The figurative language of Helen Ellis….

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of very funny images from Helen Ellis….

I read the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and it inspired me to clean and organize my earring collection. But not much else. I have neither the time, nor the inclination to ask every item I own whether I love it. (Yes, she suggests you do that.)

But reading the book gave me one unexpected bonus. It made a recent New York Times piece, by Helen Ellis (pictured above), all the funnier. If you know about Marie Kondo — or even if you don’t — read “Making a Marriage Magically Tidy,” for some genuine laughs. Here are the similes and metaphors I enjoyed most:

  • I have the reputation of living what Marie Kondo might call a magically tidy life. My tights are rolled like sushi, my tabletops are bare and my kitchen is so clean I could perform surgery in it.
  • It is my nature to leave every cabinet and drawer open like a burglar. My superpower is balancing the most stuff on a bathroom sink.
  • You scrub a floor on your hands and knees. You shake a can of Comet like a piggy bank. You hang your clothes in your closet a finger’s width apart. And, no, you do not have wire hangers. Ever.
  • Wooden hangers are O.K. They’re like mimosas. Nobody’s going to OD on mimosas. Wooden hangers give you a boost of confidence. They make you feel rich and thin. They make a plain white shirt sexy. You promise yourself you’ll fill one closet, then you’ll quit.
  • And then came Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Or as I like to call it, “Surprise, You’re Still a Hoarder!
  • Making the bed is my cardio, because to make a bed properly, you have to circle it like a shark. 

I enjoyed the post so much I’m going to seek out Helen Ellis’s first novel, Eating the Cheshire Cat, which is described as a dark comedy.