Thursday, May 28, 2009

Org Porn

Well, I have never heard it put like this but I think there may be something to it.

In my morning perusal of the news I came upon a small article entitled "Are Women Addicted to 'Org Porn'?". Now first of all it was early and I had to scratch my head and ask, "what the heck is Org Porn?" OK, so don't go Googling "org porn" like I did because believe me you won't find a definition popping up on your screen. You will get other things popping up on your screen but not a definition of org porn. I think that one of the co-authors of the article said it best:
"Org porn is that glossy, airbrushed fantasy world where everything is pristine, serene and perfectly in order, sort of Playboy, but with chore charts and name-plated cubbyholes. It's everywhere you look these days: in magazines, coffee-table books, advertisements and TV shows. And when consumed in excess, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy, binge spending on organizational products, and even marital discord."
I do believe that they are on to something here, I really do. Who of us has not picked up one of those glossy magazines and been hooked. Don't try to tell me that you read Martha Stewart Living just for the articles! You know you are looking at the pictures too.

I know that I am predisposed to being addicted to "org porn" probably because I already have an organizational bent to me. I just see those magazines with those cool pictures of how I can be even more organized than I already am (and I am very organized), where I can rearrange my office or my sewing space or my scrapbooking space with stylishness and efficiency and I just want to jump up and do it. Even worse for me is the articles on the perfect landscaping or garden. I just want to get out there and rearrange all the plants into a pleasing display. Where everything is perfect and there are no weeds. And have you noticed that there are never any weeds.

I really blame Martha Stewart with all of this you know. She is sort of the Hugh Hefner of org porn, only without all the ewwww factor and the young playthings. And she is definitely better looking. But when she published that first book, Entertaining, she started something. Who wouldn't want to have the perfect touch with entertaining and decorating and gardening? All these things she seemed to do effortlessly and she said that we could too and we bought it hook, line and sinker. We were never told that she had "people". That she had minions to do her bidding and weed her garden and make the food whose glossy, appetizing pictures were displayed with the understanding that you too could produce that standing rib roast without any difficulty. Yeah right.

We have been told, as women, that we can have it all. We have been told that we can work full time, have a family at home, have a successful marriage, have loving and supportive friends. We can do all these things well. And that we should be able to do ALL of these things and be totally organized too if we just give it a little effort, if we are just a little more organized. So we strive and strive and strive and that "carrot" of total organization is always just out of reach.

Org porn is everywhere a woman might look. Go to the grocery store and get in line to pay for something and there is Martha Stewart Living magazine or Real Simple magazine or any number of other publications in the same vein. All waiting for you to pick them up and read them and be inspired to be organized in all aspects of your life. To go out and buy those items that are listed and put them in your home and all will be solved, you will be able to find those car keys and your kids rain boots and mittens without difficulty every time you look. And if you aren't organized, if your laundry room is hip deep in piles of unfolded clothes, if your sink is brimming with dishes from last night and you haven't run the dishwasher, if your house isn't picked up and organized with everything in it's own little cubby hole then what is wrong with you! Martha can do it why can't you.

I will tell you why we can't do it! Because we watch our pennies and can't go out and buy the special items. Because we come home from working and we are TIRED and the last thing that we want to do is make a gourmet meal, we just have time to get the dinner on the table before the kids start eating the furniture. Because we have more than one child (Martha only had one daughter) and they all need our attention RIGHT NOW! Because we would rather go and read our kids a book after dinner or play a game with them than organize something. BECAUSE WE HAVE A LIFE.

So, keep reading those articles and looking at the pictures but remember that it is ALL FANTASY, just like those pictures in Playboy. I bet they airbrush the weeds out of the garden shots! Your house can't look like that, can't be that organized, can't stay that perfect. There will be spills and messes and piles of things laying around for days or weeks at a time and it is OK. Now go and read a book or play with your kids and leave the organizing for another day. Believe me, it will still be there.


  1. From whence . . . pray tell . . . did you inherit your "organizational bent."

  2. Amen! Sing it sister. I realize that my house will never be as put together as my Mom's. But then, her house was never that put together when she had 4 kids at home. Sure, I only have 2, but the messes are measured by size, but just be being there. So I have stopped trying to be a perfect house keeper. I try to enjoy life more than cleaning. Why clean when you can knit!!!

  3. @ Donald - yes, I WONDER where the organizational overload was inherited from (cough, cough)

    @ Chrisknits - "why clean when you can knit" is my philosophy as well.


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