PERSONALLY I can’t see the point of lists, mainly because I tend to lose them, but many people love a good list.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they can be scribbled over. Or perhaps in the spirit of competitiveness a long list tells others what an important person one is.
“Look at my list, it’s longer than a baby’s arm.” A long list furiously scratched out implies a full and meaningful life. Essentially I am a lazy person so the thought of a list floating about full of chores I will never do fills me with a sense of dread akin to that felt by a parachutist who has forgotten his parachute.
Why on earth would I want a reminder of all the ‘stuff’ I never get round to doing? Such as washing the floor, defrosting the fridge or finishing my novel.
I don’t need a list to remind me that the fridge needs defrosting what I actually need is for someone to grab me by my boot straps and throw me bodily at the appliance until I’ve either been knocked unconscious or begun the process of defrosting.
I love the enthusiastic optimism of a list of Pros and Cons.
It makes me snigger wickedly when I write one; because I know I will cheat and do what I had already decided to do before removing the cap from the biro. It says something about a person when they can cheat on their own list of pros and cons, but let’s be honest here, we all do it.
Can you imagine Napoleon’s list before the Crimean War:
1. Wear bigger boots
2. Check weather
3. Kit soldiers out with top of range cold weather gear.
Somewhere along the way Napoleon’s plan of world domination floated loose from its Tricolour magnet and got stuck behind the fridge (where it now sits with all my lists).
If Napoleon had been an obsessive list maker and checker we would now be eating snails and speaking French while smoking strong cigarettes and crying over a glass of Anis in a vaguely sexy, intellectual sort of way (and in Black and White).
There are lists one would love to be included on (10 most sexy, Fortune 500, George Clooney’s girlfriends) and those we do not wish to be included on (10 most wanted).
Of course there are worthy lists, such as Schindler’s and the list of children bound for the Kinder Transport.
The Red Cross regularly keeps lists of refugees in order for them to be reunited with their families. There are sad lists such as those for the victims of disasters and lists of the fallen.
So, not all lists are a waste of time. To close, and to lighten the mood, here is my list for the following week:
1. Watch TV until my eyes bleed and I lose the use of my legs.
2. Think about defrosting the fridge
3. Drink Cava and eat lots of chocolate
4. Throw a cushion at my son and order him to make me a cup of tea, ham sandwich or open another bottle of Cava.
5. Stop thinking about defrosting the fridge.
Now, even I can manage that list…unless of course I lose it.