Required: Good Organizational Skills

Marta Espinoza is the type of woman that people both love and secretly resent.  Good natured plus professionally and personally successful, Marta has it all and it drives her loved ones and casual acquaintances crazy.

“I don’t know how you do it,” everyone has said to her at some point.  “You’re a rock star at the office, your house is always immaculate, you’re wonderful with your children, and nothing ever seems to faze you.  How do you do it?”

“The first step is getting yourself organized.  It will free your mind of so many things: cobwebs, tension, destructive negative thoughts.  Try it,” she always says in return.

“We will!” they say and then immediately get down to business.  Paperwork is filed accordingly or is shredded, unused clothes and household items are donated to charity,  and neglected projects finally see their way to completion.  Afterwards, they’re all pleased with how lovely everything looks, but they also can’t help but to notice how stressed out they still feel. For some reason, putting all of their pens and pencils into a cup holder hasn’t made them feel better about the difficult clients at work, nor has the new dry erase board with the family’s schedule on it made their kids more enthusiastic about loading the dishwasher.  Life is still full of challenges.  Obviously Marta is some sort of super woman, they reason.  That bitch.

Marta is indeed a super woman – super good at hiding the real secret to her can-do ways.  On those days when she lacks the energy to face her demanding career, she takes a blue pill.  On the days when she actually is charged up but needs to come down, she pops a tiny white pill.  When the stress of things aggravates her acid reflux disease, she swallows a terracotta-coloured pill.  When she can’t sleep, she turns to her bottle of yellow pills.  When her husband and children start to fray her nerves, she reaches for something red; most often a bottle of Beringer.   When she’s out of wine, there’s a shoebox full of chocolate bars stashed at the back of the closet in her craft room.

The craft room is where Marta hides all of her coping mechanisms, and she’s really good at keeping them organized.  The chocolate bars are always kept at the back of the closet, the pills are nestled underneath the balls of yarn she stores in a basket, and the wine is in a filing cabinet everyone thinks she uses to store design ideas.  Knowing where everything is at any given moment saves so much time and stress when you need them right away.

That’s what Marta really means when she tells people to get organized, but she’d much rather have them think she’s a super woman.  So this little secret of hers?  She’s taking it to the grave.  Well, unless she accidentally overdoses on one of her coping mechanisms and the truth comes out in an autopsy.  Until then, mum’s the word!


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