Suzie of Assorted Babble fame has tagged me for a meme where you list five weird things about yourself. I have no idea why Suzie would think there is anything the least bit bizarre, peculiar, or off-kilter about me, but I'll give it a whirl.
Let me preface this by saying that if you REALLY want weird, check out Suzie's list, ok?
OCD? OH MY!
In addition to my bipolar disorder, I like to mix it up with a touch of the old obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)--just for a goof. This means that I waste a lot of precious time before leaving the house in a vain and pointless search for nonexistent smouldering cigarette butts. I also like to check the stove a dozen times in case I have somehow inadvertently turned the burners back on in some sort of spastic fugue state. And then there's the sinks, the sinks....check 'em for drips, and check 'em good, because when I'm at BG's he'd be pretty darn pissed if he came home to see the apartment floating away, post-tsunami style .
DYSFUNCTIONAL VEHICULAR PERSONALITY DISORDER
I don't think this has made it into the DSM yet, but I am developmentally challenged when it comes to cars. We didn't have one growing up, but when I went to college I fell in love with a creepy nogoodnik druggie whose parents had bought him a Datsun 280Z. Not that he ever took me for a ride in it (he just took me for a ride), but I had an idiotic fantasy of tooling around in a cool sports car to make him jealous.
On my summer break, I started taking lessons through the Automobile Club of America. I took a ton of them; spent lots of bucks; and got to know all about my driving instructor's thorny issues with his girlfriend. But city driving is probably not the best way to learn, and in any case, I just couldn't get the hang of it. Behind the wheel, I was simply dyslexic.
Ironically, the one thing I did well was that tricky parallel parking maneuver. But I was so nervous and lame during my road test that I totally missed a stop sign, which was an automatic failure--and so was I.
To this day, I'm so car-phobic that I can't even put on a seatbelt correctly. I wind up holding the loose buckle over my lap since I can't figure out how to sling the thing over my shoulder to get it closed. Good thing I'm a New Yorker--we get to tell ourselves that cars are more of a nuisance than they're worth anyway.
No blank piece of paper is safe with me around. I will defile it with my insane cryptic scrawl, which usually covers every square inch of white space. I have been filling up notebooks with the flotsam of my deranged mind since I was in college.
The contents of these notebooks are a combination of messy to do lists (see below), writing ideas, and inane musings on life. Even the CIA couldn't decipher them. Sometimes I can't make them out myself. But it makes me feel better to get the shit out of my head and down on paper.
LISTS FROM HELL
Closely related to my general scribbling dysfunction is my list mania. In my office, I was one of those post-it addicts who somehow thought it would be efficient to attach sticky notes to every surface so I'd be able to tell what items on my mile-long to-do list were the most urgent. As a result, I had to peel off several layers of yellow notes from my computer screen every morning. This was in addition to the post-its stuck all over my desk, my calendar, my chair, and so on. It was mortifying to unwittingly walk into a meeting with reminders like "pork chops for dinner" or "prepare notes for meeting" stuck to my arms--or, occasionally, my ass.
This was a pathetic and futile attempt to counteract the fact that my regular to-do lists were out of control. It didn't matter what kind of datebook, day timer, or calendar I tried. If it was a one-page-per day planner, it would be crammed full of illegible scrawls. On my monthly calendar I tried to fit my daily list into a one inch square box and then prioritize the entries with highlighter. To this day, my most treasured possession is my pocket sized week at a glance book that looks like it belongs to Charles Manson. As if this isn't insane enough, I insert all sorts of dog-eared loose lists inside it, so it's bulging and falling apart. But writing lists lulls me into a false sense of accomplishment, even though two-thirds of the stuff never gets done.
I'M A STICK IN THE MUD
I believe in astrology, and I think I really personify the sign of Cancer to a "t." Once Cancers grab hold of something in their little pincers, they just don't let go. For example, ahough I never bothered to get married and never had children, my first long term relationship lasted for twenty years. I worked at the same company for over two decades. I hate moving, and I don't understand people who constantly flee from apartment to apartment and city to city, causing me to sully my address book with big black X's every time they change their locale.
I have favorite shirts and shoes that I hang onto forever. When I wear them, I look like a Bowery bum, but the more worn-in they are, the more I love them. BG had an old flannel blanket that I nicknamed Quigley. It was worn thin and full of holes, but I loved to snuggle up on the couch with it. When he threw it away, I almost had to be taken to the rubber room.
IF YOU'VE GOT THE TIME, WE'VE GOT THE WEIRD!
OK--now I'm passing on the mantle of weirdness to five other blogpals. If you've already been there and done that, or just don't want to reveal your weirdness, or you're not weird enough for this exercise, let me know and I'll pick some other victims.
Here's my five tags:
Dan--Scenes from a Wasted Life
Martyn Clayton--The Shrine of Blind-Winger Jones/North Country Dispatches
Leslie--The Raw World
Jane--Jane Loves Tarzan