Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Working The List

I'm so in love! The last two evenings have stirred my passion and my love for The Boss like you would not believe. Hang in there with me, this is still a G-rated blog. I AM going somewhere with this one.

Previously, I've mentioned the flurry of home projects and the intense pace we've been keeping with our "To Do" list. Most of the work tackled by The Boss has been painting and trimming out rooms, moving furniture, repairing dressers. You know, the manly arts that require grunting and sweat. I've kept silent, doing my tasks and watching the list whittle down. Knowing that the "BIG ONE" was studiously being avoided. Knowing that he was turning a blind eye to the four large and overflowing file drawers lining the wall in the front living room. Not because he expected me to do it, not because he's too good for that kind of work. Rather, I've watched him circle round it all trying to wrap his brain around the mettle and fortitude the task would require. The task in question: purging our filing system.
Side note here: We had to move the file cabinet out of the former guest room and agreed that, while we were moving it, it would be wise to tackle the mess within its drawers. Mutual agreement, I promise.
In the four years we've lived here, the cabinet has been out of sight from The Boss's daily traffic patterns. I knew when we placed it there that it was risky, but we really saw no other place for it. And it's huge: a four drawer, 1960's era file cabinet that we got for free and painted a nice bright white for the office in our previous home. The huge, open and deep drawers lent themselves to one of two scenarios: a well-organized, room-to-grow filing system OR a well-intentioned beginning system with lots of room to just dump papers in to hide when company was coming. Guess which scenario I found every time I opened the cabinet to find something? Yeah, you got it.

The second or third time I found the toxic dumping ground, I washed my hands of the whole mess and told The Boss that until he was ready to change the current "system" (and believe me, a looser definition of that word cannot possibly exist!), I was not going to keep trying to organize it on my own. I felt that it was a fair declaration, in light of the fact that he uses the "system" way more often than I do, as taxes and mortgage and bill paying usually fall under his domain around here. He agreed - something needed to be done. But while he knew it needed to be done, the fact that it was out of his traffic pattern just allowed him to keep avoiding it.

Until. We. Emptied. The. Room.

One by one the drawers came out. Shaggy and I stared in disbelief. If I recall correctly, we actually just burst out laughing. There was no other recourse. We just laughed. At that point, The Boss and I had already made our big list and he sheepishly admitted that adding a vicious purge of these four drawers to the "To Do" list was in order. That was in early June.

Saturday night, The Boss and I went on a search for lampshades for the girls' rooms and squeezed in a little date while we were at it. Over dinner, I gently reminded him that the filing project was looming. He agreed that he should start it soon. Maybe as soon as we got home from some time at the lake with my folks.

Imagine my great surprise and joy and excitement when he sat down, Sunday night and diligently purged the entire four drawers. In one night. He filled garbage bags with mortgage and tax papers from our very first home - circa 1994. He trashed medical files from college. He ruthlessly destroyed homeschooling records from 1999. He eliminated duplicates and emptied files left and right. It was a glorious sight. I was in ecstasy.

And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, he sat down AGAIN last night. He organized files. He sorted and attacked the FOUR YEARS OF FILING that I didn't even know he'd been squirreling away. The angels were singing. The birds were warbling their glee. I was beside myself.

My love and my joy have bubbled over. We leave for the lake tomorrow and the bulk of this looming monster of paperwork that he has declared his domain has been tamed. It is now a quiet little mini-monster leashed and caged and waiting for our return. I am in love with my husband all over again. My knight in shining armor has conquered his personal dragon of household paperwork.



Classic MaMa said...

I love it! So well written that I admire the guy too. :)

Jonni, John & Sofia said...

What an awesome hubby! I hope you guys have fun at the lake and now you got that mokey off your back.

P.S. I got your post and wow, it really is a small world.


Jonni, John & Sofia said...

oops, sorry I meant monkey, not mokey (lol).

Heidi @ GGIP said...

I need my husband to catch that bug! I bet it does feel good to have that out!