I make lists. In the Gospel According to Sports Night, this definitely makes me a woman, says Jeremy, as “they are never so happy as when they’re making a little list”. And it’s TRUE. I like a good list.

I make lists of things to do. I make shopping lists. I make wish lists. I would make lists of lists, if it would do any good.

I have issues.

I realized this today, when we went grocery shopping. In our plastic bag-less supermarket society, I go equipped with my cloth bags and my bins, and today, when I went to put my bags and bins on the self checkout, it freaked out. It kept telling me to remove my last item and scan it. Well, I didn’t HAVE a last item. It was then that I looked in a bag, and realized that the machine thought I had bought something because of the weight of the eleventy-seven old lists in the bottom of the bag.

Whoops. That’s a lot of lists.

BDH is also a list maker, although he is not a woman. He makes lists to help keep his chaotic days organized, especially with the meds he has to be sure to take each day. But the difference between us is that he strives to CHECK THINGS OFF his lists, whereas I just make lists to… LIST THINGS, really. He derives a sense of accomplishment from crossing things off, where I find the list-making is satisfying enough for me.

Maybe that’s the difference between men and women. Men like to CROSS THINGS OFF, done, complete. Women find the list-making is enough.

Maybe. Or, it’s quite possible that I am just weird.

At any given time, I have lists on the go. I find lists provide me with a sense of structure in my day. Lists and calendars, to be honest. But what’s a calendar if not a list, really? It’s just organized differently, is all. I have a list of things to do in a week in a book on my bedside table. I have a shopping list on the go on a pad of paper stuck to the fridge with magnets. I have lists of knitting projects I want to do posted online. I have a calendar on the wall with all our events for the month on it, and a list of what’s on the menu for the week beside that. I have a calendar online with this information too that sends me reminders. Somewhere, on computers throughout the house, I have wish lists of things for the house. I have lists that are the bane of my work existence of things to do and messes to be cleaned up and projects that need work.

There are more. I can’t think of them right now. But there are.

See? I need a list of my lists.

But what I really need is something that will read my mind and make a list for me. I spend my day going about my business and a thought will occur to me — SOMETHING I KNOW SHOULD GO ON A LIST! — but I am driving or whatever and can’t just make a list right then and there. “I should do X for Stinkerbelle’s school.” “That would make a great Xmas gift for so-and-so.” “Oh, I should watch that show!” So what I need is something that takes that fleeting thought and sends it to the appropriate list.

Okay, so maybe that’s a little out there. A little futuristic. But really, list makers, wouldn’t it be great to have something that intuitive? Something that can just file things on lists for you so you can deal with them at a more convenient time. Doesn’t that sound like heaven for a list maker like me?

Maybe in the future. Some computer geek somewhere needs to put that on his “to do” list.

8 thoughts on “Listing

  1. OK. I must let you know that BDH comes from a long line of list makers. We not only make lists but we delight in being able to make a check or XXX when the job is done. There is so much satisfaction in making that little X or check mark after you do that chore but you have to be realistic!!!! That way you actually challenge your self to complete the list for the day. Also you can’t say I forgot that one because it is right there on the list. It is like can I get all of these things done in one day? If I push myself I think I can. One more thing we don’t have to put on tomorrows list never to be seen again or at lest until this time next year. Sorry Cinn but he comes by it naturally and probably won’t outgrow it any time soon. We love our lists. A list of lists is unheard of. Finish that list and throw it in the garbage or whatever. It is behind you.

  2. See, to really get into the whole checking off/crossing off thing, the secret is to start the list with a couple of things you’ve already done. And shazam! cross them off. Whee, the rush.

    Or is that just me.

    I’m assuming as a card carrying listaholic, your Christmas list is well underway? perhaps several of them?

  3. Yup. Just weird. I’m with Tafel. I write things already done so that I can cross them off with a flourish and a smug feeling of justification. I make lists to cross things off. That’s like candy for me.

    • @Tova — Really? My lists don’t last that long. By the time I get around to when I’d be crossing stuff off a list, the task is done, I’ve already moved on, who cares, and probably there’s another list.

  4. We have list pads that have the little boxes printed right on the page. They work great for those of us who enjoy doing the little tick when a job is finished.

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