I'm hesitant to admit that my new nickname was only Step One of the twelve steps in MA (Messaholics Anonymous, who are actually more anonymous than AA or NA, since we don't actually have meetings). This is when I admitted I had a problem. Soon after, the next 11 steps were to follow.
Step Two - Believe that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity.
My sister: (walking into my apartment and looking around): You look like a junkie.
Me: I need to clean. I know.
My sister: Like a complete crackhead.
Me: There is shit everywhere, yes. It's not my fault. It's the dog's. She's been---
My sister: Like you've been running a meth lab from inside your living room for months.
Me: IT'S MESSY. I GET IT. YOU DON'T NEED TO GO ON.
My sister: Why don't you clean up?
Me: Clean? That's what maids are for.
My sister: You don't have a maid.
A maid can restore me to sanity.
Step Three - Make a decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of a greater power.
Maid, in exchange for your power, I give you my will, my life, and my plunger.
Step Four - Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself.
Wait, where is the maid? There is no maid. This can only mean one thing...
I Am Maid.
Step Five - Admit to a higher power, to yourself, and to another human being the exact nature of your wrongs.
Me: (in a text message to a friend) I can't come out with you guys tonight. I've lost my keys.
Friend: Then we'll come pick you up.
Me: Okay! But I have to ask you one thing...when you get here, DO NOT COME TO THE FRONT DOOR PLEASE. STAY IN THE CAR. JUST TEXT ME WHEN YOU'RE OUTSIDE.
Friend: (later that night) So why...exactly...weren't we allowed...to come to your door...
Me: I KNEW THIS WOULD COME UP.
Friend: I mean, you don't have to say if you don't---
Me: There is shit everywhere.
Friend: That's it? That's nothing! My room has trash everywhere, too, like bottles and---
Me: No. I mean there is shit everywhere. Shit. From a dog. Dog shit.
Me: I found a stray puppy that I'm taking care of until I find it a home, and it has shit everywhere in my living room, but I work everyday during the day, so the only time I have to clean it is at night, but there are no lights in my living room, so by the time I get home, it's too dark to even see anything.
Friend: Well. Your text makes a lot more sense now.
Step Six - Become entirely ready to remove all these defects of character.
My dad: (on the phone) Have you found your keys yet?
Me: NO. IT'S BEEN OVER A WEEK.
My dad: Have you looked for them?
Me: Yes! I've looked everywhere. Except like, the oven.
My dad: They're probably not in the oven.
Me: They could be in the oven. (checks oven) They're not in the oven.
My dad: So you're sure they're in the apartment, and you've checked everywhere, and they still haven't turned up. How is that possible...this is such a mystery.
Me: Well I mean, my apartment is pretty messy...
My dad: How messy?
Me: Really messy...
My dad: Then you need to clean first and look for your keys again.
Me: Yeah...I do need to clean...okay. I'll do it tonight. I'm ready.
Step Seven - Remove your shortcomings.
Things Removed from My Carpet While Cleaning
- shattered light bulb
- thumb tacks
- dog shit
- Taco Bell sauce packets
- piece of stale bread
- piece of moldy bread
-piece of stale, moldy bread
- feathers of no known origin
- bald trolls & their toupées (pictured below)
Unfortunately, Locks of Love does not cater to trolls. However, Locks of Your Parents Stuffed Your Fondest Childhood Memories into Cardboard Boxes and Carelessly Threw Them in the Attic When You Went to College does. #trollpatternbaldness
Step Eight - Make a list of all the persons you have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.
1. The Big Toe on My Right Foot that stepped on a shard of glass
2. The Pinkie Toe on My Left Foot that stepped on a thumb tack
3. All Toes on Both My Feet that stepped in dog shit
4. My Roommate who stepped in dog piss
5. My Cat who wants to kill me now
6. My Landlord who better not make a surprise visit anytime soon
7. My Neighbors who live next to a hoarder
8. My Sister who is related to a hoarder
9. My Parents who unintentionally raised a hoarder
10. My Toilet for serving very little purpose despite its potential
Step Nine - Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Dear Everyone on My List,
I will clean my apartment tonight, from every tack to every turd. In lieu of a gas chamber, my apartment will become a Febreze chamber, and you will smell nothing but the mere memory of an outhouse and the bowel movements of its past. The living room will no longer remind you of an unflushed toilet brought to you by a family of five, but will instead remind you of a Hawaiian breeze brought to you by SC Johnson: A Family Company.
Trust me on this. No turd will be left unturned.
Natasha, your Messiah with a Mop
Step Ten - Continue to take personal inventory and when you are wrong, promptly admit it.
When sprinkling my newly vacuumed carpet rug with Glade carpet & room odor eliminator, I strayed from my cleaning duties and used the powdered cleaning product for reasons it did not state on the back of its container. As in, I used it to pose one of my troll dolls as if it was snorting lines of cocaine and then photographed it to put on Instagram.
#drugsnotrugs #trollsoncoke #trollblow #rememberthe80s #ihadtoborrowthat20totakethispicture
Inner Maid, please grant me the knowledge of catching fruit flies and give me the power to resist leaving open beer bottles by the side of my bed. Bestow me with the will to finish my beer before setting it down in order to avoid future fruit fly infestations. Convince me that genocide can be a fun thing if strictly dealing with insects, and to not be disgusted when my cat eats them, but to instead suggest he accompany his meal with some fava beans and a nice chianti.
Step Twelve - Have a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, try to carry these messages to other messaholics, and practice these principles in all your affairs.
Tomorrow I will be awakened not by a cool, sudden sensation of a dog pissing on the foot of my bed, but by the new feeling of spirituality and what it's like to wake up to dry feet.
Fellow messaholics, remember these steps and take them with you on your journey to find your inner Maid. I was once a lazy, disgusting, filthy slob just like you, but even I was able to overcome my bad habits and become feces-free.
I will continue to remain clean, even if it means dedicating a few minutes a day to picking up trash around my apartment. Sometimes, I will even find the will to put this trash in a trash bag after I have picked it up.
Farewell, Ol' Poopy Shoe Ferrier.
I'll see you in a couple of weeks.