Columns, Opinion

WHITING: The formal disclosure of a dirty little secret

In lieu of anonymously posting my deepest, darkest secret on a postcard as part of Boston University’s PostSecret event, I’m going to publicly own up to a shameful and confidential matter.

It’s been nearly nine months since I signed in to Warren Towers for the first time and taped John “Bluto” Blutarsky onto the spotless, white wall next to my bed and desk. One would think that by this time I’d be able to maintain a healthy and clean living environment. Dorm rooms aren’t that big; cleaning them isn’t such a task.

But old habits die hard. I never cleaned at home, and without a compulsively neat sister nagging at me to do so, I never clean here.

This is my BU Secret: I am filthy.

No, seriously. It’s true that I never put away my shoes or clothes, and that I can’t do homework on my desk because there are too many papers and apples and Post-It notes on it. But I’m not exactly alone in that respect. My lack of cleanliness is reaching unique extremes, and it goes beyond never picking up socks, organizing books or making my bed.

I do a relatively good job at hiding it, but I still manage to further disgust.

I have only washed my sheets once this year, I drink tea out of the same mug every evening and I never rinse it. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve done laundry fewer than ten times over the course of two semesters. I can count on my fingers how many times my roommate Lauryn and I have vacuumed and we’ve never dusted once. We rarely pick up our crumbs and we shed hair like dogs.

Our dorm is the ultimate bachelorette pad. And it gets worse.

I seldom wash my workout clothes, despite the fact that the mirrored walls of the spin class in which I wear them fog with sweat and steam. Even if I put them in the hamper, they’d never make it down to the laundry room &- it’s too far away &- so I go on my merry way sporting soiled clothing.

Lauryn and I never wash our dishes. We steal them from the dining hall &- a not-so-unique BU Secret &- use them, and then let our meal remnants harden and crust until our stack of cups and plates gets so tall that we finally return them to their home, set them on the blue conveyor belt and never see them again.

I’ve washed fuzzy balls of mold out of my sustainable coffee mugs more than a few times, because though I try to be green by avoiding a disposable Starbucks cup, I usually empty the remnants of my white mochas into the common room sink a week too late.

And speaking of mold: Returning from spring break, Lauryn shrieked when she discovered that a mug of lemons I’d taken from the dining hall a month prior had grown into an overflowing flower of seafoam-like goop.

In search of further disaster, I proceeded to open the freezer, where I found that the red grapes I’d purchased at Shaw’s in January had actually turned green, and that the entire freezer, as a result, was decorated with emerald-colored polka dots. It was like our own little green house.

I decided it was pretty, shut the freezer door and didn’t clean it until last Friday &- and cleaned it only because our now-empty refrigerator is still emanating fumes that remind me of toxic waste. Something is wrong, not just because of the slimy mold.

The culmination of my untidiness, however, came two weeks ago. I tripped on the numerous pairs of jeans on my floor and landed on a belt buckle, which entered my foot, not only threatening tetanus but making me limp around campus for a week. Karma is a . . . funny thing.

One can attribute my overflowing recycling container and my dusty dresser to the fact that I’m incurably lazy. But Lauryn and I figure this: There’s more to life than cleanliness. If we can forgo laundry, wet-wiping and bed-making to laugh at the ridiculous photos on, we will do so. And when time gets short, we will choose Dante essays over taking out the trash.

I wonder in what circle of the Inferno Dante places dirty people.

But I’m not worried. I brush my teeth and shower daily &-&- isn’t that enough? People wouldn’t know how disgusting I am without reading this column.

My mother calls it sloth; I call it differential prioritization. The secret is out: I give the phrase “sick nasty” a whole new meaning.

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