Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The list freak

Growing up I spent most of my free time alone. And what's a little girl to do when there's no one around to play with? (And please bear in mind this was the early 90s, so computer games and video games were things unknown to me at the time). Well, in my case the answer was making lists and overall competing with myself. It might sound sad now, but what was I to do at the time? This was the best my seven year-old brain could come up with! So I made lists of everything I could think of. Books. Movies. To-do lists. Christmas presents. How many cafes were there in a certain street. Pretty much anything would do. And then when lists got boring I would race myself with things like naming five movies with Tom Hanks in less than 30 seconds (and, incidentally, this is pretty much how I got to be the little movie whiz some people think I am, by repeatedly testing my memory on the subject for over ten years). And this for me was entertainment. I could do it (and in fact I did) for years, way into my late teens. And of course to this day part of this stuck with me.

Now I'm 26 and I live with my boyfriend. Now, when you live with someone else you start to notice aspects of your own behaviour in a completely different way. You become - at least during the first few months - a bit self-conscious. (And even if you don't, if you behave oddly enough you'll be sure to have it pointed out to you, anyway.) And so it has come to my attention that I'm a bit OCD when it comes to books. I keep counting how many have I read during the current year, how many do I still have to read on the shelves, how many pages do I still have to finish the one I'm reading, how many pages till the next chapter, how many pages I've read so far, and so on, and so on. And honestly, after all these years of list-making frenzy, I think I got off easy. In many aspects of my life I'm lucky I didn't turn up to be as troubled as I could've been, considering all I've been through. Still, I understand that to someone unaware of my previous history I might seem like a freak. More than that, I might look like a mixture of Leonardo DiCaprio at the end of The Aviator, Miko Hughes in Mercury Rising and Steve Buscemi in Con Air. Put them all together and it's a pretty creepy result, I must say. Still, I don't really care much. This is the way I am, I've worked hard to keep it all down to a few freaky behaviours. So, when I'm counting pages or making lists just look the other way. I'm not hurting anyone by doing it, and I see no point in changing myself just to the amusement of others.

No comments: