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一个邋遢鬼的婚姻整理术

更新时间:2017-12-30 8:31:45 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Making a Marriage Magically Tidy
一个邋遢鬼的婚姻整理术

I have the reputation of living what Marie Kondo might call a magically tidy life. My tights are rolled like sushi, my tabletops are bare and my kitchen is so clean I could perform surgery in it.

我以过着一种可能会被近藤麻理惠(Marie Kondo)称作魔法般齐整的生活著称。我把紧身衣裤卷成寿司模样,我的桌面空空荡荡,我的厨房也干净得可以在里面做手术。

I wasn’t always this way. When I was 23, I left my New York City apartment with a panty liner stuck to my back.

但我并非向来如此。23岁时,我曾带着一片粘在了后背上的护垫走出了我在纽约的公寓。

Yes, it was used. Yes, earlier that day, I had taken it off and tossed it onto my bed like a bear throws salmon bones onto a rock. Once it was there, I guess I forgot about it. It was probably camouflaged. I promise you there was other stuff on the bed. My bed used to look like a landfill.

是的,用过的护垫。是的,在那天早些时候,我把它取下来之后就扔到了我的床上,就像一头熊把三文鱼的骨头扔到石头上一样。扔上去之后,我想我就把这事忘了。或许它是有伪装色吧。我敢保证床上还有些其他东西。我的床一度看上去像个垃圾填埋场。

Maybe I threw my coat over it and it stuck. And then I put my coat back on and rode a bus 30 blocks with a panty liner between my shoulder blades. Nobody said a word. I didn’t know it was there until my date gave me a hug and then peeled it off like he was at a burlesque show in hell.

或许护垫是在我把大衣扔过去的时候粘上的。然后我又穿上大衣,两个肩胛骨之间带着一片护垫坐上了公交走了30个街区。没有人说一个字。我不知道它粘在那儿,直到我的约会对象在给了我一个拥抱之后将它扯了下来,仿佛他正在地狱里的一场滑稽戏表演中。

This was not the man I married.

这不是和我结婚那个男人。

The man I married walked into my apartment and found Pop-Tart crusts on my couch. I can still see his face, bewildered and big-eyed, pointing at the crusts as if to ask, “Do you see them, too?”

和我结婚的那个男人走进我的公寓时,在我的沙发上发现了一块果酱圆饼碎屑。我至今还记得那张面对碎屑困惑地睁大了眼睛的脸,好像在问,“你也看见了的,是吧?”

I shrugged.

我耸了耸肩。

He sat on the sofa. It is my husband’s nature to accept me the way I am.

他在沙发上坐下了。接受我本来的样子,是我丈夫的天性。

It is my nature to leave every cabinet and drawer open like a burglar. My superpower is balancing the most stuff on a bathroom sink. If I had my druthers, I would let cat puke dry on a carpet so it’s easier to scrape up. If druthers were things, and I had a coupon for druthers, I would stockpile them like Jell-O because you never know when you might need some druthers.

而我的天性是像强盗一样,开着每个橱柜和抽屉不关上。我的超能力是在卫生间的水池上使尽可能多的东西保持平衡。如果我有机会选择,我会选择让猫的呕吐物在地毯上风干,这样更易于把它们铲起来。如果这些选择的机会是实际存在的东西,并且我有购买机会的优惠券,那我就会像屯果冻一样屯好多,因为你不会知道自己什么时候会用得上它们。

But it is one thing to accept a slob for who she is; it is another to live with her.

但是,接受一个姑娘的邋遢是一回事,要和她同居又是另一回事了。

A year into our marriage, my husband said: “Would you mind keeping the dining room table clean? It’s the first thing I see when I come home.”

结婚一年后,我的丈夫说:“你介意把餐厅桌子保持干净吗?这是我回到家看到的第一个东西。”

What I heard was, “I want a divorce.” What I said was, “Do you want a divorce?”

我听到的是,“我想离婚。”我说的是,“你想离婚吗?”

“No,” he said. “I just want a clean table.”

“不是,”他说。“我只是想要一张干净的桌子。”

I called my mother.

我打给了我的妈妈。

She asked, “What’s on the table?”

她问,“桌子上有什么?”

“Oh, everything. Whatever comes off my body when I come home. Shopping bags, food, coffee cups, mail. My coat.”

“哦,什么都有。我回到家要从身上取下的所有东西。购物袋、食物、咖啡杯、信件。我的大衣。”

“Your coat?”

“你的大衣?”

“So I don’t hang my coat in the closet — that makes me a terrible person? He knew who he was marrying. Why do I have to change?”

“我不就是没把大衣挂在衣柜吗——这就让我成了一个糟糕的人?他知道自己是和谁结的婚。我为什么要改?”

She said: “Helen Michelle, for heaven’s sake, this is a problem that can be easily solved. Do you know what other married women deal with? Drunks, cheaters, poverty, men married to their Atari.”

她说:“海伦·米歇尔,看在上帝的份上,这是一个非常容易解决的问题。你知道别的夫妻都在解决什么问题吗?酗酒、出轨、贫穷,还有那些和雅达利(Atari)游戏机结婚的男人。”

“Mama, there’s no such thing as Atari anymore.”

“妈妈,现在都没有雅达利这个东西了。”

“Helen Michelle, some women would be beaten with a bag of oranges for sass talk like that. You married a saint. Clean the damned table.”

“海伦·米歇尔,有些女人要是像你这样出言不逊的话是会被用一袋橘子打的。你是嫁给了一位圣人。把那该死的桌子清干净。”

And so, to save my marriage, I taught myself to clean.

于是,为了挽救我的婚姻,我让自己学会了如何搞卫生。

Not knowing where to start, I knelt before the TV at the Church of Joan Crawford, who said, as Mildred Pierce, “Never leave one room without something for another.”

不知从何下手的我在电视机前的琼·克劳馥(Joan Crawford)教堂跪下,她扮演的米尔德丽德·皮尔斯(Mildred Pierce)说,“离开一个房间去另一个时总要带点什么。”

Yes, I’ll admit she had a temper, but she knew how to clean.

好吧,我承认她是有点儿脾气,但她知道怎么打扫卫生。

You scrub a floor on your hands and knees. You shake a can of Comet like a piggy bank. You hang your clothes in your closet a finger’s width apart. And, no, you do not have wire hangers. Ever.

地板要跪在地上擦;洗涤灵要像小猪存钱罐那样摇;衣柜里的衣服间隔一指的宽度来挂;还有,不,你绝对不能用铁丝衣架,永远不能。

I have wooden hangers from the Container Store. They’re walnut and cost $7.99 for a pack of six. I bought them online because stepping into the Container Store, for me, is like stepping into a crack den. You’re an addict trying to organize your crack, and they’re selling you pretty boxes to put your crack in.

我上Container Store买了木质衣架。核桃木的,7.99美元一套6个。我是在网上买的,因为要走进一家Container Store对我来说就像走进了吸毒屋。你是一个对整理毒品上瘾的人,而他们正卖给你可以放可卡因的漂亮盒子。

Pretty boxes are crack, so now you have more crack. But wooden hangers are O.K. They’re like mimosas. Nobody’s going to OD on mimosas. Wooden hangers give you a boost of confidence. They make you feel rich and thin. They make a plain white shirt sexy. You promise yourself you’ll fill one closet, then you’ll quit.

漂亮的盒子就是毒品,这样你现在就有更多的毒品了。但木质衣架还行。它们就和含羞草一样,没有人会吸食羞草过量。木质衣架能让你的自信大涨,能让你觉得自己有钱又苗条,能让一件普通的白衬衣显得性感。你答应自己,装满一个衣柜你就戒掉它。

But I didn’t quit. To keep my buzz going, I asked my husband if I could clean his closet.

但我没有戒掉。为了让自己保持兴奋,我问丈夫我是否能清理他的衣柜。

He asked, “What does that mean?”

他问,“这是什么意思?”

I said: “Switch out your plastic hangers for wooden ones. What do you think I mean?”

我说:“把你的塑料衣架换成木头的。还能什么意思?”

“I don’t know, something new for Saturday night?” He did the air quotes: “Clean my closet.”

“我不知道,给星期六的晚上找点新的事情做?”他在空中比了个引号:“清理我的衣柜。”

My new ways were so new he assumed I was making sexual advances. It’s understandable. So much dirty talk sounds hygienic: salad spinning and putting a tea bag on a saucer. It’s like Martha Stewart wrote Urban Dictionary.

我的新办法太新了,以至于他还以为我是在给他性暗示。可以理解。那么多的下流情话听起来都很卫生:给沙拉菜脱水,把茶包放在茶托上。在线词典Urban Dictionary简直就是玛莎·斯图尔特(Martha Stewart)写的。

My husband opened his closet and stepped aside. The man trusts me. I rehung his closet with military precision.

我的丈夫打开了他的衣柜,站到了一旁。这个男人是相信我的。我以军人般的精准帮他重新挂好了他的衣柜。

He said, “I never knew it could be this good.”

他说,“我从来都不知道这样可以这么棒。”

We kissed. And then I relapsed.

我们接吻。接着我又故态萌发了。

I don’t know how it happened. Maybe it was leaving the Dutch oven to soak overnight. Maybe it was tepeeing books on my desk like a bonfire. Maybe it was shucking my panties off like shoes. And then my coat fell off the dining room table. And I left it there because the cats were using it as a bed. There it stayed along with laundry, newspapers, restaurant leftovers (that never made it to the fridge) and Zappos returns.

我不知道这是如何发生的。或许是因为我把荷兰烤箱浸泡了一晚,或许是我书桌上摞成了帐篷似的书像一簇篝火,也或许是像脱鞋一样脱内裤的缘故。我的大衣又落回了餐桌上。我就把它这么放着了,因为我的猫把它当成了床。大衣就在那儿,和要洗的衣服、报纸、(没能抵达冰箱的)餐馆剩菜和要退回给网上商店Zappos的物品放在一起。

My husband played hopscotch, never uttering a word of contempt, seemingly O.K. to coast on the memory of a pristine home as if it had been a once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list thrill like white-water rafting or winning a Pulitzer. Sure, he could have put things away, but every closet except for his was bulging and breathing like portholes to other dimensions.

我丈夫像玩跳房子游戏一样在房间里走动,从来没说过一句轻蔑的话,像是把干净的家的记忆当成了一个令人狂喜的千载难逢的遗愿实现时刻,类似于白水漂流或者获得普利策奖。当然,他本可以把东西放好,只不过除了他自己的衣柜,其他柜子都鼓了起来,喘着气,像轮船的舷窗。

I scared myself straight by binge-watching “Hoarders.” What do you mean that woman couldn’t claw her way through her grocery bag “collection” to give her husband CPR?

我在追看《囤积狂》(Hoarders)时把自己吓坏了。那个女人无法从自己的购物袋“收藏”中爬过去,给丈夫做心肺复苏——这是什么意思啊?

That was not going to happen to me. So I gave books I had read to libraries. Clothes I hadn’t worn in a year went to secondhand stores. I gave away the microwave because I can melt Velveeta on a stove.

这种事不会发生在我身上。所以,我把读过的书捐给了图书馆;把一年没穿的衣服送到了二手店;我把微波炉也送人了,因为我能在炉子上融化Velveeta牌奶酪。

And then came Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Or as I like to call it, “Surprise, You’re Still a Hoarder!”

然后,近藤麻理惠的《怦然心动的人生整理魔法》(The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up)出版了。我喜欢把它称为:《没想到吧?你依然是一个囤积狂!》

Her big question is, Does it spark joy?

她最重要的问题是,它会让你开心吗?

I took a harder look around my home and answered. Boxes of novel manuscripts that were never published did not spark joy. Designer shoes I bought at sample sales but never wore because they pinched my feet did not spark joy. My husband confessed that his inheritance of Greek doilies and paintings of fishing boats from his grandmother did not spark joy. So out it all went.

我更仔细地环顾着我的家,开始回答。那些从未发表的小说手稿箱不会让我开心。我在样品特卖时买的、但因为夹脚没穿过的设计师潮鞋不会。我的丈夫承认,他从祖母那里继承来的希腊装饰衬垫和渔船油画并不让他开心。所以,它们都被清理出去了。

And what is left is us. And my husband is happier. I’m happier, too. Turns out I like a tidy house. And I like cleaning.

留下的是我们。我丈夫更高兴了,我也更高兴了;原来我喜欢整洁的家,而且我喜欢打扫。

Dusting is meditative. Boiling the fridge relieves PMS. Making the bed is my cardio, because to make a bed properly, you have to circle it like a shark. And all the while, I listen to audiobooks I would be too embarrassed to be caught reading. Not in the mood to clean a toilet? Listen to “Naked Came the Stranger” and see if that doesn’t pass the time.

除尘就像冥想。清洗冰箱能缓解经前综合症。铺床是我的有氧运动,因为要想把床铺好,你就得像条鲨鱼一样围着床转。而且我一边打扫,一边听那些我不好意思让人发现我在读的有声书。没心情打扫厕所?那就听一听《裸体陌生人来了》(Naked Came the Stranger),看看它能否打发时间。

The downside is that my husband has created a monster. I burn through paper towels like an arsonist. My vacuum has a headlight, which for fun I joy ride in the dark. And I don’t do it in pearls and a crinoline skirt. It’s not unusual for me to wear an apron over my pajamas.

缺点是我丈夫创造了一个怪物。我像纵火犯一样把纸巾都烧掉;我的吸尘器有个前灯,我在黑暗中骑着它玩乐;我打扫时不戴珍珠,不穿带衬里的裙子;在睡衣外面系条围裙是常有的事。

I say: “Hey, it’s me or the apartment. We can’t both be pristine.”

我说:“嘿,你要么选我,要么选公寓。我和公寓不可能都干净。”

Without hesitation, my husband will always choose the apartment.

我丈夫会毫不犹豫地选公寓。

Sometimes, I invite him to join in my efforts, offering him the most awful tasks as if I’m giving him a treat. I’ll say, “I’m going to let you scoop the cat box,” or “I’m going to let you scrape the processed cheese out of the pan.”

有时,我邀请他跟我一起打扫,把最糟糕的活儿分给他,而且搞得像是我在给他恩惠。我会说,“我会把铲猫砂的活儿让给你”,或者“我会把清除锅里烧糊的奶酪的活儿让给你。”

My husband says, “You’re like a dominatrix Donna Reed.”

我丈夫说,“你就像施虐女王版的唐娜·里德[Donna Reed]。”

I say, “Take off your shirt and scrape the pan, dear.”

我说:“亲爱的,脱掉你的衬衫,刮平底锅。”

He takes off his shirt and scrapes the pan. In our 21 years together, my husband’s nature hasn’t changed.

他脱掉衬衫,刮起了平底锅。在我们共同生活的21年里,我丈夫的本性没有改变。

Me, I’m a recovering slob. Every day I have to remind myself to put the moisturizer back in the medicine cabinet, the cereal back in the cupboard and the trash out before the can overflows. I have to remind myself to hang my coat in the closet.

而我,是一个康复中的懒汉。每天,我必须提醒自己把保湿霜放回药柜,把麦片放回橱柜,在垃圾筒满溢之前把垃圾倒掉。我必须提醒自己把外衣挂进衣橱。

And when I accomplish all of this, I really do feel like a magician. Because now, when my husband comes home, the first thing he sees is me.

我做完所有这些时,真的觉得自己像个魔术师。因为现在,我丈夫回家时,最先看到的是我。

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