"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Not exactly swine flu, but...

Gullible is hesitant to announce that she currently is suffering from the return of an affliction little known and commonly misunderstood in this country.

Known only by its common appellation of “Nesting Syndrome,” this affliction has nothing at all to do with reproduction of the species, the most common misunderstanding inferred from its name.

Rather, it is manifested in the sufferer’s inability to control a compulsion to clean house from top to bottom (dust settles), reorganize all cupboards and closets and drawers (and never find the contents again after they’ve been moved to a different location than the one they occupied for ten years), and throw out good stuff because the victim is tired of looking at it (only to spend long hours searching for it months later because the sufferer KNOWS it was there). Cleaning of freezers and refrigerators is a common compulsion.

In the least severe cases, the sufferer attacks one room at a time, yielding to the compulsions in an organized manner. The attack appears to subside at the same time every room in the house has been thoroughly cleaned and rearranged.

In severe, recurring attacks the sufferer exhibits bizarre behavior demonstrated by an inability to organize tasks. Thus, cleaning and organizing is a scattershot affair involving frequent breaks to play Spider Solitaire and to fool with online blogs.

Recurrences of Nesting Syndrome frequently are incited by prolonged absences from the home, although a day’s shopping trip also has been known to trigger an attack, especially for sufferers in whom organization is an obsession, yet little accomplished state. Such day attacks can be exacerbated by a spouse who sullenly claims that putting away all the groceries and supplies can wait until after the sufferer prepares a suitable meal, even though the spouse remains sitting on his butt throughout the entire meal preparation and subsequent clean-up process. Further harm will result if the sufferer then has to put away all the groceries and supplies before retiring for the night, without waking the sleeping spouse who is snoring merrily away, guaranteeing that the sufferer will not be able to sleep.

It is at these times the sufferer is most likely to encounter another symptom of the Syndrome: homicidal thoughts. A wise spouse would tread lightly, or sleep with one eye open. This side effect could be avoided with the simple suggestion by the spouse to have dinner in town or on the way home, thereby freeing the sufferer from those home chores and leaving her happily putting away all the groceries and supplies while at the same time the spouse is ensured a good night’s sleep.

In cases where no spouse is in the home, the sufferer is free to give in to the cleaning and reorganizing compulsions until the attack passes. While this phase involves no homicidal thoughts, it can result in piles of things in each room of the house that need sorting and reorganizing, thereby increasing the duration and severity of the attack.

NOTE: There are no known pharmaceutical therapies known to exist for Nesting Syndrome. Alcoholic beverages are not recommended.

Recommended treatments:

1. Complete bed rest until the symptoms subside, which is of little palliative value as the very nature of Nesting Syndrome precludes any such thing.

2. Taking another trip away from home, which only serves to increase the severity of the next attack, and prolong the inevitable.

3. Going with the flow. Which is where I am now. Kitchen cupboards half done, side by side refrigerator and freezer done.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh! I sure wish I would suffer from that disease at least occasionally. Anything that has to do with housework and takes longer than five minutes to do, doesn't get done on my watch.

    Thank God, Lon does suffer the ailments you've described. While I was working out all morning, doing yoga, running, lifting weights, using the elliptical trainer and finally spending a few minutes in the steam sauna and then the shower, Lon cleaned the house.

    Am I spoiled rotten or what!! I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

    I'm glad you're not sick. You're post title scared me; it's a great hook!