I am a professional shuffler, and no, I do not work as a card dealer at a gambling casino. My shuffling takes place regularly in my own home when I set out to clean my house.
Yesterday, I decided to clean my living room. I stood in the middle of the room and surveyed my surroundings. I looked at the furniture, at the wall hangings, at the many bookshelves in the room and at the items on those shelves. All of these objects needed to be dusted, but before I began the actual dusting process, I decided to do a little shuffling.
First, I shuffled the tall, white silk orchid from where it sat on the bookshelf to the right of the television to a new place on the bookshelf to the left of the television. In order to place the orchid there, I first had to remove the red-berried candle ring that had been sitting in that spot.
I shuffled the red-berried candle ring to the space originally occupied by the tall, white silk orchid, but the candle ring was too short and squat for that space. I set the red-berried candle ring on the arm of my sofa temporarily as I considered other decorating options.
At that point I had not only to find somewhere to set the red-berried candle ring that was now sitting on the arm of my couch but also to fill the space left empty by the newly shuffled white silk orchid. I next shuffled the framed family photo from its place on the fireplace mantle to the empty spot on the bookshelf and knew immediately that it didn’t work. I set the family photo on the other couch arm.
I then took a friendship plaque from a dresser in the guest bedroom and put it in the vacant spot on the bookshelf. The plaque was tall enough for the space but seemed to need something else on the shelf beside it in order to maintain symmetry.
I took from a bedroom drawer a crumbling, clay tyrannosaurus Rex figurine that my son made in third grade. I set the T-Rex on the shelf beside the friendship plaque.
Of course, if I put my son’s T-Rex in such a prominent position, I also had to prominently display the slightly wobbly clay flower pot my daughter made when she was in grade school. I set both artistic creations beside the friendship plaque but decided that the shelf now appeared too cluttered. I put the friendship plaque, the T-rex and the clay flower pot on a couch cushion and stepped back to think.
I recalled that somewhere in the house I had a sweet little wicker basket that might adequately fill the void left on the mantle when I removed the framed family photo from that spot. The little wicker basket did not work on the mantle because its base was too wide and threatened to tip the basket off its precarious perch above the fireplace. I set the wicker basket on the couch with the other items. I now had two empty spaces to fill and six objects to find homes for.
By this time I was due to retrieve my granddaughter from school and start thinking about making dinner. I considered the collection of items spread across my living room couch. The empty spaces on the fireplace mantle and on the shelf to the right of the television still needed to be addressed, but sadly, none of the objects on the couch were exactly right for those spaces.
Since I was nearing a deadline, I gathered from my couch the red-berried candle ring, the framed family photo, the friendship plaque, the T-Rex, the flower pot, and the sweet little wicker basket and carried them to the laundry room to put them on the top of my clothes dryer. My plan was to leave them there only until I decided where to put them permanently. I would deal with the empty spots on the bookshelf and mantle later. The dusting too would have to wait.
When I got to the laundry room with my load, however, I discovered that the space on top of my dryer was already occupied by the artificial Boston fern, the framed photo of my husband and me at the Grand Canyon, the conch shell from Florida, and the Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful cross-stitched sampler that I had stashed there the last time I shuffled.
I am completely over the living room. Tomorrow, I shuffle the kitchen.