I’ve been contemplating making one of those “100 things about me” lists that everyone has. But I’ve run into a few problems:
1. I don’t know if people like these thing. It seems, at least for me, that when I read them I usually get up to about #20 before I start scrolling down and scanning the list for words like “sex,” “gun,” “adoption,” “lick,” “heroin,” “tortured,” and things like that.
2. I’m afraid that there aren’t 100 interesting things about me. Like I’ll get to 46 and start repeating myself or including things like “I like eating,” or “My father’s name is Joe.”
3. When adding something to the list, I constantly find myself wanting to justify what I wrote. For example, I may write, “I’ve seen the movie The Cutting Edge at least 13 times.” But I won’t want to leave it there. I will want to explain why I’ve seen it so many times. Or I’ll write, “I often have facial hair,” but again I feel the need to explain myself, as though you might automatically assume awful things about me knowing that I have facial hair, like I was a child molester or a lumberjack.
And yet I still feel the need to tell you a hundred things about me that you might not have known already. I NEED you to know these things, so you can go back to your loved ones and say, “You’ll never believe what I found out today. Dan? From The Daily Dump? HE LIKES DOGS! Can you believe it?”
So here’s what I’ve decided to do. Instead of making one long list I’m going to make each item on the list a separate post, wherein I can explain my distaste for plain yogurt or my tendency to over pronounce the phrase, “Do you want to . . .” for fear of sounding too Long Island by saying, “Do you wanna . . .” There is a good chance these 100 posts will be the most boring posts to date, so I won’t bunch them all together. I’ll spread them out over the next several months (or years) so that by the year 2007 you should have a more complete, more terrifying understanding of who I am and how I work.
What made me think of this in the first place? I sat down at my desk today and got excited because I was actually going to get to do something I enjoyed at work (besides posting gay pictures of myself on the internet). And that exciting thing is now #1 on my “100 things about me” list.
#1 I enjoy reconciling my checking account.
Well, not my checking account, because there are about five transactions every month on my account and I use my credit card for everything else. But I enjoy reconciling my office’s checking account. I know for some people me saying that is no different than me saying, “I enjoy stapling my ear lobes,” but this is exactly why I need the explanation portion of the list.
I always liked math growing up. I was good at it and it made sense. Numbers are something that can’t be misinterpreted and when giving an answer in class you never get that nervous feeling that your answer might not be right or people might think you’re weird or “tender” for understanding that Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” is actually a very sad poem. You say that x = 24 and you know that you’re right. I enjoy that.
I also enjoy solving puzzles. (Why does writing this make me sound like I’m 6 years old and I’m telling my babysitter what I like?) There’s an undeniable sense of satisfaction when you work through specific steps to arrive at an irrefutable solution. It’s the most pure form of knowledge we can have knowing that the method and the outcome are unequivocal.
Rarely in my everyday life do I get to do math. Maybe I should have been a mathematician, but instead of doing what I was good at I decided to do what challenged me, and that was literature. (Next I will try my hand at being a high school guidance counselor.) So when the checking statement comes and I get to do math – adding and subtracting and checking off numbers, looking for numerical errors, all culminating in the computer spitting back that indisputable “Difference: $0.00” meaning that you are correct, and that job is done – it’s a reminder of how comfortable being 100% certain of something can be in a post-college life where, let’s face it, we’re seldom “sure” of anything.
And I promise: Now that that’s out of the way #2 on my list will have something to do with sex, self-immolation or something so embarrassing that as I write it I will laugh and say to myself, “Boy Dan, you are a reeeal asshole for writing this.”