The Odd Couple

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?


55 thoughts on “The Odd Couple

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. Hi Laurie,

    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! 🙂

  9. 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. 😉

  10. 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 😊

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 🙂

  15. 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. 🙂

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