I think I might be crazy.
I make this statement for a variety of reasons, and those of you readers who know me personally can smirk as you read how I came to this conclusion. These are my top 5 reasons.
1.) I’m not a picky eater, but I cannot STAND warm fruit. It’s about the only thing that absolutely repulses me. Anyone who’s eaten with me (at home, in the teachers’ lounge, at family gatherings, etc.) has no doubt noticed the look of disgust that passes across my face when I’m presented with warm fruit. I cringe when a perfectly good apple crisp is placed in front of me, and the only thing remotely cold is my expression. I specify for applesauce at restaurants to be prepared cold, and my mom and grandma know to bake pies, strudels, and tarts ahead of time so that my slice can be put in the refrigerator. Crazy? Maybe.
2.) I am weirdly obsessed with colors. I’m not sure if color OCD is a real thing, but if it is, I have it. If it’s not, it should be, and it should maybe be called Michelle Disorder. My closets are organized by color and type of clothing (for example, all tank tops hang in rainbow order, next to short-sleeved shirts in rainbow order). And before you start to say, “Well, that’s not a big deal, she’s just organized,” allow me to stop you. I don’t do it to be organized. I do it because I start to hyperventilate if I look in a closet that doesn’t flow from warm colors to cold. My husband’s closet freaks me out. I avoid hanging up his laundry for this exact reason. Not only do I sort my closet by color, but CD cases are organized in rainbow order, and our DVDs used to be before my husband complained that he couldn’t ever find the DVD he wanted because he didn’t have the case colors memorized. My little secret? I did. I took notes in high school and college in different colors and then pictured certain colors while taking a test and was able to see the information in my mind. Oh – and when I put markers back in their box? They have to be in rainbow order. Is this crazy? Maybe.
3.) 4 of the last 6 trips I’ve taken have been to Disney World. This is a more recent crazy habit (and not a terribly cheap one at that), but I can’t help it. Whoever said that Disney World is the most magical place on earth knew what the heck they were talking about. My husband had never been there until 2009, when my entire family vacationed there. I hadn’t been since my junior year in high school. Since the family trip, Dave and I have taken 2 more trips there on our own. We also happened to be in Orlando in early May and even though we had settled on NOT going to Disney, we simply couldn’t resist. It was the International Flower and Garden Festival, after all! We’d never seen that before! So we spent one day at Epcot at the end of our trip (and I plugged my ears and said, “La, la, la! I can’t hear you!” as the cast member told me how much one day passes were costing us). I have a document on my computer of Disney tips that I send to anyone I know who’s going to Disney, especially people who haven’t been there before. And last week, when I was with a couple of former students, one of them asked me, “So, planning any trips to Disney?” My response? “Well, actually…” This might be crazy (especially considering we don’t have any children yet).
4.) I have a fierce loyalty to Omaha. One of my biggest pet peeves (besides mouth sounds, which I suppose could be another reason why I’m weird – I hate any sounds that people can make with their mouths – kissing, eating, smacking lips, anything like that – eww) is when people who are fromOmaha talk about how it’s so boring here, and there’s nothing to do. First of all, I’m of the opinion that you should be PROUD of where you come from. Secondly, it’s just not true. Yahoo Finance ranked Omaha #5 on the list of Best Cities for Young Professionals. Kiplinger’s ranked us the #1 Best Value City for 2011 and one of 10 Great Cities for College Grads And when there’s enough going on in the city to have a separate section of the newspaper dedicated to those things (“Go!” section in the Thursday World Herald), it goes without saying that the thing that’s boring isn’t the city. Is this crazy? Probably not.
5.) I am starting a new novel, even though the new school year is approaching. Rapidly. In fact, I start back on August 9, less than two weeks from now. Teachers and friends/family of teachers will understand why this one is legitimately crazy. Once the school year is back in session, my free time dwindles to next to nil. I leave home at 6:30 and arrive at school around 7:00. School begins at 9:05 and goes until 3:55, then I typically stay until 5:00 or 5:15 (last year I had a goal of leaving each day at 4:30 – yeah, didn’t happen too often). And when I leave the building, it’s always with stacks of papers to grade or lessons to plan or something else school-related to do at home. This means less time to read and less time to write. So is beginning a new novel right now crazy? In my dear sister Amanda’s words, it’s not just crazy, it’s “pure craziness.”
But I’m doing it. I’m starting this new novel. Because I can’t NOT start this novel. It’s been on my mind for at least a year, and I’m at point where I just need to do it. And once I start, I’m committed to finishing it. Because that’s another thing about me – I can’t stop something before I finish it (except in the case of reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close which I brought back to Borders after reading 1/3 of the book – couldn’t stand it – sorry, Borders, if this in any way led to your downfall). So I’ll be starting this book (YA titled BUMP). And I WILL be finishing it.
Because I might be crazy. But you can hold me to it.