So, when I found Fly Ladies I was overjoyed. Yes! Finally something for us creative, artistic women! (Yes, that's how they sell it... *rolling eyes*) No more shaming and "musts", but advice by people who had been there and done that!
It didn't took long for me to realize that the system was designed for people with a VERY different lifestyle from mine. These people were talking about laced shoes, using bleach every day and cleaning cars, garages and second bathrooms. What? And THE WORK SPACES, STUDIOS, HOBBY ROOMS, SEWING ROOMS ARE NOT EVEN MENTIONED. So - where was all that creativity they had been talking so much of?
I blew my top off, when someone came to the forum very proud of herself, because she and her siblings had force-cleaned their mother's house while she had been in hospital, thrown away all her collections, stolen her hoard and reduced her into a worthless nuisance - and the ladies joined in praise...
To me that is inconsiderate, dictatorial power abuse. Totally unacceptable. EVERY SENSIBLE PERSON KNOWS HOARDING IS LIKE AN ADDICTION, AN ILLNESS AND YOU CANNOT "CURE" IT FOR SOMEONE ELSE, FROM OUTSIDE. Every hoarder must hit the rock bottom and cure themselves from inside, because the hoarding is just a symptom of something that is wrong, broken, twisted in the inside.
(Yes, that's exactly the attitude. Wrinkling their noses and mocking their customers.)
A couple of days ago I happened to see an episode of an USonian tv-show "Clean House New York". (S1:E5; West Village of Vintage) Two obnoxious designers (Nina Ferrer and Michael Moeller) were visiting a multitalented man's tiny apartment in New York. The man, Paul, was a former model - still handsome and very good dresser. And he had clothes... Oh dear. Among other things.
Nina and Michael were constantly whining about "our design". They seemed to have the idea of that they'll get rid of everything - I mean ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, personal treasures, mementos, clothes - that was in the apartment before they came, preferably sell it, so that they got money for "their design". The design didn't seem to have anything to do with Paul, and I would like to know how much his apartment still looks as horrible as it did after Michael and Nina were done with it.
They were fooling around in the apartment, and Nina happened to kick his leg on a table and she got a bruise. And then she said to Paul "we could sue over this..." So - you were just minding your own business totally innocently, and the apartment attacked you? You have no responsibility of protecting yourself against aggressive furniture? Or are you saying that in USA the owner of the apartment is responsible of the well-being of the people in the apartment even when he's not there?
They brought in an appraiser, Elyse Luray, who didn't seem to be able to find anything in the apartment worth anything, except for four things.
- A piece of art Paul had made with note papers that had been on the floor and had been marked by the life of Paul and his dog. Not much worth for anyone but Paul. The "Design" included a large piece of art, but for some weird, inexplicable reason it couldn't be THIS piece of art, but a soulless, stupid and ugly NEW piece.
- An old leather sofa that was said to be from an MTV show. They never contacted MTV to verify this information, so the sofa was sold as an old, worn leather sofa, and obviously didn't bring that much money.
- A coffee table constructed from an old New York manhole cover.
- Paul's beloved Thom Browne jacket. I mean, the guy had a wall full of clothes, a lot of it designer wear, and the jacket is the only thing Elyse wanted, and she was very clearly showing how she did not like it when Paul refused to sell it, with her mouth twisted in disbelief and disgust... So classy.
Later she and Paul went to a second hand store with a pile of Paul's clothes and he was expected to happily sell his things for about 15 dollars a piece, when he had been promised a lot more. They really should have made him choose a manageable wardrobe - he said himself he had enough clothes to keep 10 men well dressed! And then Elyse should have taken the rest of the clothes to a second hand shop ALONE, and let Michael and Nina distract Paul with other stuff, like needing to go through the other stuff while Elyse was gone. And Elyse should really have worked her relations to get the best possible price for the clothes.
These horrible people weren't showing any compassion to the obvious distress Paul was having as he was forced to go through his belongings and give up most of it.When Paul finally snapped after having been pushed too hard, it was called "Paul's flair for the overly dramatic becomes a problem when he lashes out at Nina". NINA being an insensitive bitch is not a problem, it's PAUL and his "flair for the overly dramatic".
(I just love the USonian way of brushing off every unwanted reaction, how ever justified and understandable, as "drama" - with drama :-D. No need to try to understand WHY the person is reacting the way they do, it's not important, they are just being drama queens, trying to get attention, being over-sensitive, and, pish-posh, it's nothing to care about, they are just being big babies. *roll eyes, throw faces, yell, act all offended and cry* But *I* am NOT dramatic!!!! HOW DARE YOU!!!!!)
They were behaving very disrespectfully and mockingly toward Paul. "Oh, no, he sings again!" (roll eyes, facepalm, laugh, make faces...). There was nothing wrong with his singing. There was nothing wrong with his "dramatics". Yes, he was very sensitive, passionate and immediate man, open, sincere, emotional... made me think he must have ADHD. I liked him very much.
And all the time, "our design, our design!" I think that was said at least 5 times during the show. "You must sell more so that WE get money for OUR HOLY AMAZING Design!"
One would have thought that the design had been worth it.
The colors were horrible. Really ugly, strong colors that looked like something found from the bottom of paint jars from the 70's. Strong, screaming orange and green... and the green didn't go with the green in the curtains or the green of the plants, or any other color used in the room. The paintjob was sloppily done. The items were ugly and mismatched. Considering what Paul had hoarded, it didn't seem like his style.
THIS is what I expected to see:
I hate designers like that. "MY taste is better than YOUR taste, because *I* am a DESIGNER!!! and I don't give a crap about you, your wishes and hopes and needs, because I'm The Designer and I Have A Design!!!!" I hate the designers who insist on getting their ideas through and manipulating people to use more money than they actually have and would want to use, because these designers are too stupid to figure out how to get the same look with less money, and too in love with themselves and The Design, to "kill their darlings", and to realize its not THEIR experimental playground, it's the CUSTOMER's home.
(Interestingly enough, neither of these designers appreciate this job enough to showcase it on their homepage... and it was done in national television 2011... I say that's very telling.)
And this morning I was reading "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and about cleaning kitchen... (June 9th)
First she says how grateful she is to her husband who seems to bear the biggest weight of cleaning the kitchen, then she says (freely translated from my Swedish copy)
"The moment of truth is in when [your husband] tries to take up things from garbage: the awful, scratched teflon frying pan, all too well fried, from his college time. Wine making apparatus from a previous life. Or the sandwich grill one can never wash properly because of the dingling electrical cord. Just throw these nostalgic treasures away in secret."
WHAT! So HE is to respect your moldy vintage magazines and other crap you save, but YOU don't need to mind things that are important to him, because that's obviously rubbish. That's how you show your gratitude to him for sharing in household chores? Why, it's YOUR home, YOUR house, YOU are the woman, so YOU decide what stays and what goes, YOU design, YOUR preferences are what matters. Just ignore everyone elses, that makes it so much easier for you to get the home YOU want. It's all about you anyway, you and no-one else. It's YOUR husband, YOUR children, YOUR dog, YOUR kitchen - even when you don't even clean it - YOUR living room, YOUR bedroom, YOUR bathroom, YOURS, YOURS, YOURS!!!