Tag Archives: list making

Live By The List

15 Nov

In the midst of our moving madness, I came to the realization of just how much I live my life according to what is written in list format. I have lists for everything:

  • grocery lists
  • to-do lists
  • don’t forget lists
  • household lists
  • work lists
  • call back lists
  • email lists
  • gift lists
  • weekly menu lists

I even have a list of the things to mention in this blog post about lists.

Admittedly many of these lists overlap in content, but to me, their redundancy is just extra assurance that I won’t forget about them. I get so crazy with my lists that I will often take the time to re-write and organize them.

I know that list-making is normal, David Letterman has been making it a staple of his show for years, but I kind of think that I may be addicted to them. Really. Sometimes, just because I am so task-oriented and glean much pleasure from ticking something off of a list (progress), I will put the most mundane of tasks on my lists.

  • make coffee in the morning (well that was going to happen whether I put it on a list of not)
  • take a shower (again, something that is going to happen regardless of it being penned on a piece of paper)

Looking at my abundant lists got me thinking about the similarities and idiosyncrasies of lists and list-makers.

List-Making Methods

My hubby and I vary in our list making methods. Whereas I like to compile many things onto one sheet of paper, my husband is more of an isolating fellow. He will have a separate piece of paper for each item on a list. And when I say “piece of paper” what I really mean is a napkin, a piece of cardboard ripped from the side of a box, a scrap piece of mail, a gum wrapper. Essentially our home becomes the housing for the many components of his lists and it is a scavenger hunt trying to find all the pieces. It is not uncommon for me to find a note written on a piece of toilet paper and tied around the bathroom sink faucet. Classy!


We all have them, those things that HAVE to get done but you reallllly don’t want to do them. The phone call to the insurance company, the trip to the dry cleaners, the cleaning of the junk drawer; so they get carried over from one list to another. Eventually these things will get done, but they are the things we’d rather think about at another date and time. In the meantime, at least for me, their existence on my list weighs on me and I would be better off to just attack these items first and get them over with!

Checks vs. Strikes

I am a stiker-outer. I like to cross items off my list but others like to place a tidy check mark or X next to the item. In my opinion, the sloppier my list looks by the time the last item is omitted, the tidier my mind is.

The Mental Lists

Making mental lists is probably a common practice, but I recently realized that I have been compiling an ongoing list of things that annoy me. When I stop to think about them, the list is a mish-mesh of random things that have irritated me in one way or another. So I decided to end this post with some of these mental notes. See if you agree. (My apologies for the rant that item #4 turned into…the more I wrote, the more annoyed I got!)

1) This Folgers Coffee Commercial. I’m sorry, but there is something about the brother-sister relationship that is just too…friendly. Every time I see it, I fidget in my seat with discomfort and annoyance.

Click on the image to see the commercial.

2) The packaging that sample-sized shampoos and conditioners come in. I think that dentists of the world have an “in” with the companies who manufacture these because when it comes right down to it, the only way of opening them once you are in the shower, unless you have planned ahead of time (which I usually don’t), is with your teeth. Ouch!

3) The Charmin Bears. While I appreciate what Charmin is trying to do by taking a squirmy subject such as proper toilet paper usage and turning it into something cutesy, I can really do without the discussion of it altogether. People know what toilet paper is for. We don’t need visuals such as these:

4) Self Check-Out Lines at the Grocery Store. I fall for the trap way too often. The lines with employed, living, breathing human beings is ridiculously long and there is practically no one using the self check-out lines, so I cave. New rule: don’t cave, there is a reason why those lines are short. It never fails that the damn machine doesn’t recognize that I have scanned an item and placed it in a bag, it continuously tells me that I need to rescan an item (then charges me twice), and it is incessantly telling me that my scanning technique is an epic fail and beckons the sole human cashier delegated as “Moderator of the Self Check-out Idiots” my way. Let it be said that the human moderator never comes. I look at her perched at her centrally located machine, peering out over the crowd of self-checkers, and she, too, knows that this system is crap! She is like the parent of the little boy who cried wolf. These machines are so incredibly flawed and have caused her so many unnecessary trips to a patron’s side that she now just hits a button to cancel out my machine’s unwarranted error. By the end of my scanning adventure I have sighed out loud no less than 63 times, thrown my arms in the air in angst at least 25 times, and have spewed many obscenities at the computerized voice in the machine: “What the hell do you want me to do? I scanned the damn Nutella. It’s there! In the damn bag.” By the time the computer is asking if I have coupons, I am answering her out loud, not caring what kind of crazy person I look like to others. Simply put, I. LOATHE. THESE. MACHINES! And, forget about having a successful self check-out if your kid is in tow. If your wee one even breathes upon the weight detecting areas, it causes all kinds of alarms to go off. Error! Error! Cancel order. Start over. Insert Bonus Savings Card here.

While I am on the issue of complaining, I must also ask, why do these machines look so archaic? When I look at them I am always reminded of images of the first computers. And, really, what are they thinking with the little 12-by-12 square they provide for placing un-scanned items upon? Who can fit everything there?

The End!