Saturday, October 15, 2005

Making lists

When I was little, I watched my mother make lists. Not only grocery lists, but menu lists, questions for the doctor lists, errand lists, card lists, if a list could be made, she made one. Accompanying her need to make lists was a strict admonition to never move the pen and pad from her list making area, which also happened to be right beside the telephone. Between me, my dad and my two brothers the pen got moved on a few occasions, because that was our last stop if we couldn't find a writing utensil anywhere else. The stealing of the pen was always followed by wrath of God stares and beratement by a woman who in normal company appeared to be the picture of polite and gentle solitude.

Tried though she might, my mother never managed to instill the propensity for making lists into my psyche. I try, now and then, to halfheartedly make a grocery list, but once I put the initial items I think of on it, whenever I think of more I never add to it, I simple decide to myself that I'll remember. Half the time I never even pull the list out of my purse when I am at the store. Of course, I am always sorry by the time I get home, because there is undoubtedly at least one item I've forgotten, usually something important that manages to be forgotten even through the next couple of trips to the store. I've done that with eggs the last three trips. Maybe Monday I'll get lucky.

I'm not sure exactly why I find making lists so odious. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I think my mind is more lucid than it actually is. Perhaps it is the fact that I hate having tiny pieces of paper around me. I know the luxury of having a supermarket across the street makes me feel more confident about forgetting something, knowing I can just run back over whenever the mood strikes me. The checkout lady knows us pretty well by now.

So far the absence of zealous listmaking hasn't really caused any problems in my life aside from a little inconvenience now and then. Someday I may need lists, but not yet. But god forbid you move my phone pen. Some things are innate, I guess.


The SeaWitch said...

I love to make lists too. It's therapeutic. Just by writing I list, I somehow feel accomplished even if I never do a thing that I put on my list. I don't trust my brain to remember anything important such as paying the electricity bill or buy milk and bread. But I will remember the most ridiculous things like the first paragraph of "The Cask of Amontillado" or the trade deficits of most countries. LOL

traveller one said...

I love making lists and have a rather large notebook that I fill with lists of everything from books I want to but to useful Albanian words. I use it instead of a day planner and it really works for me. However I read recently that you should exercise your brain by NOT making lists and trying to remember things instead. It said it was a good strategy against developing .....what was it again??? Oh yeah- Alzeimers!

melusina said...

Well, I used to do that with books and things I wanted but then I discovered the Amazon wish list. =p

I do actually keep a list of movies I want to see, because every time we go to rent one we can't remember what we want to see.

I wondered about the idea of making lists and relying on them vs. using your brain to try to remember and if it makes a difference when it comes to things like Alzheimers, which I am terrified of, so that may be a subconscious reason I refuse to keep lists.