Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Quirk

I have some habits which have suddenly struck me as potentially quite peculiar. I've never really thought about it because they're just things that I do and that's the way it is but I had a sudden moment today where I realised I was doing something and, much like the alcoholic, a moment of clarity peeped through the clouds of possible insanity. Let's start with a mild one to ease you in...

A, B, C...
I have a tendency to alphabetise. This is by no means uncommon but I do know some people look at me as if I'm a bit odd when I mention it. Upon fidning this out, someone actaully said to me the other day, "Oh, I didn't realise you were one of those". Yep, I certainly am. This is mainly DVDs and CDs, to be fair, though. It doesn't extend to books (books aren't a uniform shape and size and it looks more untidy when they're alphabetised - instead, they're grouped by size and theme). It's partly an organisational thing - I have a ridiculous amount of stuff and I wouldn't be able to find it if there wasn't some sort of system. There is, however, something inside that gets a little twitchy when the order is violated. I mean, it doesn't go there, does it - it starts with a D. Think, man, think. It's very straightforward.

Halfway
So when I'm reading a book, the first thing is see how many pages it has and then work out where the halfway point so I can tell at all times exactly how far through the book I am. I have no idea when I started doing this - I just do it. I also don't generally use a bookmark - I just remember the page number. That's normally where the comparison point comes in. "Ah, only 47 more pages and I'm halfway through." Maybe that helps to cement the number in my mind. Maybe I should just use a bookmark. I do still work out the halfway point, though, on the occasions that I do use a bookmark so maybe not.

Pointless Sum
This was the thing that set me off thinking about odd habits. In general, whenever I see a long number (and it's usually a phone number), I have this odd urge to mentally add up all the digits to see what the sum is. I have absolutely no idea at all where this one comes from. It has no practical use (other than keeping the old mental arithmetic ticking over slightly) and I then have nothing whatsoever I can do with that information when I have it. It's not as if I'm going to turn to the person next to me and say, "Hey, did you realise that the sum of that phone number is 34?" They would look at me, smile politely and then back away slowly whilst keeping me in their field of vision at all times. And who can blame them?

So, there you go, a couple of odd habits which all just go to prove that I'm Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man (and, much like him, I'm not wearing any underwear).

12 comments:

Diane said...

My daughter does the thing with the books. I do the thing with the numbers. The underwear thing? That's only when the laundry has really piled up... but it's good to know about you ;)

Anna Russell said...

I do the book thing too! I thought it was just me.
I don't alphabetise my books and CDs, but I do seperate them into "moods". Which is why I have Public Enemy right next to Miles Davis(it makes sense in my head).

Lana said...

i feel you on all points you mentioned. i also color code things that don't look right when alphabetized. it just feels like it's the warm and fuzzy way to do things.

ps. hi!

That Baldy Fella said...

Diane - You do the numbers thing? I seriously thought that one was just me!

Anna - We need a name. Book splitters? Hmmm...
It's your system - you're the one that needs to find the stuff. Therefore it is right.

Lana - Ah, an alphabetising / colour code combo. Nice.
P.S. Hi back!

Sweet Cheeks said...

You are not alone Sir Nick!

I form some sort of mathematical equation in my head for a phone number. This times that is half of two times the last three numbers....

I know...a lot of brain power wasted there...but I actually remember almost every number ever put in my head like that.

My books are sorted by size and then grouped by color. The obvious exception to that are books from a series that are numbered...They are banished from normal books and must live on their own shelves.

And all of my clothes are sorted by color...not by season...so shorts and sweaters occupy the same space if they are the same color.

Oh...and as for the halfway thing...I will take a new book and open it up half way and crack the spine..I know...Librarians all over the world curse me!
;-)

Brandy Rose said...

Oh dear, I have the same odd habits. I'm very bad about having things organized. My jewelry box, my wallet, my closet, items on a table in front of me, etc. My friends tease me about being borderline OCD.

Kurt said...

I always THINK about alphabetizing my DVDs but then they are way over there and I'd have to get up and who gives a shit. And then I get back to napping.

Vic said...

I am allergic to numbers. Instead, I type random words (something I see, something someone says) in the air.
If you ever meet me and my fingers are moving at my side, it's because I'm typing a word.

That Baldy Fella said...

Sweet Cheeks - Oooh, spine cracking! I must admit that one makes me twitch. How can you hurt those poor defenceless books?

Brandy Rose - But at least us OCD types will be able to find our stuff.

Kurt - Well, true, napping is... zzzzz.

Vic - I like that! I'm actually envious of your quirk now.

kapgaf said...

Yep, do the numbers thing but the result wouldn't be 34 but 7 because I add the digits together until there's only one left. I categorize and then alphabetize my books : I love order but I also love the random pattern of order that comes from different book heights, widths and colours. And I line things up : book edges, papers, anything on a flat surface gets lined up parallel with the edge of the flat surface but I also line things up visually - window-frame with building across the street, with lamp-post with tree, moving my head around until they are all lined up with one another.
But I'm not weird - I don't do the underwear thing.

That Baldy Fella said...

Ah, I sometimes do that, too, with the numbers.
I'm just glad that everyone else seems to have the same odd habits as me...

kapgaf said...

Yes, knowing that others are total nut jobs is a great comfort!

Word verif :
bilstice - 1) that bad day every year on which you have to pay all outstanding invoices 2) the gap between two objects into which aforementioned invoices can slip thus making 1) very difficult to comply with.