Allergic to Paper

Allergic to Paper at

When I was a kid, I told people I was allergic to coconut.

I wasn’t.

Don’t worry. I’m appropriately remorseful now.

I just didn’t want to eat coconut and it was a great way to get people to stop pushing their macaroons on me.

Now, I really am allergic to chocolate. Really. It’s an allergy I developed in college, and my mother has the same allergy.

Chocolate legitimately makes me ill. I get “a cold” that turns into bronchitis and is bad enough that I’m totally fine with not eating it because I have no desire to be that miserable.

Maybe it’s because I’m already used to explaining an unusual allergy to random, well-meaning strangers, or maybe it’s the success of the faux coconut allergy from my childhood, but I had a strange and real and almost irrepressible urge to tell someone recently that I am allergic to paper.

I took my mother-in-law to an appointment, and the woman who checked her pacemaker was very kind. She was talkative and energetic and did an excellent job explaining everything about the device and upcoming replacement procedure.

And then, she scheduled our next appointment. Right there in the room. No need to get held up at the reception desk, just get it done right here right now.

I was impressed.

She asked if I wanted a card with the date on it. I laughed and said “No, thank you. I’ll put it in my phone right now.”

I honestly thought I said something about not wanting a piece of paper I’d lose anyway.

Out of an overabundance of thoroughness, she hit some keys on the computer and started talking about how great it is to have things printed out. On paper.

And then she handed me a slip of paper with the dates printed on it. The same dates I’d already put in my unloseable phone. My phone that doesn’t end up crumpled in a ball at the bottom of my purse or flying out the door of the Suburban when I pick up the kids from school on a windy day.

Yes. “I’m sorry! I’m allergic to paper . . . ” truly almost came out of my mouth.

I just don’t know that I could pull it off.


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41(ish) Things – For my 41st Birthday!

I’m 41 today!!!

Who woulda thought that would ever happen?? And why-oh-why does 41 seem significantly older than 40?

I’m having a little fun today for my birthday. I’m sharing 41 things that I think may or may not have something to do with my slob problem. Absolutely nothing scientific here, but they’re just things I wonder as I stumble upon more and more Kindred Spirits on this crazy thing called the Internet. I’m amazed at how many things that don’t seem related to cleaning that so many seem to have in common. If you want to play along, leave a comment sharing the numbers of things that you have in common with me! Or just click away and roll your eyes at how strange I am!

I had this big idea to create a list of 41 things and see which ones others “with my issues” have in common. It was really fun at first and then my mind went blank. But I’m publishing it anyway. (And I’m adding in a few affiliate links.)

1. I have curly hair. (REALLY curly.)

2. I don’t straighten it. I just don’t see the point when I’m perfectly fine with curly hair.

3. I love to travel. LOVE to travel. Like, if I don’t travel for a while my heart starts aching.

4. One of my favorite things about traveling is saying I’ve been there.

5. My love language is Quality Time.

6. I love to read.

7. Even though I write non-fiction, I don’t read it that often.

8. As a child, I firmly believed I’d been born in the wrong time period. I was sure I’d have thrived in the times of hoop skirts and horses.

9. As an adult, I got over that “issue” when I realized I’d have probably been the maid instead of the Lady of the Manor.

10. My immediate thought when I see someone do something “cool” is that I could do it too. I have to consciously remind myself that I am not, in fact, capable of doing backflips. And I never have been.

11. After I finished Kindergarten, I could not understand why it wasn’t possible to immediately begin teaching Kindergarten.

12. My childhood dream was to own a junkyard. (Really . . . )

13. In school, I never completely finished reading an assigned novel. (Until I was the teacher.)

14. I generally allow myself 15 minutes (not including shower) to get ready to leave the house.

15. My husband and I identify couples we’ll get along with by throwing out lines from Seinfeld to see if they know what we’re talking about.

16. I love to read. Oops. I already said that.

17. I find it almost impossible to follow a recipe exactly the way it is written.

18. I see absolutely no point in following a recipe exactly the way it is written.

19. I like peach cobbler, but I don’t eat the peaches. (Much to my husband’s horror.)

20. I get ideas like “I should write a list of 41 things for my 41st birthday,” and then around number 20, I wonder why I thought this was a good idea.

21. I could eat Tex-Mex food for almost every meal. I only don’t because my husband complains when we’ve had it four times in one week.

22. I know how to spell y’all correctly.

23. I can make myself cry.

24. My parents claimed knowing #23 is the reason they never gave into my pleas for a puppy.

25. I think they just didn’t want a dog.

26. I’ve never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, but I think I could be if I wanted to be.

27. One of my favorite unexpected things about blogging has been finding out that people other than my family and friends think I’m funny.

28. I often throw this fact into conversation when my husband doesn’t laugh at my jokes.

29. When I was in college, my mother bought me a package of 200 washcloths for washing my face.

30. I choose to consider #29 a beautiful example of a mother understanding and embracing her daughter’s reality rather than enabling her Slob Issues.

31. One of my biggest pre-parenting fears was that my kids would not have any personality.

32. If you know them, you know this was a pretty ridiculous fear.

33. I can’t think of any more things.

34. I worry that I’ve shared too much and now I won’t have any more fun stories to relate to cleaning.

35. I’m okay with ending a list of 41 things at number 35.

36. #35 probably has something to do (psychologically) with my slob problems.



If you want a birthday post with more introspection and pontification, read this one from last year.

Wait. I think I can do this:

37. Words with four or more syllables make me happy.

38. I thought about finding and linking to posts related to these random things, but I didn’t.

39. I did, however, add my affiliate link to a few of them.

40. I really love that things like adding Amazon affiliate links lets me justify spending full-time hours on this crazy blogging/podcasting/youtubing/e-book-writing thing I do.

41. I love hearing about readers, so tell me a random fact about you!


Excuse Me! I May Not LOOK Organized, but Don’t Go Messin’ With My Systems!


Maybe I Don't Look Organized, but I DO have Systems! at ASlobComesClean.comHubby cleaned the kitchen during our Whole House Overhaul last week.

I knew he did a good job, and admired the uncluttered look of the countertops.

But it wasn’t until Tuesday (four days after he cleaned the kitchen), that I noticed my food processor was missing.



Not in the place where it has been for years!

I didn’t notice until I was opening a can of chickpeas to make hummus for my lunch. I immediately sent him a desperate, stressed out text, and started looking everywhere.

It wasn’t in the cabinet below its HOME, or in any cabinet where it would have made sense to me to find it.

Lucky for him, I thought to look in one last spot before he sent this hilarious reply: “Look on eBay.”


Timing is important in comedy, people.

Sixty seconds earlier, before I’d found the missing appliance, his “joke” wouldn’t have been the least bit funny.

I calmed myself down enough to not be mad, and looked around the kitchen again.

This time, I looked without the desperation I felt earlier when I discovered the food processor had been moved from its designated spot. I had to admit that MAYbe it made sense that a helpful husband wouldn’t realize how passionate I am about things being in the exact place where they should be when that exact place had so quickly been filled with this:

Random Stuff that Fills My Kitchen Counter Without Me Even Noticing

Grocery bags from yesterday’s bread and milk run.

A box of popcorn specially requested by a birthday boy who normally likes mom’s stovetop version but thought his friends would prefer the kind that makes your teeth greasy.

Right. The counter that had been beautifully clear and clean two days ago (thanks to Hubby) had become a resting place for all sorts of randomness.

But still, don’t mess with my systems. I do have them. Really.

A Few Seconds Later at

Aaaaahhhh. So much better. Y’know, after I took the 2.5 seconds required to clear the counter space. One handed. While holding my plate of hummus and naan in the other hand.





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