Wherefore, this compulsion to make lists?
I wish I could say it was purely motivated by my lifelong, Virgo-esque pursuit of efficiency, but that thesis was shattered when I found that I derived exactly as much joy in composing a "have done" list as I did a "to do" list.
It's got something to do with order, alright (pun intended); the more chaotic and random life seems, the greater my desire to exert some measure of control. Here are the steps I'm going to take to ensure that: (a) I buy my house before I'm too old to tend the garden I want surrounding it; (b) my cupboards don't have three more jars of duplicate condiments moldering away in them; (c) I have clean underwear next week.
But clearly, the truth goes deeper than that. Because at some point, I can no longer resist the urge to tell the world, or the person next to me, or hell, myself, for that matter, that these are: (1) the best cover songs ever written, (2) my favorite 20 movies, (3) the blogs I think are worth visiting.
And what, or who, is left off: (i.) the best- or worst-dressed lists; (ii) the bazillion incarnations of red or blue lists; (iii) the most-viewed TV shows of last night lists; is as telling as who, or what, makes it on.
For me, lists are a way of getting at the truth, albeit in code. I have an intention to buy a house, therefore I make a list. I have fascination with cover songs, movies and the Internet, so I make a list. I don't have enough time (or courage) to write essays declaring my love, so I make lists.
Of course, I'm not alone in rockin' the list. Lists must be inherently fascinating to most humans or they wouldn't have such a presence on late-night talk shows, Apple's fascistic music delivery system and people's personal websites.
Which reminds me...
- make list of lists I want to make
- code lists with links
- upload to blog