Dear Mrs. Crabby,

I am a disorganized, scatterbrained mess of a woman. Though I still manage to get the kids out the door to school on time with enough lunch to see them through till 3:00. Though when they get home, my son will find his sister’s Hello Kitty underpants in his dresser drawer and my husband will find the beer in the dishwasher.

I have a very difficult time keeping all the bits and pieces of what has to be done for a family of five in a day all together, without any help. I’m not complaining, really. My family is complaining. I actually think I’m doing fine. The laundry is done. Just not put away exactly correctly. The dinner is made, though sometimes for breakfast. Everything is done. Just not always in the proper order or in its proper place.

My husband has complained enough to his mother and now she keeps e-mailing me about this online housework advice lady, Fly Lady. She has some helpful tips, I will say, though it takes a sherpa and a machete to find yourself through the ads and many boxes to find the exact tip you need. But then I came across this business of lace-up shoes. Miss Marla says that the best way to keep yourself organized is to put on a pair of lace-up shoes in the morning and keep them on all day long and this will help you get everything done properly.

I’m a game girl and will give something a try, even though it sounds “out there”. I got some lace-up shoes and this is what happened to my toe-


Now I can’t walk to do my chores. My mother-in-law has had to come over and help. While it’s nice things are still getting done, and everything is in the right place for a change, I’m finding it suffocating to listening to her drone on and on about how Fly Lady will make my life so much better, when I’ve already been hobbled with the lace-up shoe thing.

Are there any lace-up shoes that will work? I don’t want to give up and I do want to get my MIL out of the house. But my toe!


Messy in Maine


Dear MIM,

I‘ve heard some twonky advice in my day, but I must say, this lace-up shoe business is really interesting stuff.

It seems the goal is to keep your focus on your feet to keep them moving. There are more comfortable ways to do this. And while I disagree with foot mutilation as a motivational device in household maintenance and engineering, they can provide some interesting focus in other areas. More on that later.

My alternative choice to the “lace-up shoe” technique, would be the “Honolulu Lulu” technique. Put on a grass skirt, coconut bra and take those shoes OFF! Put on some Hawaiian music and hula your way through the day! That’s my mantra for housework. Hula Your Way Through The Day. There is nothing more relaxing than the Aloha Spirit. Applied to housework, your home may still be somewhat disorganized and cluttered, but not only will you not care, your husband will be completely distracted when he comes home. This is because after such sensuous, sinewy swaying of your hips, you will be ready to jump him silly as soon as his tie hits the Hello Kitty, and he will no longer care. Just make sure the kiddos are elsewhere, enjoying their supper pu pu platters and out of earshot.

Meanwhile, if you are still stuck on the lace-up shoe business, after your toes have healed, check out some more comfortable and stylish ways to lace-up through the day:


It is indeed important to take care of business. But it is equally important to do so without pain and punishment. Unless, of course, you are of the group who finds that relaxing. In which case, you might want to lace-up for the day like this:


…and use a cat of nine tails for dusting. Not to my taste, but different strokes, so to speak!

I suggest dipping into a wider pool of choices for advice. Though Miss Marla does have a snappy site and probably some good tips. The shoe business, though, gives me pause as well. Perhaps she has podiatrist relatives who need more business.

Best of luck, hon.

IB Crabby


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