would call me snarky. But I find myself much more patient now and make the effort to be polite and considerate with Left Brain.  Living in close quarters demands a certain level of harmony.

OMG!  Do you suppose those Stepford Wives got that way living in an RV?  Maybe, but it's time for me to put my pearls and heels on now to wax the floor and then I need to find my ruffled apron to fix dinner.

Long Live the Stepford Queen 


  1. Now this explains a lot of NATUREMAN'S behavior after living in such a small place. Thanks for the Enlightenment!

  2. I don't see me living in an RV any time soon, so I guess I'm doomed to living in chaos. I tend to let things go as long as I can because I'm not very good at housework. I am really good at laundry, so I tend to do laundry every chance I get. Actually, I think if I got rid of most of the stuff in my place, it would probably be more fun to do housework. lol. Oh well, where would my dust bunnies live then? You have a wonderful night. Hugs, Edna B.