We attack the boxes.
He starts downstairs, in the kitchen. I am left in the living room. I am tired. I am tired-unpacking.
As you may or may not but are certainly under no obligation to remember, we discussed tired-shopping the other day, ‘zombie-shopping‘, one commenter very charmingly called it.
It’s the process of filling one’s bags with random produce for reasons you cannot quite remember when wandering around the supermarket in a daze, over-tired.
Tired-unpacking is the same except that instead instead of random matter entering your possession in a seemingly incoherent fashion, these things start OFF in your possession then materialise spread around a brand new room, in a seemingly incoherent fashion; randomly.
And so it was that I began organising our bookcases by colour.
It started off as a simple idea.
“I do not know how to organise my books. Hm. This book is red. On the spine, it is red. And THIS spine, It is blue! OMG, categorisation by colour! My GOD, why haven’t we thought of this before it is totally like the best idea that ever was!”
And so, as happy as a zombie with a fresh bucket of brains, I began slowly, carefully, organising our books by shade and hue. I mean, I’d read about people doing this; I’d heard tell, but never thought we would do it. Ever. After all, who has time to reorganise their shelves? And besides, it would be utterly illogical; why WOULD we do it?
This book next to that book, poetry cheek by jowl with travel writing, etiquette rubbing up hard against po-faced textbook. This was exciting! And revolutionary! And new! How incredible an idea!
I started judging books not only by their cover but the shade of their spine.
How brave the interesting bright shades were! How pure the snowy white spines! How kind-of-meh the slightly off-white and ones with big differently-coloured writing that I didn’t quite know what to do with had suddenly become! Oh, when that sweet day comes when I write a book, I was going to ensure that it’s spine is a colour EXACTLY between red and orange. I cared about nothing else.
And soon, any moment, My Beloved was going to come up the stairs, and he was going to see the fact I was arranging the books into colour-coded order.
And he would ask what I was doing, and look it over, rationally. And then, finally, he talk some sense into me, and make me stop it, and make me organise them properly.
Or, at least, that’s what I was hoping.
See, it seemed like such a good idea at first, and because I’m a bloody-minded little sod I carried on doing it, but every book was like a thorn-style nail in the rod for my own back. It looked all right, sure, but it felt So Wrong. I hated it. And loved it. But mainly hated it.
My inner-aesthete and inner-logistician were having a punch up, armed with paintbrushes and sensible shoes.
Because there was Celebrity Feuds (a book I’m not even sure why we own, though it is, for sure, a great colour) cuddling up to The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. There was a useful reference book nestling by a murder mystery. I was actively taking sets of six books by the same writer, and throwing them to the four winds.
‘Winds’ in this example meaning ‘shelves’.
And ‘four’ meaning ‘more than four. Far too many’.
And all of it meaning ‘Wrong’.
What should have taken less than an hour was suddenly taking ages upon ages. what should have order and sense was suddenly chaotic and weird.
But it was all going to be fine.
My Beloved is a sensible man.
He would never stand for this silliness.
He would put his foot down.
He would soon arrive from the kitchen, take me and the books in hand, and though I could put up a little struggle, I would eventually back down, and agree to organise the books in a more dull, boring, lovely alphabetical fashion.
And this way, it wouldn’t be me deciding I was wrong, and certainly not changing my mind, I would simply being wonderful and a good girlfriend, because love is all about compromise, so I would be compromising and conceding and therefore win, morally.
I heard steps on the stairs behind me.
“You’ve done the books.” He said.
He stared, for a moment.
“You’ve organised them in, um, order of colour.” He said.
I waited, expectantly, hopefully, to be told how wrong it was, and how we needed to reorganise immediately.
“Yes?” I said. “That’s what I’ve done, yeah. I’ve organised them in order of colour. I think it looks great. What of it?”
He stared a little more.
He cocked head lovely head to one side.
I steeled myself for a half-arsed argument.
“I agree,” he said.
“It does.” He said
“Let’s do it that way. Yes.” He said.
And that was it.
It seemed that I had been right all along, he thought.
Ladies and gentlemen, that was the wrong answer.
But still, in order of colour they remain.
And as I write, he’s merrily reorganising the books behind me.
Oh it was WRONG, of course.
It turns out they just weren’t colour-ordered enough.