The Day After The Wedding She Gave Him A Choice -- Neat Or Clean

On one end of the historic household debate is the local Ikea; on the other, the local secondhand store. Ikea preaches the therapeutic doctrine of Scandinavian neat coupled with OCD clean. In scruffy contrast the local secondhand store is where the homemaker can creatively rummage through a clutter of out-of-sync but charming odd pieces. Who’s to say which home will be the warmer and more comforting..?

There are plenty of psychobabble television producers who will tell you clutter is never creative, it’s simply sick. And while some homemakers have gone over the top in their wall-to-wall grab-bag of choices, who’s to decide it’s pathology? My pathology may be your revulsion, but if like Twain, Melville, Hawthorne and Mailer it allows for a great artistic outpouring, well, maybe we need to redefine pathology

I have nothing against Ikea. As a matter of fact its stores are simply reviving an old post-Victorian purge that was seen after World War II when homes started to dump their deep carpets, thick drapery, potted palms and menacing family portraits for sleek cleanable chrome kitchens and formica-top living rooms.

Cycles, my friend, the world operates in endlessly recurring cycles. There is literally nothing new under the sun, because from women’s newest plunging necklines to men’s latest dangling earrings, it ain’t new. It’s simply the current new. After all, how many authentic “news” can there be in a life.

So, as I was saying, the bride gave my friend his choice. Now years later, he can’t exactly remember how he answered. But by now, does it make any difference…?

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