Friday, January 13, 2012


I am a list-making fool.  I always have been.  Tell me to make a list for you, and I'm at the ready;  pen and list-paper (yes, I have list-making paper... but anything will work). 

I think my love of lists began in late childhood.  I'd watch my mother as she would sit at the dining room table, her coffee steaming, cigarettes at the ready, and her cute note pad.  She used the same pen year after year.  Her elegant script.  The Grocery List.

Before she began, she would go to the refrigerator and remove another list from the door.  This was the "We Just Ran Out of This and Must Replace It" list; the precursor to The Grocery List.  She placed it neatly beside her.  She studied it as if she was placing the items on this list in order.  I watched in fascination as she mentally scanned the aisles of the store.  Glancing back at the WJROOTAMRI list, checking to see if an item was in the part of the store in her mind.  Her first task was to correctly place those items into the list - where they belonged.  Then when that was done, she would begin again, usually in the produce section, and work her way to the frozen foods.

It took her about a half hour to do this.  She did it monthly; always on the Thursday before pay-day.  The list was placed by my father's car keys and wallet.  Sometimes, to her dismay, she would forget to add an item.  The list was already completed.  Though she tried not to let it show, she would actually get upset that she would have to squeeze an item onto her beautiful list; usually with a an arrow pointing to where it was supposed to go.  This was the only list my mother made.  Unbeknownst to her, she had a list-making fool in the making.

No, my mother did not suffer from OCD.  She was just very meticulous about certain things. Years later, my father would take over The Grocery List.  Not only did he take over, he mastered it.  After my mother died, and after my kids were born, I would spend weekends with him.  Saturday mornings meant restocking for 4 instead of just himself for a few days.  He probably didn't know it at the time, but he absolutely LOVED grocery shopping.  But, before we could go, he too would grab his WJROOTAMRI list.  We would sit in the kitchen, again with coffee and cigarettes, and compile The Grocery List.  He'd ask me what I wanted for supper.  Did I need shampoo?  How about something sweet?  He wasn't nearly as particular about his list.  Just don't forget anything and good God, don't forget the list!

Funny thing is, if I had to chose a list I like the least?  The Grocery List.  Why?  Well, I used to make mine just like my mom did.  The perfect list-making paper, my favorite pen, coffee (no more cigarettes).  I had my own WJROOTAMRI list, and I too mentally walked down every aisle, putting the list of things in order by aisle, and/or department.  I'd place my list by my husband's wallet.  One of two things would happen.

1.  He'd forget the list.

2.  He'd take it, but buy 70% of what was on it.  This would irritate me immensely.  Not infuriate.  Irritate.  So now, my least favorite list has now dwindled down to he and I emailing back and forth a "IGTTS-WDWN" List (I'm Going To The Store-What Do We Need).  I'd like to say that has helped.  Okay it has.  Still, things are often not purchased.  So, why bother?

I do love making other lists, though.  I'll make you a list of things you can throw out.  I'll make you a list of things to make cleaning your home easier.  I'll make you a list of really good ways to recycle plastic bags.   I'll make you a list of lists.

My cousin decided to start a blog a while ago.  She was turning fifty and wanted to document the time as her birthday approached.  She writes daily and just posted her 200th entry.  I read it every day, but sometimes when we chat, she'll tell me "You'll love my blog... it's a listy blog!"  I run like a kid trying to catch the Good Humor truck.

A friend of mine recently invited me to join Pinterest.  I had heard about Pinterest about a year ago and signed up for an invitation.  I never got one.  Then one day a few weeks ago, my friend posted her Pineterest to Face Book.  I asked her about it and she sent me an invitation, and an apology to my husband.  Paraphrasing, she said she was sorry, that he was in big trouble.  How did she know about my list-making obsession?  Spot on.  I think I have over 400 'pins' divided into 20 categories.  A list-maker's dream!

Maybe I will start writing out my Grocery Lists out, again.  Not enough ink is being spilled these days.  I could make you a list of reasons why...

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