Excerpt from The Reluctant Archivist
He couldn’t believe she had gotten it so messed up. It was important to keep things in order. His system was flawlessly executed: each cataloged chronologically, except for the special editions which were categorized by the nature of their value. The 1950’s would have to be meticulously re-filed, more than half of them were on the floor. Besides that, she had rearranged the boxes and thrown into disarray the color-coding system he’d applied last year. To him it was intuitively obvious, but she didn’t seem to grasp that the system was important not only for his enjoyment, but also his peace of mind.
He didn’t really want to review everything with her again. She didn’t need to be involved in the day-to-day routine he used to keep everything pristine. But he needed to say something.
“Mom, remember–I said you didn’t have to dust my room—I’ll do it myself!” A wispy-browned haired woman looked up from the kitchen table where she sat looking through a cookbook.
“Honey, I keep telling you but you always forget. Your baseball card collection is important, but you know dusting and vacuuming helps keep your allergies in check. I’m sorry about knocking over that box—the vacuum attachment got away from me.”
“I’ll vacuum too. Just don’t touch the collection, okay?”
She sighed. “It’s hard to avoid when it covers most of the wall and desk space. Couldn’t you store some of them in the garage?”
“What? Are you kidding? What if Cal and I want to compare 1948’s short-stops? I need everything at my fingertips, Mom.”
Mom went to the broom closet and extracted a canister vac the size of a beaver. “Come here then. I’m going to give you a crash course in vacuuming. You’re in seventh grade, it’s time you helped out more anyway.”