Sunday, 28 February 2010
Now I don’t know if this is because of something I have said in the past, or due to the fact that I normally glare back at the world with the expression that an astronaut has when he farts in his own spacesuit, but I guess this assumption is pretty much correct.
I have a list of things in my head that annoy me and I am updating it all the time. Do you want to know what is right at the top at the moment, right in front of that god-awful cover version of Journeys Don’t Stop Believing by the cast of fecking Glee?
I am very big on timekeeping.
Now I am never late. If I say I am going to be somewhere at a certain time, then I make sure that I’m damn well going to be there at that time. I hate tardiness. In fact I hate lateness so much that I always arrive at my destination early, just so I am never late. If I say that I will meet you Wednesday at 2.00pm, chances are I will actually get there on Tuesday at 4.00pm, impatiently tapping my foot and checking my watch, wondering where the hell you were.
And yet everyone else I know seems to be on a different time zone to me. Everyone is late.
I swear whenever I arrange to meet someone, they will get there 20 minutes after our arranged meeting time with an apologetic look on their face and a really shitty excuse, wondering why the hell I am looking like I want to kill them with a knitting needle.
There is a reason for my obsession with timekeeping though and it boils down to my weird OCD mind.
Now I plan everything down to the finite detail, I really can’t help it. Every aspect of my life has to be controlled down to the letter. In fact I could probably tell you what will be doing on Sunday the 21st March at 3.00pm (making a cheese and ham sandwich and a cup of tea, I was going to add some pickle to the sandwich, but I probably forgot to get some when I went shopping the day before).
But I just don’t plan; I need to have THE PLAN.
Whenever arrangements are made, I will always ask “So, what's THE PLAN?”
I need to know times, dates, temperature, moon cycles, the whole shebang.
The worst response to that question you could give me would be: Let’s just see what happens?
That sentence is like a red rag to a bull to my odd little mind and it will wake up the OCD imp within my head, where it will scurry to the front of my brain, with its claws clicking on my shiny mind floor, and then it will leap up and down, desperate to get my attention.
“Let’s just see what happens?” my OCD imp will ask me after I finally notice it. “But what about THE PLAN?”
“Do we really need a plan? Can’t we just be spontaneous?” I ask it back.
“Spontaneous! Do you know what spontaneity brings?” it screeches at me with its little impy voice.
“No……..” I mumble shamefaced.
“CHAOS! That's what it brings. Do you want chaos, Dan?”
No I bloody don’t!
I shake my head hard, feeling the imp lose its balance so it has to hang on to my cerebral cortex for dear life with its tiny little hands.
“No, I thought not, “The imp says, dusting itself down after the mindquake stops, “I’m going to have to make some adjustments to THE PLAN now.”
And so it will scurry off to its little office inside my head and sit at a big drawing desk, where by lamplight its sits hunched over a massive timetable with the words THE PLAN written on the top in huge letters, a timetable that maps out my entire life, and it will sit there happily making adjustments here and there, updating little bits of info that I gather, always with a happy smile on its scaly lips, and when it really needs to concentrate, like if I’m trying to decide if I should have my bath at 7.00pm rather than 8.00pm, meaning I then get to read for an hour longer, then it will hum a happy tune to itself and stick its little green tongue out of the corner of its mouth in a distracted manner as it weighs up the pros and cons and then updates THE PLAN accordingly.
I’ve grown quite fond of him to be honest.
But that means in the real world, as opposed to the really bizarre one that lives in my head, I constantly need facts. If someone says they are going to pop over and see me at my flat, I need to have a time. It can’t just be whenever, it needs to be a real time that you can see on a clock, otherwise my whole routine gets thrown out of whack and I just end up standing in the middle of the room like a geriatric, looking confused and wondering what the hell I am meant to be doing next.
Holidays are fun for me as well.
Last year I took Kates to Florida for two weeks. By the end of the first night I had done a detailed little timetable of how we can maximise our trip on my iPhone.
“Look at this.” I said to her proudly, showing her the screen.
“What is it?” she asked me, squinting at the tiny little timetable.
“Its our holiday fun timetable, look, it even says so in bold at the top of it” I reply like I am talking to a five year old.
“Are you serious?”
I give her a look as if to say: It’s THE PLAN, of course it’s serious?
“Can’t we just take each day as it comes, just have some fun?” she asked me.
“This is fun?” I reply meekly, waving the timetable at her. “I’ve got everything mapped out here. When to eat, what theme parks to visit, I’ve even got a two hour slot on Monday where there is nothing booked in, so we can just relax.”
“You will probably just spend it updating your stupid timetable” she replied with a snort.
I hadn’t thought of that……..
I sneakily moved my fingers over the screen to change the two hour relax slot into review timetable.
“What are you doing?” Kates asked me.
“Give me that phone!” she snapped.
I handed it over.
“I’m deleting this and we are just going to plan stuff as the day comes and you’re going to like it.” she said, her finger hovering over the big fat X that would delete the next two weeks of my life.
“Can we just not keep it for reference?” I cried, but by then it was too late, she pressed X and it was gone.
She could never delete the timetable, or mindtable, that was in my head though.
So for the entire duration of our holiday, I was constantly referring back to that like some mental Nazi Gestapo officer.
“Are you having fun?” I would ask her.
She would smile and nod back at me.
“Of course you are.” I would reply in a smug little voice, safe in the knowledge that this was all down to my holiday fun timetable, “Now let’s go have some fun over here……”
Everyone has their own inner demons and imps. Rather than fight some of them though, why not try and make friends with them? Once you get to know them, they can be quite funny, and if you ever got lonely, stop every now and then and have a chat with them. It’s better to live in harmony with some things that spend your whole life in conflict with them.
Oh, and I have named my imp Sean.
He likes that.