Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Bring It On Myself, I Really Do

While I am not suffering from a textbook case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I do have distinctly anal rententive tendencies.

One way in which this tendency manifests itself is a disconcerting need for perfection when it comes to certain things. If I can't have that thing perfect, then I don't have it at all. If I can't do that thing perfectly, I don't do it at all.

If I know that not having or doing or being some thing perfectly will stress me out beyond belief, then I avoid it.

I think this is a lot to blame for the fact that I haven't yet become a published author. I find the possibility of failure...of not writing the perfect book, and having the perfect literary career, unacceptable. So I languish in anonymity here on the internet.

Kind of pathetic, really.

Another manifestation is my love of symmetry. You will not find anything in my house that is not balanced or matched. Eclectisism is not a trend that I embrace except when it comes to literature and music, because visual cacophany causes me physical pain. If it is within my power to right the wrong, I do. I can't stand not to.

This amuses my children to no end.

Most of the time, they indulge me. But sometimes, they take great delight in exploiting this characteristic for their own amusement.

Every year, they derive great pleasure from arguing with me about the fact that the candy canes on the tree must all face the same direction. I know. It's stupid. I realize this. But I can't STAND to have them any other way.

"It doesn't matter Mom. Nobody is going to notice that they're not all facing the same direction"

"I'll notice. Please make put them on facing the same direction."

"Yeah Mom, it's not like the universe will implode if they face different ways."

"No, but I might. Just do as I ask, please."

They roll their eyes. They put a few on backwards just to see if I'm going to suffer an apoplexy before their very eyes. They don't get the spectacle of an apoplexy, but they do get a thunderous look and an exasperated sigh. Giggling, they set things to rights.

The other night Husband and I sat in the living room admiring the tree, which, I have to admit, is very pretty, even if it is entirely too large for the space into which it has been wedged.

It has a pleasingly symmetrical shape, which, of course, I find entirely charming. We put all our sentimental ornaments on the tree first, and then fill in with candycanes, dangling golden icicles, and simple red balls.

As a finishing touch, red ribbon cascades from the top in several strategically placed curlicues, topped by a bedraggled (it fell apart after many years of use and I didn't do a very artful job of putting it back together) but satisfactorily matching bow.

It's our tree and it's unlike any other. I sighed, having at last found some measure of joy and contentment amid the chaos and commercialism of a season I have come to dread.

Suddenly, Husband gave a strangled snort.

"What is it?"

"Nothing." Cough

"Well it must be something. What is it?"

"Uh. When's the last time you took a good look at the tree?"

"I look at it every day. Why?"

"No reason."

I gave him the hairy eyeball, to no avail. I sat there, pondering what the big mystery could be, and suddenly, it dawned on me.

"There are backwards candy canes on the tree, aren't there?"

He laughed.

"I'll never tell."

I got up to investigate. Sure enough, there, nestled deeply amongst the innermost branches, were several candy canes, facing the wrong direction.

I did not go all apoplectic. Instead, I found myself smiling.

And I didn't fix them.

Because it's funny. Really, flippin funny. Even if I am the butt of the joke.

Those little....imps.


  • At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The more I get to "know" you the more I see why I love reading this blog. We have much in common. I am a huge slave to symmetry and things that match. It truly can be a source of stress. Especially when I can't afford to satisfy my need.....

  • At 4:22 PM, Blogger All Things BD said…

    I am a huge proponent of symmetry as well. All my decorations (mantle decor, wall hangings, shelving) has to align perfectly and balance.

    I also subscribe to the following: "if it's not a right angle, it is a wrong angle".

  • At 6:19 PM, Blogger Shelley Jaffe said…

    Woman, I swear sometimes when I'm reading your post, I could be looking at my diary.

    Except, like, we don't celebrate Christmas. And I'm not American. Other than that, pret-ty eerie.

    My family pokes the fun at me because I am fanatical about the way the laundry is folded, and the towel have to be tri-folded on the towel rack.

    The snuggle blankets on the couch have to be folded a certain way. They love to fold them in front of my, intentionally the wrong way. A Mexican standoff then ensues to see if I will crack and re-do them.

    Don't even get me started on how the Gladware has to be put away.

  • At 7:44 PM, Blogger Middle Girl said…

    Me? I just dispense with candy canes altogether.

    I'm glad you found a corner of joy. :)

  • At 8:13 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    You honestly are my twin sister. We were separated at birth or something. I'm just like this. OCD much? Oh yeah!

  • At 1:51 AM, Blogger flutter said…

    I like happy on you.

  • At 9:09 AM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    Candy canes? Are those the sugary red and white things that never actually make it onto the tree because they end up in our bellies first?

  • At 4:22 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    You should see our tree you would have a cow

    Gregory has decorated and undeccorated it pulled the lights and it looks a bit rough
    but it makes him happy

    Glad your kids could have some fun with you and you didn't go too nuts

  • At 4:32 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…


    I love that you found the humour in that.

  • At 8:48 AM, Blogger musingwoman said…

    I admire your ability to keep them turned!

    I'd either have to have them all going one direction or have them all going in different directions. To have just a few turned the other way would keep me up at night!

  • At 12:57 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    I have a touch of perfectionist in me, too. Ok, that's an understatement. And my poor older son inherited it, too, and I'm horrible about teasing him about it. But I tease because I love the little me in him.

    The other day my lovely husband cleaned the bathroom for me. And to pay me back for teasing our son, he put everything that is on our bathroom sink in the wrong place. Of course, I noticed it immediately and put everything back in its place. He thought it was hilarious.


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