On Being Tidy by A.G. Gardiner
In On Being Tidy by A.G. Gardiner we have the theme of change, order, tidiness and happiness. Taken from his Windfalls collection the reader realizes after reading the essay that Gardiner may be exploring the theme of change. Gardiner finds it difficult to change from being untidy to tidy. Though he tidies up his desk once a year this is the only occasion that the does so. This may be significant as it suggests that Gardiner is happy when his desk is untidy. He may not necessarily be able to find everything he needs immediately, but he does eventually find everything after some time. Something that elates Gardiner who gets a good feeling from finding what he has thought he has lost. Gardiner also feels as though there are benefits to having an untidy desk. It looks like he is hard-working and busy (to others).
Though Gardiner has bought himself a roll-up desk he is unhappy with it as it has led to him remaining untidy after a period of time. It is as though he realizes that it is not the desk that it’s important but the man and he enjoys being untidy. He likes how things are clustered and there is a sense of chaos around him. However he does have a friend who finds it hard to think that Gardiner can be productive with such an untidy desk. Though Gardiner proves the friend wrong and there does not seem to be anything wrong with Gardiner’s work ethic. He still manages to complete all his tasks. Something that not everybody can do. Which may suggest to some readers that being untidy is not all that bad.
Gardiner also gets great delight when he finds something on his desk that he thinks he has lost. Even going as far as celebrating with his family. Who may not necessarily know what the fuss is all about. In fact so happy is Gardiner with his untidiness that he celebrates it by showing happiness at his efforts at being untidy. It is as though by being untidy Gardiner is able to function better and he does not envy those who are tidy. If anything he feels sorry for them that they live their lives to a routine of tidiness. Which in Gardiner’s eyes is a waste of time. For Gardiner there is a sense of order in his disorder. He revels in being untidy and does not see a life in whereby he will keep a tidy desk. Even though he has previously tried and failed miserably.
In reality Gardiner believes that the more untidy the desk is the better things are. He prefers to be as untidy as possible believing that it is better for the mind. Though not every reader may necessarily agree with him. Gardiner also quotes the man whose niece tidied his desk and the poor man felt lost until he restored his desk to its previous state. Again there is a sense of order in disorder. It may also be important to mention that Gardiner is not a word merchant for disorder. He merely is doing his best when it comes to disorder and it works for him. It may not necessarily suit everyone. There are some people who do not like their desk cluttered or in a mess. They find it hard to function if their desk is disordered or in a mess. What works for Gardiner may not always work for others. Despite this there is no doubting that Gardiner is happy with the state of his desk