Fast Food Etiquette

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Kevin Smith movie “Clerks” (perhaps better known as the original Jay & Silent Bob movie), but I can totally relate to it. It’s all about these two guys who work in a convenience store/movie rental place, their interactions with customers, and their responsibilities as clerks. When I was in high school, I worked part time at an Arby’s. As is often the case with customer service jobs, I loved my co-workers but I was not always fond of the people I waited on. There were certain types of customers that always come in and give you trouble, and these people could take an otherwise lovely evening and make it awful. Once, after a particularly bad night, I came home and wrote “Sheep’s Guide to Fast Food Etiquette.” I printed off a copy, and it ended up floating through my possessions over the years until it landed in a box of stuff to put in a scrapbook, which is where I found it the other night. I decided to reprint it here because a) people are effing rude, and b) I thought someone (probably a fellow customer service employee) would be amused. So, here you go. Please be kind, I wrote this when I was about 17, and I have left all grammar and spelling mistakes as they were when I originally wrote it.

Sheep’s Guide to Fast Food Etiquette

I. Introduction
I am writing this guide so that people of all ages, genders and nationalities will have a more pleasant, peaceful experience while dining at a fast food restaurant. Through my own experience, it has come to my attention some things that should be addressed that would make life 400 times easier for the employees at these facilities, and happy employees are usually much nicer to customers. So, this should make life happier for everyone.

II. Placing Your Order
A) Inside
1. When placing an order inside the store, please remember that glaring at the cashier will not make him or her move faster, this will only infuriate them, get them flustered, and cause them to take even more time. We see you, we know you’re there, and we’re getting to you as fast as we can. Also, please remember that some cashiers may be new, and are just learning. Getting an attitude with these vulnerable creatures does not help, and is similar to tailgating a driver’s education car.
2. The term “combo” is short for “combination” meaning a grouping of 3 or more items. When you ask what comes in a combo… you are an idiot, especially when there is a sign directly over the register listing all 6 combos, and that says “All combos come with large fires and a medium drink.” What do you THINK comes in a combo, you retard?!
3. Screaming children are not cute. No, not even when they’re YOUR screaming children. They are annoying, they disrupt other customers, and they annoy the living hell out of those of us who work there and are already irritated from 6 hours of drive-through duty (see section II, B). Please shut your children up.
4. I have no control over the pricing of items in the store, nor does my manager. The corporate office has control over these things, and if you don’t like the fact that a beef ‘n cheddar is $3.69, you’ll have to take it up with them, or stop eating there.

B) Drive Thru
1. If you happen upon a drive thru set-up similar to the one where I work, you are greeted by a recording, encouraging you to place your order. Yes, that’s right folks. There IS someone there listening, even if you heard a recording. If nothing happens after the recording goes off…it’s because you’re dense.
2. We are not stupid. We know if you’re lying. You’re not putting one past us, but it’s company policy to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy. So if you tell us we left out a turkey sub, and you never even came through the drive thru, we know you’re a lying scumbag, and karma is going to bite you in the ass.
3. Remember that the kids who took your order through the speaker box have on headsets, and if you remain in front of that box while you are in line, we can hear all of your cell phone calls to your crack dealer, your arguments with your family, your stirring rendition of “Going Under” by Evanescence, and every thing mean you say about us after we take your order. And we will probably mock you for all of it, especially your singing.
4. Do not get an attitude with the person who takes your order. This person also has to take money and talk to the customer currently at the window, and occasionally they are the ones getting the food too. If they ask you to repeat your order, its not because they’re goofing off or ignoring you, it’s because they’re trying to do 5 things at one time.
5. We are not perfect. If we really do leave something out of your order, we’re sorry. Please ask us nicely to get it for you. We did not do it on purpose, so don’t rant and rave about how you had to drive 45 minutes back up there to get your order of fries. Chill out, my friend, it’s just fried potatoes, not the apocalypse.
C) Large Orders
1. It is not necessary to try to buy all of one’s food for an entire wedding reception from a fast food restaurant. They have people that specialize in that sort of thing, called “caterers.” It is also not necessary to try to buy all of one’s food for an entire month from a fast food place. This can be done at a place called a “grocery store” (be nice to the cashiers and bagboys there).
2. If you have a large order, and you forget to tell us that it is “to go” (or if we forget to ask you), please do not wait until all $50 worth of food is on your tray and then say “Oh this was to go.” You may get a handful of bags and a polite and concise “Then YOU bag it, asshole,” from your friendly customer service associate.

III. Finishing Your Meal
A) Cleaning Up
1. Fast food does not mean “full service.” We do not get tips, which means you take your own trash to the trashcans, rather than leaving it on the table…lazy asshole.
2. If one trashcan is overflowing, please do not put your trash in it. There are other trashcans, use those instead. It’s not hard, guys. Common sense, that’s all it takes.
3. You know those trays that we put your food on? You know, the ones you coat in ketchup and sauce, and then stack on top of the other ones when you throw your trash away? Yeah, someone has to clean those. It would be great if you would just wipe the ketchup off, instead of leaving it to harden or get all over the other trays.
4. Small children are messy. This is not their fault, it’s just how they are. However, if your kid throws coke, throws chicken fingers, or throws up, it’s your responsibility as a parent to clean it up. We’re a restaurant, not a babysitting service. [Miscellaneous Sheepery addendum: Do not let your children run buck wild all over the restaurant/store. This is not only a nuisance to other customers and employees, but it is a safety hazard for your child as they could hurt themselves or get kidnapped because you are not supervising them]

IV. Conclusion
I do not wish to piss anyone off. I simply desire to remind people that fast food employees are not subhuman. We just want respect and common courtesy from the people we wait on. Be nice to us. We handle your food.

Rob the Prez-O-Dent (and Congress)

I haven’t put up a YouTube video lately, so I think it’s time for another song. I’m sure lots of people are familiar with today’s choice because it appears on Rock Band 2, but I think it’s just spiffy and it’s perfect for the month of April when everyone is peeved about sending Uncle Sam 3/4 of their paycheck on tax day (though I realize we are past April 16th). Yes, today ladies and gentlemen, I bring you “Rob the Prez-O-Dent” by That Handsome Devil.

*Please note that while I think we are overtaxed and and that we overspend as a nation, Miscellaneous Sheepery does not ACTUALLY condone armed robbery of federal employees (or anyone else, for that matter), even if they DID rob us first.

Episode 201

In 1997, when I was in fourth grade, a new television show appeared on the cable channel Comedy Central. This show was called Southpark and it followed four foul-mouthed third-grade boys (one of whom mysteriously died each episode but was always back for the next one). I did not have cable at the time, but I remember what a stir this show caused. First of all, it was the first weekly M-rated show allowed on TV. Second, it was a cartoon, and thusly attracted (poorly-supervised) children to watch a show that was clearly not directed at them. As I got older, I endured long bus rides to and from school each day where my fellow students spent the entire trip repeatedly saying, “Respect my author-i-ty!”, “Oh my God, they killed Kenny! You bastards!”, and “Screw you guys, I’m going home.” As these kids on my bus were my only source of information on the show, I assumed that Southpark was a dumb show that attracted drooling idiots (the kids on my bus). At some point during my sophomore year of high school, my family got satellite, but due to my initial impressions of the show, I never watched it.

Then, at some point during my college career, I caught an episode or two of the show in a friend’s room. I think maybe the first one I saw was “Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset,” which is the one that lampooned Paris Hilton and pointed out her negative influence on young girls. I remember thinking that this was pretty awesome, because I’ve always disliked Paris Hilton. Over time, I saw more episodes and realized that the show is actually pretty intelligent. Yes, it’s crude. Yes, they make fun of religion. Yes, Cartman is anti-Semitic, annoying, and ridiculous. Yes, Kenny is sex-obsessed and comes from a terrible family. But you have to remember, Cartman and Kenny aren’t the main characters. They are just there for comic relief & plot devices. Stan and Kyle are the main characters, and through them Matt Stone & Trey Parker express their views on politics, celebrities, the economy, and other topics of note. The great thing about Southpark is that they are truly unbiased – they lambaste conservatives AND liberals, which is rare these days. They mocked Al Gore mercilessly over his global warming alarmism. However, they also mocked Glenn Beck. I like Glenn Beck, but I’m glad they made fun of him because for awhile his book promoting was overshadowing his message. They skewered Kanye West for his self-absorbed nature (he still doesn’t get the gay fish joke), and they criticized Paris Hilton and parents who let their daughters idolize her and other young socialites/pop tarts. Southpark keeps public figures on their toes. Because the show takes so little time to produce, the producers are able to react quickly to breaking news, which keeps it relevant. This is why I think Southpark is probably one of the most important shows on TV today.

It seems, however, that Trey and Matt have come under attack for their recent 200th and 201st episodes, because they put the Muslim prophet Muhammad in these episodes, which is forbidden by the Islamic faith. Since Matt & Trey aren’t Muslim, they don’t really give a damn that they can’t do this. America is not a majority-Muslim nation, so it makes no sense for Comedy Central to censor the image of Muhammad. But, that is exactly what they did in both episodes. After the 200th episode aired, a radical Islamic website made death threats against the Southpark creators if episode 201 aired. Comedy Central aired it anyway, but they covered all images of Muhammad with a black censor bar, bleeped out his name when spoken by a character, and, according to Matt & Trey, they censored Kyle’s trademark end-of-episode speech which didn’t even mention Muhammad. This is the statement from the creators, taken from the Southpark website (www.southparkstudios.com):

“In the 14 years we’ve been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn’t stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn’t some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle’s customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn’t mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We’ll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we’ll see what happens to it.”

In defense of Matt & Trey (and Stan, Kyle, Kenny & Cartman), I just want to say this: This is the United States of America. The First Amendment to our Constitution outlines one of the most important freedoms ever allowed to any people in the history of the world – the freedom of speech. The Southpark creators had every right to have their episode aired uncensored by the network. If Muslims did not want to see it, they could do what Christians are told to do when something offends us: Look away. Don’t watch it. Change the channel. It is unacceptable for Comedy Central to give in to terrorism. If Matt & Trey were unfazed by the threats, which were directed at them personally, not at the network, then Comedy Central should have been undaunted. In the name of freedom of speech, of freedom of religion, and of not tolerating irrational fringe groups, Comedy Central should re-air episode 201, completely uncensored. I know this seems like a small battle, but I think symbolically, it’s an important one. Kyle summed it up well in an earlier episode regarding Muhammad (Cartoon Wars Part II):

“You can’t do what HE wants, just because HE’S the one threatening you with violence. Yes, people can get hurt. That’s how terrorism works. But if you give in to that, Doug, you’re ALLOWING terrorism to work. Do the right thing here… If you censor out Muhammad, then soon you’ll have to censor out more. If you don’t show Muhammad, then you’re making a distinction between what IS okay to poke fun at and what isn’t. Either it’s all okay, or none of it is. Do the right thing. Show Muhammad. DO THE RIGHT THING.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Kyle.

An Open Letter to the Fashion Industry

For some reason, I can never find clothing that fits me properly. I’m not sure why this is, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s because I have “curves.” No, I don’t mean “curves” like most women’s magazines do, where “curvy” is an adjective used to describe a lady of plus-size proportions. I mean curves in the traditional sense: the Marilyn Monroe, attractive female sense (though I am, by no means, comparing myself to Marilyn Monroe – I wouldn’t stand a chance). I am not horribly disfigured, with some sort of Siamese twin growing out of my waist or anything like that. I’m a relatively normal size: 5’5, about 130-140 lbs, and pear-shaped (hips are larger than the bust but with a small waist). Unfortunately, clothing designers, regardless of price range, seem to think that all women are SHAPED exactly the same, just in larger and smaller sizes. In order to correct this misguided view, I have written the following open letter to the fashion industry:

Dear fashion industry,
I am convinced that you are trying to put yourself out of business by making all women want to go naked. While mankind might rejoice over this development, womankind is not rejoicing. In fact, we are angry. We are organizing and we are plotting your overthrow. We are coming for you, in Paris, in Milan, in NYC, unless you answer this question and remedy the problem: Why don’t you make clothes that fit real people? Not all women are shaped like a stick, nor are we all shaped like a ball. Allow me to detail my own problems with your garments here:

Broad shoulders: I come from hearty Germanic and Irish stock. Ladies of these European tribes are not wimpy, waif-like creatures. They have broad shoulders, despite the rest of their body proportions. Your confounded baby-doll t-shirts are not suited for such sturdy shoulders; in order to get them to fit in the shoulders, they are typically 2 or 3 sizes too big everywhere else. In order to get a short-sleeve shirt that fits properly, we have to go to the men’s section, which essentially throws out any chance of having cute, girly designs on our summer shirts, unless they are sleeveless.

Small waist: PLEASE MAKE PANTS THAT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN HIP AND WAIST SIZE!!! I am so unbelievably tired of “pants gap.” Pants gap is far more frustrating and much more real than our supposed missile gap of the Cold War. When you put on a pair of pants, button and zip them, and then see that there is a 2-inch space between your waist and the back of the pants, you are experiencing pants gap. I cannot for the life of me determine why you think women are completely straight through the hip and waist area. The waist-to-hip ratio is one of the things that differentiates women from men. Please make the waists a little smaller so that I do not have to choose between pants that fit my waist or pants that fit my ass.

A confused ass: Allow me a little racism here for just a moment, would you? I am Caucasian – a white girl. Nowhere in my family (that I’m aware of) is there any African blood. There is one Native American man, four generations back on my dad’s side, but I’m not sure he counts for my purposes here. I have stick-straight blond hair, and if I so much as THINK about going to the beach without sunscreen, I turn lobster-red. So yeah… I’m pretty white. Except for my butt. The typical “white-girl” ass is small and kind of flat. The typical “black-girl” ass is larger and rounder (and generally sits higher on the legs). I have been told, on several occasions by several different people of both genders, both black and white, that I have a black-girl butt (though mine sits lower than most black girls). This makes life very hard when I try to buy pants. Not only do I have the pants gap issue, but I also have to try to find pants that are not made by FuBu or Apple Bottoms that fit me. Because let’s face it, if a girl as white as me wears a “black” brand like FuBu or Apple Bottoms, I’m probably going to get beat up, or at least made fun of. So.. how about some pants for white girls with a little ass on them, hmm?

Wide feet: I will admit, my feet are not exactly pretty. My husband makes fun of me for having duck feet and he’s right. They’re pretty wide. Regardless of the fact that I am a size 8 Wide, I do still have to dress up sometimes, and I would like to be able to wear something other than clunky black old lady shoes when I do so. I would also like to be able to buy my shoes at places other than Payless. While Payless usually has pretty decent shoes, they are only one store out of thousands in the United States that carry shoes. I would like to be able to shop at the other ones, but none of them seem to carry wide shoes. Going to the mall to find shoes is basically a waste of time, as none of the major department stores carry wide sizes. “You can order them through our catalog/online,” they say. Who the eff buys shoes without trying them on first? Why should I be punished because God blessed me with firm foundation? Make some wide shoes that are cute and fashionable, and PUT THEM IN THE STORES.

I think this covers all my current complaints with your industry thus far. If you could address these grievances, naked females across the United States promise not to come to your design houses and set them on fire.

Sincerely,
One Sheep

Seven Assumptions of Highly Successful Magazines

As I’ve mentioned before, I have acquired a number of magazine subscriptions through a few different programs. I currently subscribe to 3 women’s magazines: Marie-Claire, Glamour, & Cosmo. Before I moved to Tennessee, I ended up with a subscription to Allure, but I no longer get that one. After perusing these magazines for several months, I have come up with a list of assumptions these magazines make about their readers, many of which are probably largely inaccurate.

1. All or most readers live in major cities. Most of these magazines assume that you (the reader) live in a large city – namely NYC, Chicago, or LA. But mostly NYC, since that’s where most of these magazines are based, and where most of the writers, editors, and other staff live. It is a reflection of their bias, but not necessarily a reflection of their readership. Where is middle America? Do they think that no one in Nebraska reads their magazines?

2. All or most readers hold an “office job.” Do you work at an office? I don’t mean a doctor’s office or a law firm. I’m talking a Dunder Mifflin-style office. A “business office,” if you will. For some reason, these magazines seem to think that there are no doctors, teachers, lawyers, stay-at-home moms, soldiers, retail-workers, or any other professions among their readership. It is assumed that the vast majority of their readers are cube-dwellers, hellbent on climbing the corporate ladder to become CEOs of major fashion labels, publishing houses, or paper companies.

3. All or most readers are LOADED (or live like they are). Do you, as an average woman, own a pair of Christian Louboutin heels? No? How about a Louis Vuitton purse? A dress by Balenciaga? Makeup by Dior or sunglasses by Chanel? I didn’t think so. Most of my clothes came from Walmart, Target, or a department store in the mall. My shoes come from Payless, my purses come from Walmart and my makeup comes from the drugstore. I refuse to buy a pair of sunglasses that costs more than $10, because it’s a guarantee you’ll lose them if you do. These magazines seem to think that all their readers have huge amounts of disposable income to blow on name-brand clothes, accessories, and makeup. That, or they assume we are all up to our ears in credit card debt from purchasing such extravagant clothing. With the impact of the recession on nearly every sector of the economy, one would think they would advertise less expensive items. Granted, some of these magazines have “steal” options to counter the “splurge” items, but even these are sometimes woefully out of the price range of many, especially young twenty-something’s like myself who are just getting started.

4. All or most readers are single (or have a boyfriend). I suppose the mentality on this one is that once you get married, you will no longer subscribe because you’ve already permanently hooked a man and you no longer need the tips on how to dress sexy, act sexy, have sexy hair and make up, or be amazing in bed. Don’t let them know I’m on to them, as they will find this revelation to be highly embarrassing as it is very un-feminist of them to essentially be all about how to get a man. But, aside from the embarassingly un-feminist subtext of the magazines, there are hardly ever mentions of “marrieds” in them. Co-habitors? Sure. Engaged? Occasionally. But married? Rarely, if ever. I once heard a song that had the line “You don’t find Cosmo in a happy home.” Perhaps the magazines know it’s true, and so they ignore us marrieds who just read them for the LOLs.

5. All or most readers are “pro-choice.” During election season, these magazines are full of informative articles encouraging readers to exercise their right to vote. However, the information presented almost always shows any pro-life candidate in an unfavorable light. They are talked about in terms of their voting record on “women’s issues” (code name for abortion, because let’s face it, breast cancer & heart disease really aren’t contentious issues), and inevitably those who do not favor stabbing unborn babies in the head come out behind those who DO favor abortion. Some of us females have made peace with biology and realize that as women, we carry the babies. Sometimes this might suck, but such is the way things are. It isn’t the baby’s fault that I got pregnant, so I don’t think I’ll kill it. I’m sure many other readers feel the same way.

6. All or most readers are sexually incompetent. This is evidenced by the fact that in every issue of all of these magazines, there is an article on the undiscovered wonders of girl-on-top sex. Really? How many non-virgin women in the civilized world have not tried it by now? Aside from the reverse cowgirl redundancy, just the sheer number of articles on how to have better sex are mind-boggling. Most of these tips are common sense. They come naturally during the act.

7. All or most readers worship at the alter of the Shoe Cult. Call it The Cinderella Syndrome, Part Deux: The belief that the right shoe can change your life. There is always heavy emphasis on shoes in these articles, particularly very expensive designer shoes. I, for one, hate shoes. I would rather be barefoot or in flip flops, perhaps because I have wide feet and can never find any shoes that fit my foot properly (another post to come on that later). I know many women LIKE shoes, but the devotion to footwear in these magazines is almost slavish – like, regardless of how uncomfortable or impractical, all women have to wear fancy stilettos and high-heeled strappy sandals, and they must cost upwards of $500 a pair. Redonkulous, if you ask me.

Perhaps I judge too harshly. Perhaps the point of these magazines is to celebrate the fun frivolity that comes with being female, especially a twenty-first century, liberated, independent, Pill-popping female. Perhaps their purpose is to help us escape the drag of everyday life by allowing us to look at pretty people in pretty clothing, doing fun and exciting things, and having delightfully unmarried, girl-on-top sex in outrageously expensive footwear, without worrying about the responsibilities of giving birth and raising unwanted babies. Clearly they appeal to a wide audience, even if they do have some bias and set unattainable fashion and body image standards for their average reader. After all, I’m getting 3 of them a month, so can I really judge?

I’m Too Old to Be This Upset About Cartoons

Up until the time I was in 10th grade (2002-2003), my family did not have cable. This, combined with the fact that I lived in a neighborhood with no kids, had no pets until 3rd grade and no siblings ever, confused and confounded my elementary school peers. “What do you DO all the time?” was the most common inquiry made by my grade school friends. I usually responded with something along these lines: “Play outside, ride my bike, play with my Barbies and stuffed animals, and watch TV.” Most of my friends did these things too, but when I said I watched TV, they often asked “What do you watch if you don’t have cable?” My answer? “PBS.” While my colleagues grew up watching “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”, “Doug”, & MTV shows, I spent my afternoons watching “Square One,” “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?”, “Wishbone,” “Lamb Chop’s Playalong,” “Shining Time Station,” and “Reading Rainbow.” Eventually I think the local FOX syndicates picked up some of the Disney Channel shows, like “Duck Tales” and “TaleSpin,” (both of which I intend to buy on DVD if I ever see the full series in a boxed set) and I watched those too. But there was something about those PBS shows that made them awesome. They knew the ultimate trick to education: If you’re having fun, you’re more likely to learn and remember. “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?” sparked an interest in geography for me, while “Ghostwriter” taught kids about writing and how useful it is. “Wishbone” and “Reading Rainbow” both encouraged my love of reading, and “Shining Time Station” reinforced ideas like friendship, patience, and how awesome Ringo Starr is.* Unfortunately, “Square One” went off the air while I was still pretty young, so I don’t remember a lot about it, other than their series-within-a-series, “Mathnet,” a clever little “Dragnet” parody where detectives used math to solve crimes in LA. These shows were educational, but also fun and entertaining. They made you laugh and had endearing charachters, much like many of the 1990s cartoons my friends were watching on cable (and which I watched on ABC on Saturday mornings until the time I was 12 or 13).

It seems to me that cartoons/children’s shows (and maybe TV in general) were better in the 1990s. As I mentioned in my post about “The Princess and the Frog,” most cartoons on TV today are visually unappealing. Nickelodeon seems to be particularly egregious in its proliferation of ugly cartoons (“Sponge Bob”, “Hey Arnold”, and “Rugrats” were some of the earlier ugly cartoons, though “Hey Arnold” and “Rugrats” were at least fun to watch [at my friends’ houses]). These shows, which are now quite lovely compared to some of the newer ones on Nick and Cartoon Network, had characters with WILDLY disproportionate heads and bodies, ugly faces, and unappealing backgrounds. The quality of the animation has only gotten worse. In addition, there are less cartoons on TV nowadays, good OR bad. TV channels that typically played all (or mostly all) cartoons, like the Disney Channel & Nickelodeon, all rely almost exclusively on live-action shows now. Cartoon Network has even started showing live-action shows outside of the Adult Swim block. Traditional Saturday morning cartoons that millions of Americans grew up watching have vanished. None of the major networks show cartoons on their local affiliates anymore.

It makes me a little sad to know that my kids are going to grow up watching lame kids’ shows. My generation has already started having kids, and many young parents that I’ve talked to agree that there aren’t many kids’ shows they like to let their kids watch. Even my other non-parent friends say it makes them sad that kids don’t have good shows to watch anymore. I say it’s time for a cartoon revolution! Boycott the new shows & support syndication and reruns of the old ones. It’s time for animation studios and children’s programming executives to look back to old shows for inspiration. Combine the fun and education of old PBS kids’ shows with the good animation of 1990s Disney/Warner Bros animation.

*Ringo Starr, for a while, played The Conductor on Shining Time Station. He was, for some reason that I cannot remember, about a foot tall in the show. Everyone else was a normal height, but he was pocket-sized.

Listmakers Anonymous

I think I have a serious problem. I make lists for everything. I make Christmas lists (both what I want and what I plan to buy other people), grocery lists, lists of household and clothing items I need to purchase, lists of things I would name my kids, lists of future ideas for blog posts, to-do lists, lists of books to read, movies to see, albums to listen to… hell, I’ve even made a list of all my lists. I am a compulsive list maker. I don’t know that there is anyone else in the world who does this, but I’m sure there must be.

After thinking long and hard about why I do this, this is what I’ve come up with: A) My short-term memory is appallingly, well… short. I think of something that I need to do, or an I have an idea about something, and if I don’t write it down, I forget about it within 5 minutes. I’m pretty sure I have ADD or some kind of early-onset Alzheimer’s. B) I think that by nature I am a rather flighty individual. I tend to daydream a lot, and I often forget what should be very obvious (today I drove all the way to the post office to mail my husband a package and then realized I didn’t have his address with me). In order to compensate for this natural flightiness, I try to micromanage, thoroughly plan, and over-organize everything. I’m pretty sure this annoys the crap out of my poor husband who is a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” kind of guy, but I think we balance each other out. C) Making lists helps me accomplish more.. or at least I FEEL like I’ve accomplished more when I can cross off things on my lists. I always feel so guilty when I have a day off and I don’t get anything done. It doesn’t have to be anything major; if I just get my dishes washed and put away, I can at least say I did SOMETHING other than sleep until noon and then play on the internet all day. I know John Lennon said “Time that you enjoyed wasting was not wasted,” but sometimes I don’t even ENJOY my slacking – I don’t HATE it, but I know there are other more productive things I could be doing that are equally relaxing (scrapbooking, stringing beads, reading a book, etc), and then the guilt sets in and I don’t enjoy it.

My chronic list-making compulsion helps me deal with my strange little psychological quirks, despite the fact that it is a strange little psychological quirk in and of itself. It helps me manage and keep track of all everything I need to do, buy, experience, see, write, or remember. If it takes a weird compulsion to keep me anchored to Planet Earth instead of floating off into Sheepland, then I suppose I can live with that. Think of it as a preventative defense mechanism.