I have a list. I think most people probably have a list of some sort or another. I actually happen to have several lists for several different things. I have lots of lists, in fact, but very few of them are physical. Most of these lists are in my head, or in the head of other people. My lists are everywhere! I have a list of books that I need to read. I have a list of musicals to watch with my best friend, I have a list of band names that my boyfriend has come up with. The list of lists is endless!
Have you ever noticed how many times you say “put it on the list”? Maybe you don’t say it all that much, but I do. The most common list, I think, is the shopping list. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t have a shopping list for food or necessities or what have you. We’ve always had a shopping list for as long as I can remember. And as long as I can remember we’ve gone shopping without that list probably 40% of the time. Funny how that works. Still, I feel kinda lost without it. I find myself going to Walmart a lot for one item and thinking “I know I needed something else…” And buying one or two extra items that I possibly needed and then getting home and suddenly remembering like five more things that I needed and will have to wait to get until the next time I happen to be at Walmart.
Some lists just have to stay in my brain. My book list and to some degree my movie list are examples of such collections of items. I have tried to make a physical book list. I’ve tried several times, in fact. But the thing is, I never actually look at the list after it’s made. I sometimes start a new list, completely forgetting about the old list. The other thing about a physical book list is that I change my mind about a book and it just sits there uselessly on my list, never to be actually picked up. I can list things that people want me to read, but when I actually need something new half the time I pick up something completely new and random rather than consulting the book list which may or may not be handy at the time. So instead of writing down the books that people say I should read I just tuck them away in my memory and if they happen to be near by when I need something to read I might latch on to that memory and pick up said book for my own reading pleasure.
I’ve started making a lot of other lists since coming to college. I have two people to blame for this: Twirls and Logan. Twirls started it, I’m sure. It’s one thing to say, “Oh we should make a list of musicals to watch” and another thing to actually sit down and write out said list. Twirls is the kind of person who just does it. And so we have formed a rather impressive list of musicals we need to see or just need to watch together. And she better still have it. She’d better still have our other lists too. We made a few of them, we’re kind of ridiculous that way. ANYWAY, Twirls, having started this list making thing, is first to blame. Second to blame is my dear boyfriend. Why? Because he gave me something to list. We too have a movie list, but that’s much more practical than the list that he is known for, at least in my head. Those who know my boy will be familiar with his tendency to latch on to phrases and inform the people around him that “That would make a good band name.” Usually with a little lean and/or point. Sometimes it’ll be album title but usually it’s band name. I’m not sure when exactly I decided that these names needed to be recorded, but it happened and now it can’t be stopped. I haven’t recorded all of them, naturally. They live on my phone and if it’s not readily available the name is lost. But at last count there were over forty names on my list and all fairly ridiculous. Some of these names include: Death Perception, Sassy Demon, The Doomsday Cow, Chicken Stickies, Tsunami of Children and Festival of Cheese, just to give you an idea. This is by far the most useless list I have, but it may also be the most fun. Moral of this story is; if you need a name for your new band, I have plenty.
My mind is an amazingly cluttered place. I highly doubt any of my mental lists are actually in list form. I imagine it’s more like a jumbled, tangled ball of string ideas that randomly get tugged out once in a while when I need something. But, physically at least, I have some order to my thoughts and lists happen to be a handy way to keep things straight. I’ve decided that I like lists. They are helpful things and quite amusing if you use them correctly. I think I shall continue to make my lists, physical and imaginary. And they will continue to be everywhere…