Anyone who knows me will know that I am steadfastly colour co-ordinated when it comes to taking notes. I use various colours of Post Its, record cards and highlighters to aid my studying according to subject- yet I famously do not believe in the convention that my socks must be a matching pair.
This neuroticism is something most people are caught up in at some point or another. I’ve a friend who won’t talk to me when we’re in separate cubicles of a bathroom, and I myself cannot drink my takeaway tea until the cardboard holder is turned so that the label is lined up on both cup and holder.
I realise that this is a venomous waste of time and that it will only make me go grey faster- but I just cannot help it. I actually thought that everyone was like this- but last week I met someone who claimed not to have any of these types of neuroses at all. I was both perplexed and amazed- since even my family have notable stupid neurotic moments that I can’t understand- to discover that here was a person who was quite entirely laid back. Total freak.
The one thing, she said, that bugged the crap out of her, was when people in the shop she works at put their change on the counter resulting in her spending ages trying to pick it up. That and people who won’t take out their iPod earphones when talking to her- though this is solely applicable to the work environment, apparently.
But, I digress. My point here is that this girl was living proof of a totally chilled out and relaxed individual. She needn’t worry- as I often do- about the need for a coaster under your glass, or the fear I have of public toilets, or the fact that I cannot, actually cannot, eat a packet of smarties without arranging them according to colours and eating the ones I like least first (brown), followed by the colour I like second least and so on up to my favourite colour (blue- I didn’t buy smarties while there were no blue ones). I realise that this is also a total waste of my time, and that the flavour difference is just plain negligible, but it is one of those compulsions 1 have that I just cannot beat.
It has struck me in recent times that I am in fact very wary of other people’s neuroses; I do not understand why people feel the need to avoid escalators in case they get stuck in them, or people who keep every piece of paper they’ve ever owned just in case it turns out to be useful, or those weirdos who wait persistently for the green man before they cross the road, even though the nearest car might be a mile away. To this end I am vowing to be a little more appreciative of other people’s quirks. Everyone is neurotic in their own way, right?
Crap, my yellow highlighter has run out.