We live within walking distance of Boise Little Theater—Idaho’s longest running, all volunteer, community theater, where local thespians tread the boards.
Do you remember the television show The Odd Couple? When our little theater presented the female version, we couldn’t pass it up. In this gender-reversed rendition:
- Oscar Madison is replaced by Olive Madison.
- Felix Unger is replaced by Florence Unger.
- The Pidgeon sisters are replaced by the Constanzuela brothers.
Instead of the poker party that kicks-off the original version, the curtain opens to Olive Madison’s messy living room where the girls have arrived for an evening of Trivial Pursuit.
Each of us has tendencies:
Some — like Oscar and Olive Madison — lean toward easygoing, creative disarray.
Others — like Felix and Florence Unger — lean toward fastidious, apple-pie order.
Which way do you lean?
It sounds wonderful. I love the original. For me, it depends. I’m fastidious for some things (to do with my work and timekeeping) but easier going with things like the house or clothing.
Olga — It sounds like you’ve got a good balance going for you 🙂
Oh dear! I am afraid I’d be a Florence and Peter definitely Oscar: we complement each other very well. 😁
Fatima — No see? You guys got it goin’ on! 🙂
The Boise Little Theater looks like a place to make a second home at. And how convenient is that? There can be no question that creative disarray defines me, and I’d say quite to the extreme. Ha! I do envy those in the other camp!
Sam — But you do CREATIVE DISARRAY so well. So very well! 🙂
I bet that was quite a production to see. I am a mix of both unfortunately. I want things neat and orderly all the time, yet have trouble keeping vigilant with outside chores so the inside suffers which of course builds up anxiety until I can’t take it and have to put things back in place. Our house is a “hub”. It’s warm and welcoming to a fault with people constantly stopping in (family and friends). I refer to our living as “controlled chaos”. Tina
Tina — “Controlled chaos” is quite possibly the very thing that draws people like a magnet to your home. It makes them feel like part of the family.
When I’m at my friend Karen’s home, she immediately puts me to work in the kitchen. I love it because I know then that I’m part of the family 🙂
I am somewhere in between, leaning towards Olive until Florence nags at me long enough to get me to pick up, although my interest in spending my time and energy satisfying Florence is limited.
Carol — The extremely creative you doesn’t want to waste much time in the sterility of Florence’s world 🙂
I am the easy going, creative disarray type. I always have a few projects going on; now in my kitchen, pie pumpkins on the counter (“staged” for roasting and ultimately a puree), on the table, I have a basket with all the items for DIY hand soap (tomorrow’s project). My LvRm has a partially assembled new coffee table on the floor (drill broke down in the middle of assembly) and stacks of books (in-process/reading, new incoming/to be read, etc.). Then I move on to a very organized stage; projects completed, books brought upstairs to store, table put up, looking great. Alas, that organized stage doesn’t last long. I’m soon off to the next projects and staging chaos. If I have company coming, it doesn’t take long to establish surface order. I take solace in a tidbit of information I read years ago, i.e. Einstein and other creatives often have messy desks, etc.; it’s part of their creative process. So I must be a creative. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it
Audrey — Your reply is the perfect description of ebb and flow; an ideal way to live. Plus the fact that “it doesn’t take long to establish surface order.” I love it! 🙂
How sweet is that little theater !
I find myself a bit of both yet mostly disarrayed, it looks great when it is cleaned up through!
Jeff — I know for sure that when you tidy up it looks fantastic because when you first moved into your current location you posted a few photos and I thought “WOW!” 🙂
A little of both, I guess. 🙂
ReadInPleasure — THAT makes for a nice BALANCE 🙂
I’m neither extreme. But I love the feeling of freedom that Oscar exudes. Would love to see the female version. Loved the Ghostbusters as women!
Shirley — I love that you’re fluid and not fixed in either position. The female version of Ghostbusters is on my want-to-see list 🙂
Once upon a time I was fastidious, requiring apple-pie order. Living with an artist has made me more flexible, thank God. When I’m deep into a writing project, a bit of chaos on my desk doesn’t bother me a bit. But I must say I can’t go to bed with dishes in the sink.
Marian — I’m cracking up because something on my desk would make me crazy. However, dishes in the sink can wait until kingdom come 🙂
I aspire to be a Florence, but I am undeniably an Olive. Sigh . . .
Arlene — And you know what? That’s grand! (she had way more fun up on stage than Florence) 🙂
Sheesh. I’m both! I strive to keep things in order — for the sake of sanity. I just spent an hour straightening my office before our big trip to China (HATE coming home to disorder), but it always seems to get away from me again. Too much chaos leads to great frustration when trying to find something, so I seek order, but have to live with some disorder –or all one does in life is straighten up! P.S. I’ll NEVER be the person with nothing on my desk but a pen!
Linda — You’re going to CHINA? Oh my gosh, have a fantastic trip. I hope you’ll take loads of photographs and blog about it!
I seem to take both, in my usual odd sort of way.
I am not attached to any sort of order or hierarchy, and my memory is spatial. Thus, as long as something stays where I put it, then I can find it (even months or years later), but if anyone moves it, even an inch, then it is lost to me, and I must start a systematic search.
So from the outside, my environs can appear chaotic, without apparent order; yet there does exist a sort of archaeological structure and order to the arrangement of things.
Ailsa searches for things by colour. She has little or no spatial awareness. For her, out of sight is out of mind, and near enough is good enough.
This profound difference in our organisational systems is often a point of tension between us.
Ted — Len and I are waaaaay different too. He’s like you, can find something (in what to me is a messy heap) in 30-seconds or less. I’m a place for everything and everything in it’s place kind of gal. No heaps.
How cool that Ailsa searches for things by color! 🙂
I’m an easygoing, creative disarray, definitely–but an easygoing, creative disarray that first lays down rules and laws and strict schedules–and then proceeds to happily break every one of them. After all, life is more fun if you think you’re getting by with something. 😉
Luci — Oh my gosh, I’m cracking up! I didn’t expect you to be a Rule Breaker. And a gleeful one at that! 🙂
A theatre in walking distance sounds perfect to me . When we move away from our home town , there are many things we miss( it’s natural) I miss being an hour away from Stratford upon Avon and my beloved Shakespeare’s theatre 😔
I never watched the odd couple but I do recall it being on telly . For me as a youth I was an Oscar …creative chaos more like and I lean a little more a Felix in middle age …Apple pie order …mmm maybe a tinge but even now I still like to be Oscar when no one is looking . Was the play good? It looks interesting 😊
Cherry — I love that you “…still like to be Oscar when no one is looking,” you sneak, you 🙂
And yes, the female version of the play was delightful to see. They did a great job!
How fun! Moi? I have attributes of both. So does my husband. But we have them in the opposite configuration.
Luanne — “In the opposite configuration” makes for a nice blend and balance 🙂
It’s not too bad although he gets on my nerves sometimes ;).
Orderly, but not anal. A well thought out plan should have “wiggle room.” With regard to fashion, “Form follows function.” But above all, “Stay cool.”
Dennis — I’m fairly confident that you’re the King of Cooooool 🙂
Laurie, I’ll admit to being more relaxed in my house-keeping than I used to be. I went for years feeling that someone was looking over my shoulder and giving or taking away points…and in the long run I wanted to be on the high end of the Neat-as-a-pin scale. An unmade bed still annoys me as much as a burr in my sock but a couple of dishes on the counter no longer send me into a tail spin. Coming to live in the windy desert has shown me the true story of dust, it is never-ending and eternal, a constant reminder that man does not control the weather and his environment, he makes a choice to establish a dwelling in a certain place and accepts the contract. You want the Desert? Fine, it comes with dust and wind. You get used to what you can’t control and make adjustments. I am adjusting.
Sandi — Having personally visited your oasis in the desert, I can say with certainty that your home is neat-as-a-pin and in apple pie order. It exudes welcome and warmth with a “come in a stay awhile” feel to it 🙂
Oh, that was before I totally moved in, now I just hide everything under thee dining room table until I need it. Friends and family are always welcome here!
Oh!! How fun! We have always loved the Odd Couple movies with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and I would watch the Odd Couple when I was a young girl. What a great idea! :)) Jen
JenGaryNewAdventures — I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Thank you for letting me know 🙂
I have a Felix and Florence soul hidden inside an Oscar and Olive body. Every so often, Florence breaks free, proclaiming she just can’t stand it anymore. Olive stands by, watching, and smiling knowingly.
Thanks for the lighthearted look at this ancient dichotomy, Laurie.
Janet — It sounds like you live the best of BOTH worlds 🙂
Both rolled into maybe a mixed up person. I hate housework but have daily rituals what has to be done and yes, that includes the dishes, but only at the end of the day. My writing area, my office has to be neat at least to one’s eye (you don’t want to see what is in those drawers and closed shelves).. And I am still sorting and purging old papers – both business and personal.
As for writing I like to be creative and somewhat organized – the latter more with listing what I plan to do in the writing area for the day…until an outside hand (or so it seems) whooshes in and creates chaos with computer problems, house problems and the like.
Sharon — I like how you’ve described a dab of this, a splash of that, and dollop for good measure. Clearly, it’s a recipe that works for you 🙂
I’m a bit of a combo in this situation – like neat and tidy and organized and yet I add a number of relaxed let it flow days to the list too. More relaxed since I retired 🙂
Patricia — Ahhhhh, balanced 🙂
A female version of The Odd Couple? YES, count me in to see that!
Christy — I assure you it was well worth the price of admission 🙂
Ohhh, this is FUN! I bet the production of a female ODD COUPLE is a great success. Me? For the first 30 years of my life, I was an “Olive.” But then I married a “Felix.” Oh dear. We both needed to relax our tendencies a bit. I have definitely become more of a “Florence,” to keep my dear Felix from hyperventilating about a messy room or piles of papers on a desk. On my Felix’s part, he tries to relax and add a few Oscar elements to his character. And that’s all I can ask, that he try. 🙂
Pam — “We both needed to relax our tendencies a bit.” It sounds like you both found middle ground and lived happily ever after 🙂
Still livin’ the dream, Laurie. I make the bed two minutes after we wake up, and he allows me one pile of papers on my desk. It’s all about compromise… and love. 🙂
Love the concept of reverse genders! I loved that show and currently enjoying the new version. 🙂 I’d say I’m a bit of both.
D.G. Kaye — You can’t go wrong with balance 🙂