Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I’m a chronic list-maker. To-do lists, shopping lists, reading lists . . . if it can be listed, I have probably put it in a column with bullets. It is because of my analytical nature that I am addicted to making lists: they provide the perfect format for organizing thoughts lineraly. And furthermore, if things don't come out as orderly as you like, you can always filter the list and sort according to what is linear and orderly (or alphabetical or chronological . . . assuming you are working in Excel).

I’m also a chronic thinker. I analyze and over-analyze and re-analyze things that happen or are about to happen or have happened. I’ve gotten considerably better at not allowing my thoughts to influence my immediate actions, emotions, and therefore relationships with people, but given an idle moment and lack of reading material, the thoughts come crashing in. (Russell Peters has a particularly amusing skit about this.)

I often write my lists during times when I have nothing to do but sit and think. I recently came across one such list, which I had written when sitting in a place where one has nothing to do but sit and think: church. As a teenager, all I did in church was scribble in the white margins of the bulletin with the pinkie-sized pencils they kept in the pew. (I say pencils—plural—because often I would have to go through several of them in one service, particularly if no one had bothered to sharpen their tips since the week before.) I wrote about anything I could conjure in my mind: short story ideas, letters to my friends, offbeat limericks, and of course, lists.

The list I discovered recently was written on the back of a page of then-being-anointed deacons, from 2003. It’s actually a pair of lists concerning a topic that, at the time, was forefront in my mind: Reasons I would make a ___ girlfriend.

Reasons I would make a terrible girlfriend

  1. I am a worrywart.
  2. I don’t show affection well.
  3. I’m not hot.
  4. I tend to be serious and thoughtful rather than bubbly and spontaneous.
  5. I have very little spare time.
  6. I have never had the experience of being anyone’s girlfriend.
Reasons I would make a good girlfriend
  1. I am not a flirt.
  2. I put all my effort into things that matter to me.
  3. I am faithful and honest.
  4. I love writing to people. (Although if you don’t like to read….)
  5. I have no “skeletons in the closet” (i.e. ex-boyfriends).
It’s mind-boggling to think how far I’ve come this! I want to put my arm around my old self, give her a hug, and tell her not to worry about (or believe!) most of these things. Yet some of them (I must admit) I still agree with, even if they don’t necessarily pertain to being a good or bad girlfriend. I am more serious and thoughtful than bubbly and spontaneous. And I don’t leave much spare time in my schedule. (This was even more true back when I wrote this list, to be sure!) And, to date, I still have not yet had the experience of “being a girlfriend.” However, I’m not sure these are reasons I would make a bad girlfriend. (Side note: I am particularly amused that my first list gives reasons I would make a “terrible” girlfriend, while the second list gives reasons I would make only a “good” girlfriend. I suppose I did not believe I could possibly qualify as "great" . . . .)

So, for the revised lists:

Reasons I might make a pretty poor girlfriend

  1. I overthink everything.
  2. I admittedly fulfill the overly talkative female stereotype.
  3. I keep myself very busy.
  4. I am a tad OCD about cleanliness.
  5. I am not small enough to be “cuddly.” (The traditional “big man, small woman” dichotomy helps guys feel manly and powerful—why else do 6’4” men marry 5’-nothing women?—and if any guy tries to tell me this isn’t true, he is LYING.)
Reasons I might make a pretty great girlfriend
  1. I am loyal, honest, and I commit myself to making people I care about happy.
  2. I love sports. Especially playing them.
  3. I like cooking. And baking. And feeding people.
  4. I am very good at “keeping in touch.” Give me a means of communication and I will use it.
Now, off to make the list of ingredients I need for my New Year's Eve dish, and the list of outfits I might wear, and the list of what I need to clean when my guest A___ leaves (like the kitchen floor!!!). . . .


Mike S. said...

My favorite thing on that list is "I love feeding people". The rest of your list is redundant :)

agoldste said...

Thanks :)

filiak said...

oh, i totally second that. plus, not only do you cook, you BAKE. hell, who needs cuddly when you can have COOKIES???

Maggs said...

You're wrong about men dating and marrying short women in my brother's case. He married a woman who is 6' tall, and he's 6'tall as well. She's a bibliophile, and nerd, I totally dig that. We get along great. Thought I don't see much of my brother anymore now that he's married.

Either he's being held hostage, working late, or walking the dog. Oh I love dogs, Pluto is the most awesome Golden Retriever you could have.

I've only had one real girlfriend in my life, and that was quite interesting. Oh and I do like Chocolate chip cookies.

If you're up for meeting send me an email ssmaguire at gmale dot calm . I organize a Bowling meetup and it's really fun. You should come out sometime.

Here's the link if you want to check it out.

Happy New Year!