What Does Your Nightstand Say About You?
My husband and I have matching nightstands - small, brown wooden Ikea tables, each with a small matching lamp. (Very basic; the husband wouldn't go for the pretty, girlie ones). This morning, I looked at what was on and around his nightstand, and compared it with mine.
His: a pink My Little Pony that our daughter left there (its been there for at least a week and is beginning to look like a tchochke my husband put there on purpose). There is also a pair of tweezers (I don't want to talk about it) and ....- and that's it! The nightstands have a cabinet underneath - his is empty. Ok, there is a enormous book on the floor, Paul Scott's the Raj Quartet, and a few science magazines, and a book he just finished on the Rolling Stones on the nightstand too. And a Word Girl early reader paperback. But all of these things are pretty neatly stacked (except for the Raj Quartet behemoth sitting on the floor ).
Mine: earplugs, dry-eye nighttime cream, (God, do I sound like a middle-aged woman or what!?) foot cream, a picture frame (knocked flat and lying forlornly, face up) of a drawing my daughter made of herself a year ago that I love. A book I read two months ago (A Three Dog Life) and a recent edition of a literary journal that published some of my poems, various catalogs, the Sunday Book Review section from the Times from three weeks ago, dirty socks, a fridge magnet and a spin top (left behind, courtesy of the kid), various books on improving your life, on writing, various collections of poetry, a local weekly newspaper, etc., etc., etc...I am afraid to look inside the cabinet inside the nightstand.
I have an inner slob and it is coming out on my side of the bed.
Yeah, I will tell anyone who will listen how I am trying to keep things neat and clean at home, but clearly, if you look at my nightstand you'll find that I am very messy. I guess you'll also know that I am a married writer, intellectually engaged, adore my daughter, and much of my life, but messy. And maybe not as grounded as I would like to be.
I once did an article for a lifestyle magazine I was editing about clearing clutter in which I - gulp - actually let a personal organizer into my home. She told me outright that I needed to have a rule about the nightstand - three books only. I thought she was crazy and narrowed it down to maybe eight. That lasted for about a week.Continued on the next page