Suzanne Britts Sloppy People vs Neat People

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“Neat People vs. Sloppy People” appears in Britt’s collection show and tell. Mingling humor with seriousness (as she often does), Britt has called the book a report on her journey into “the awful cave of self: You shout your name and voices come back in exultant response, telling you their names.” In this essay about curtain inescapable personality traits, you may recognize some aspects of your own self, awful or otherwise. For a different approach to a similar subject, see the next essay, by Dave Barry.

I’ve finally figured out the difference between neat people and sloppy people. The distinction is, as always, moral. Neat people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people.
Sloppy people, you see, are not really sloppy. Their sloppiness is merely the unfortunate consequence of their extreme moral rectitude. Sloppy people carry in their mind’s eye a heavenly vision, a precise plan, that is so stupendous, so perfect, it can’t be achieved in this world or the next.

Sloppy people live in Never-Never land. Someday is their Métier. Someday they are planning to alphabetize all their books and set up home catalogs. Someday they will go through their wardrobes and mark curtain items for tentative mending and curtain items for passing on to relatives of similar shape ands size. Someday sloppy people will make family scrapbooks into which they will out newspaper clippings, postcards, lock of hair, and the dried corsage from their senior prom. Someday they will file everything on the surface of their decks, including the cash receipt from coffee purchases at the snack shack. Someday they will sit down and read all the back issues of The New Yorker.

For all these noble reason and more, sloppy people never get neat. They aim to high and wide. They save everything, planning someday to file, order, and straighten out the world. But while these ambitious plans take clearer and clearer shape in there heads, the books spill from the shelves into the floor, the clothes pile...
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