This Is Not My Fault

This morning, while going about my usual early Friday morning routine - a brisk run around the neighborhood followed by a thorough scrubbing (the apartment, the laundry, myself, my kid, in that order), I made a list of all the things that annoy me about myself.  I will now share some of them with you (I may regret this decision tomorrow):

Things That Annoy Me About Myself:

I have a Monica-Geller level of OCD regarding cleanliness.  I hate this about myself.  For once in my life I would love to be sloppy and not mind, but alas I cannot.  I tried, last November.  I told myself I was taking a break and then, to ensure I actually enjoyed my break, I took up drinking.  (As far as I can tell, this is the only way to temporarily beat my personality disorders.  Side affects may include dizziness, headaches, nauseous, vomiting, liver failure, and/or cancer.  Also it's an expensive habit).  The apartment got disgusting pretty quickly and then New Year's hit and my wacky habits returned in full force.

I am extremely competitive with myself.  If I get an idea into my head and it sounds too difficult to attempt, I will make myself attempt it (I generally try to avoid getting new ideas).  Once I've begun, I will raise the standard on how far I'm going to take the thing, and try to accomplish it at a faster pace than necessary or wise.  (I blame my dad.  I think I inherited my competitive spirit from him, a theory I'm basing on the fact that he has a lot of stories about separating his P.E. class into teams - all the athletic kids versus himself and the fat/slow/otherwise-disabled kids, and then his team wins.  I love you, dad.)

Despite the fact that I have an English degree, have read several books on grammar (sometimes for fun, if they're written by Lynn Truss), and have edited numerous papers for other people, I cannot for the life of me remember the correct grammatical terms.  I can tell you what's wrong and also how you should fix it (and chances are I'll just fix it for you), but I can't tell you why, exactly.  This has always bothered me about myself but clearly not enough for me to actually address the issue.

I like making lists but I hate keeping them (you can see the predicament).  I create havoc with my cuticles when distracted.  I am forever getting lost going places I've already been.  I throw things away when I don't want to think about them anymore (this could use further clarification but trust me, you don't want to know).  I am self-motivated to the point of distraction.  I have ever agreed to do things that I don't want to do, merely because I wasn't listening when asked.  I've never particularly liked my nose.

Things That Should Probably Annoy Me About Myself
... but, for whatever reason, don't ...

I rarely put merchandise back where it belongs when shopping.  I agree, this is immature and rude of me, and you'd think after all those years working in customer service I would be more considerate, but I'm not.  Yesterday while grocery shopping with Tim, he said he was going to put a box of something-or-other back and, without thinking, I said, "I'll do it.  It takes me way less time to put things back than you."  And that's when it really hit me that this should probably annoy me about myself.  Ah well.

I periodically rearrange everything we own (you know, in case someone who has regular access to our house is planning on robbing us).  This drives Tim crazy because he can never find anything, but God forbid he ask me where anything is because my automatic response tends to be, "You should know this by now; you've lived here long enough.  Geez."

My OCD-edness is primarily a surface-level kind of thing.  If I can see the floor is dirty I will clean it.  On the other hand, out of sight out of mind.  I never put movies back in their proper cases and this doesn't bother me in the least.  It does bother Tim, however.  Also my underwear drawer is a mess because I quit folding underwear.   Seemed like a waste of time since I could just close the drawer and forget about it.

Like the rest of my siblings, I drink way too much coffee, I laugh at all the wrong moments in movies, I sing the happy birthday song out of key on purpose, I cheat on board-games, I tell white lies on accident, and I quote authors and actors in daily conversation without citing them.  I am not particularly bothered by any of this.

Things I'm Quite Sure Annoy My Neighbor:
The Man Who Lives Downstairs

Mostly Noise-Related:

I vacuum just about every day and I do not know the apartment-approved vacuuming hours.

My elliptical machine creaks.  The problem got worse after I moved it out onto the deck (so I could watch other people while working out and pretend I'm actually going somewhere).  It just occurred to me that this may or may not be directly over where his bedroom is located.

My mail is often delivered to his apartment, forcing him to walk up a flight of stairs and then wait politely at my door while I try to unlock it because I still haven't figured out which key is the right one (30 multi-colored keys.  Thirty.  THIRTY.  WHO NEEDS THIRTY KEYS?).  This is not my fault.

... Quick, tell me something you love about me.


  1. I think its funny you mention the cuticle thing - I remember yelling at you about that one ;)

    Thankfully, you're also beautiful, talented, super artistic, can write marvelously and can make any house a home!

    I feel sorry for my neighbors below me too when I do my workouts. I'm sure they appreciate it. Hopefully I'm inspiring them!

  2. Well, I second everything the above commentor said about you being beautiful, talented, super artisic, etc, etc... I also see nothing wrong with the Monica Gellar thing as I have the same 'problem' and have been lovingly referred to as Monica by my husband many times for just that reason. Do you remember the episode where Chandler cleaned the apartment and Ross came over and warned him of the reprecussions and then Monica came home and they had to lie and tell her Ross was naked so she wouldn't come in the door? Then, she walked in and noticed that everything was misplaced and grabbed cleaning supplies and wanted to know if Ross had sat anywhere while he was naked? Oh boy, hilarious! And that is sooo me. Whenever my husband attempts to clean anything, I tell him he's doing it wrong and puts everything back wrong. There is a place for everything and everything should be in it's place! Why is that so difficult to understand? And NO ONE better be sitting anywhere naked in my house! Oh, and the underwear folding - completely pointless. Possibly, I've shared too much information here. You are fine. I'm going to hide now.

  3. not remembering "correct grammatical terms..." that's me too. :P

    the only time i can put away my ocd habits halfway is when it's my time of the month. then i don't freaking care what happens to the house, even though it's not mine in the first place but i seem to be one of the only people who care in the end. oy.
    that's when i don't have any desire to scrub the kitchen counter clean from anyone's messes, but it's still there when i come back the next day and i clean it then.
    what a predicament, huh? sheesh.

    the merchandise thing! hahaha...that's me too.

    i can't rearrange my parents' house.
    but i'll let you know if i develop this quirk also someday.

    movies in proper cases bug me...but about the unfolded underwear drawer, your thoughts are spot on.

    urgh. maybe i won't dread vacuuming as much in my own house someday.
    here, there's just...so many...people around...that i have to tell to get out....lol. that's what bugs me most. they don't want to move so i can do an efficient job. :P

    i love the way you don't hide anything about yourself. it makes the rest of us feel connected to you in a wonderful deep-soul friendshippy way. ;)
    friendshippy is not a word. i feel like a dork right now.
    and you're funny.
    and i love your writing. :) i'm glad you were born. :)

  4. I love your honesty, your hilarious stories, the fact that you got me to rent the Gilmore Girls, the way your blog looks, your photos, the fact that you are the only person I know (without having ever really met) who quotes and/or references movies and tv shows as much or possibly more than I do. I feel like a crazy stalker person listing all of this. I feel like I should be sitting on the floor in a dark room typing this while turing a table lamp on and off over and over, like Glenn Close in the original version of Fatal Attraction. (I'm not actually doing that, though :-)

  5. Hahaha this makes me want to do a post like this! Perhaps I shall.

    I also see a lot of myself in Monica Gellar.

  6. I have that same problem with having an English degree and not remembering the grammar rules. I think I've just let it go completely :)

  7. Lauren, you are you, that's enough! I love all that I know about you.

  8. Man....I was always on your Dad's team :/

    1. Oh and a compliment for you. You put up with the Holgates

  9. I just happened upon your blog, and found it (and you) quite entertaining. Love your ability to pinpoint how you see yourself and the humor you use to write about it.

  10. i read this 3 times
    and now i'm bookmarking it, so i can come back and read it again at a moment's notice.

    and singing happy birthday out of key on purpose? YES.


( hippies always welcome )