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Midland, Texas, United States
I write. I make stuff.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

OK, Now, Listen, People! About the Numbering.

I’ve just got to tell you, in case you haven’t figured it out just yet, that this whole Numbering of the Spanks Thing is going to be a bumpy, bumpy ride. Numbering and me? Well. Huh. It’s just not going to be pretty.

Here’s why:  in case you’ve somehow missed it—been buried on Pluto or something—I have OCD. Oh, I’m fine, never to worry:  no need to send condolences or fear for your children’s lives or anything. No. I’m pretty much recovered. Yes! But:  the way that happens is that you learn what works and what doesn’t. And for me? What doesn’t? Counting! Numbers, goddammit! I Do Not Count. Because, if you’re, oh, say, ME? What would appear to be a simple 1-2-3 to anyone else is the first fucking step down a long, long slippery slope.

I knew a man once, a normal-enough-seeming man, in a position of some authority, who had no idea he had OCD. None. I knew immediately, as soon as he told me this:  whenever he was in a room with acoustical ceiling tiles, he had to count the tiles. All of them, every line, every row. And then? Like if he were waiting for someone, for a meeting or something and had Some Time on his hands? Then he was forced—FORCED, I tell you!—to count the holes in every tile. Yes. And then—because he was A Math Person—he was forced (!) to figure out the average number of holes per tile, the average number of holes per row, per line, per square foot—ad nauseum. God help him if the other party never showed: he’d be subdividing the area and figuring for pi.

Or something. Obviously I don’t know shit about math.

But you get the idea:  some people with OCD wash. Some count. Some clean. Some check.

Me? Checking was my first love. Ah, yes. We still meet, now and then. Counting I’ve pretty much gotten over. Old crush. First love. And seeing as how I totally suck at math, there’s not much fun if you never get beyond the basics of pure counting.

Oh, that’s such a lie.  That I suck at math. I may suck NOW, but at one time, I had a Very Promising Future in Math. Fancy classes and all that. But I think I realized even back then that Math and I were going to have one of those torrid relationships where you give up your soul for love, where you sell your family into Gitmo just to double-check your figures. I remember nights when I was 11, checking and double-checking those figures, getting those 100’s, sliding into The Math Nerd Class and just being on the brink of OCD Math Hell.

Holy crap. I escaped purely by chance (we moved to California, where they didn’t, apparently, Do Math (they were a year behind, and it didn’t seem worth the trouble to put me in private school, although it was Discussed = Reprieve!)).

ANYWAY. So. I don’t do math. I don’t count things. When a friend of The EGE taught me to crochet, I was all happy until he told me I had to count stitches, and I said, “Oh, no. I Do Not Count.” And he snorted and said, “For crochet, you do.”

He was so wrong. I crocheted a blanket thing and a couple of scarves and a big, heavy bed thing, and I never, ever counted one single stitch. Never. Just to prove I didn’t have to.

Also to keep myself from going totally fucking nuts and counting the fibers in each strand of yarn and the seconds required for each stitch and the number of breaths for a row, and . . . .you get the idea.

And then I quit.

And then, years later, I had to crochet something else, just to prove I could. Someone who Knew Me Well didn’t believe that I, Who Do Not Count, had ever learned to crochet.


I hate the crochet. It sucks the big winkie.

So what I’m saying here is this:  if it’s important to you that the Journal Spanks be numbered in sequential order, that I not skip any and that I get them all right, then, um, you’re going to have to do it yourself. The numbering. Just put a bunch of numbers in a bowl and pull out whichever one seems right to you. Because I’m hanging on by my fingernails here:  we’re still in the single digits, so there’s still hope; and , in fact, I thought I was doing an excellent job until someone mentioned it. But once we move on past #10? Oh, honeys:  all bets are off. I’ll do my best, but the numbers? They are on their own. Feel free to supply numbers of your own choosing. Make some up! Invent a new system! I’ll be fine with it. Promise.

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flying fish said...

snort of laughter! I like that my quirks have a name now.

You could number some of the spanks and letter others, sort of like what the car talk guys do only more interesting.

Edie said...

Call them by the names of stars. ooooh, I meant like cygnus, then I thought "Oh! Spank Colin Ferguson! Spank Johnny Depp! Today we're doing the Mcguyver Spank!



Corrine said...

I was going to say, I have a maths phobia, and who cares about numbers, just call it a journal spank...but then I read what Edie wrote and the image of Spank Johnny Depp, is just too good not to use. You're made my day, that's so funny.

meowy said...

I have OCD too, I'm a washer/cleaner/counter/checker. I'm busy a lot on bad days ugh. I feel like Mr. Monk a lot haha :)

I love crochet for the very reason I do count hehe! It is just nice to know I can do five then do a tr, then do 7, and a tr, and maybe another tr.. or something. I cannot do big projects because I found when I tried an afghan, I would have to recount the row a whole lot of times and I think I only got to row 3 on my blanket before I unraveled it. I just finished a doily, my firs tone.. and although it was frustrating I really liked making it. Small batches of numbers to keep me focused. It's calming for me, just as long as it's not a huge string of stitches to count then it's just frustrating almost to the point of tears.

I try to keep it in check, especially if I'm not in my own home, but some days it's super hard. Mostly though I have my night checking down to about 15 minutes lately. Woohoo!

I used to count the dots on ceiling tiles too, I don't know if I quit simply because I'm rarely around ceiling tiles like that or if I've gotten past that step. I'm afraid to test it hehe

Gonna go pick a journal spank to do before I go to sleep. Love them! :) I write in my paper journal daily now as opposed to.. oh.. you know.. letting it get dusty.

Rosemoo said...

I got the bestest idea ever to fix this whole numbering issue.

Just name them all.


Like, "Draw a pair of shoes day".

Or, "Andy Warhol has nothing on you baby" day.

And then, when you realize how great the journal spanks were, and make them into a big book with examples from all your online students, you can rearrange them at will because they won't have numbers, they will have entertaining names!


Worship me! I have discovered the answer!

Nita said...

No numbers needed! Cool names are MUCH better in all ways. And no organized system needed either. Jungle gym spank. Venetian blind spank. Blinky green light spank. Random, you know?

Holly said...

as long as they are labelled, I will be able to carry on with out numbers.

I need labels. And categories. And groups. Subcategories are nice. If they could all line up perfectly, that would be good too.

Oops, my crazy is showing again. I'm a sorter with a flair for symmetry and evenness.

Aly The Red-Bliss Monkey Studio said...

Ha ha ha!!! Just call it the Wednesday Spank . Sounds so sassy.

Who needs to count crochet, I can tell by looking that I've dropped a stitch. Freeform crochet is more fun anyway.

I'm glad there are nice folks out in the world, counting stitches, getting neat corners and perfection. It's just not me.

Is that a photo of you and your sweetie? Wow is that ever cute!

anna maria said...

How about "new spank" or "next spank"?

blue bird said...

Not to point out the obvious, but why don't you just let the date, which is automatically posted anyhow, speak for the linear order of the spanks and be done with any worry? Title them whatever you want.

SCquiltaddict said...

ROFL...glad i was not drinking hot tea I woulda spewed on the monitor...i thought i was going to be brilliant and suggest the days date...i was one post too late...

Bad Alice said...

Journal Spank of the day works for me. Hell, it doesn't even really need a name. Just putting "Spank!" works will do.