My friend Mary recently linked to this article on Facebook about Chaos Muppets and Order Muppets. I found it to be a very interesting article – I love muppets and ways of categorizing people – and thought initially that I must be the order muppet while Will is the chaos muppet. After all, I keep track of the bills, appointments, deadlines to various things, and I usually know what day it is (both day of the week and date, something Will finds to be a challenge). I also know where everything is unless I happen to need my car keys or my sunglasses – those two items constantly elude me.
Then I went outside to water the plants. In the process of watering the plants I broke the hose we were using because unlike Will I just fold the hose in half to take the attachments off instead of turning off the water, messing with attachments, then turning the water back on. Well, if you fold a soaker hose in half in the same place over and over again, it just rips in two. I know. It happened to me. I was also soaking wet at this point from the soaker hose, the attachments, and various mishaps in handling the sprayer attachment.
Will takes the hose, fixes it so that the attachment can be attached, finishes watering things in a very orderly manner and somehow manages to stay completely dry throughout the entire process. It was like some weird sort of magic or possibly deflector shields (I am betting on deflector shields).
It was then that I realized – I am the Chaos Muppet.
A flood of memories from our marriage then consumed me. When we were 22, just married and living in the trailer Will could never find the dishes because I put them away randomly, wherever there was space. I always remembered where I put them so it didn’t bother me, but Will never had a clue where anything was. The very next place we lived in he labeled all of the shelves in the kitchen (why oh why did I let him get a label maker?!) so that I would put things away in the same place over and over again. I still find having to put dishes away i the same over and over again a bit restrictive and confining.
On occasion, sleeping is boring, so I will sleep upside down on the bed. Changes the perspective of the room and is slightly disorienting when you wake up, something I enjoy. Will does not enjoy this. I often wonder if he has wall to wall crap in the house simply because otherwise I would re-organize the furniture every month.
There was the time when I was still petrified of spiders where I tried to kill one using a lighter plus a can of hairspray (which Will managed without incident all of the time) and managed to burn over half of a blanket instead while the spider seemed just fine until flaming blanket fell on it. The chaos part of this is that I let the blanket burn until the spider was dead. Then I dealt with the fire part of things.
Blanket fringe is apparently very flammable, you’ve been warned. In my defense, it was one of those jumping spiders and when I moved it tracked me, on its back four legs, the front four being raised in scary Attack Jay’s Face position. That spider was the aggressor and needed to be destroyed.
That said, I do keep our DVD’s in alphabetical order and I keep our mass market paperbacks in alphabetical order by author’s last name, but we have so many of those things that this is really specialized laziness. I do not want to take five years finding that one book in a sea of a thousand books. The other books are shelved seemingly randomly, but in actuality they are shelved according to size. Will this book fit on this shelf? Yes? Hooray! No? Find a bigger shelf! Will has complained about this method of shelving to me, but without building me new shelves where all books fit and can be placed alphabetically, there is no hope for it.
Will is also really good about going along with my various whims. We’re vegan! We’re doing Weight Watchers! We’re counting calories! I am going to run a 5K – hooray for couch to 5K! I am going to walk every day!
Crossfit has been one that actually stuck longer than my usually 7-8 month window of interest. Probably because every day there is something different to do and that appeals to my chaos muppet brain.
When I told Will of the theory of chaos muppet and order muppet, he already knew which muppets were which and he also knew that he was the Order Muppet. He actually laughed when I said that I initially thought I was the Order Muppet and said, “Oh, honey. No.”
I’d take offense, but yesterday when I went to water the plants he told me that the new nozzle he put on “sprays back a bit” which I took to mean was slightly leaky. I came in drenched, water dripping off my nose and hair and said that I needed a bit more explanation than “sprays back a bit” should such a situation arise in the future. Order Muppets know this means “don’t use that nozzle” whereas Chaos Muppets think, “hey, how bad could it really be?”