My Life In Lists

As I settled into my favorite chair to begin fleshing out this column, my wife, as if on cue, rushed out the door for work promising to send me a list of things to get at the grocery store.

Unless she somehow read my mind, she couldn’t have known I was planning to write about how lists seem to have:

1) Taken over my life, specifically.


2) The world, generally.

Can anyone escape lists these days?

They are ubiquitous.

Lists are splashed all over magazine covers in check-out lines everywhere. The Internet is littered with them. Even The Journal publishes a “Top Three Things to Know” each day.

At least the lists my wife sends me are more immediately relevant. Without their guidance, I’d probably end up stuck in the bathroom because I forgot to bring home toilet paper … again.

Since I’m not likely to ever be rid of lists, I’ve decided to join the crowd and come up with one of my own.

So without further delay here are the “Top Six Things I’m Thankful for As Thanksgiving Approaches.”

1) I’m thankful my friends on Facebook haven’t yet seen fit to give me a number. I in no way want to feel obligated to share a list random facts about myself online. I’d much rather do that here in the newspaper.

2) I’m thankful I haven’t had to borrow the neighbor’s ladder. The roof over my head hasn’t sprung any leaks, lately. However, the next big storm that blows through may prove me wrong.

3) I’m thankful that our ancient heat pump is still in working order. It may sound like a wheezy old man when it kicks on but it still coughs up enough heat to warm the house … sort of.

4) I’m thankful that my lawn mower made it through the summer. It’s also teetering toward wherever lawn mowers and heat pumps go in their old age, but it made it through another summer without a white sheet being thrown over it.

5) I’m thankful that our kids seem to be okay despite being outed on a regular basis in the newspaper.


6) I’m thankful that my wife is back at work.

I’m especially thankful for that last one.

My wife started a new job this week. But between leaving her old one and starting her new one, she had a week off.

Which means she was home with me.

Which means she probably saw right through me.

Because I work nights and weekends, I usually have time during the day with little distraction from things like the Doctor Who marathon on BBC America, which is preparing for tomorrow’s (Saturday 11/23) 50th anniversary special.

But with my wife home last week, I had to appear busy. So among other things I:

1) Made the bathrooms sparkle.

2) Vacuumed the carpets.

3) Rearranged the furniture in the family room to her satisfaction.

4) Took care of the grocery shopping.


5) Somehow managed to trick her into thinking I helped accomplish the tasks on the list of “Things To Do” she keeps in her head.

It was exhausting. And, if it had gone on any longer, my kids would not be the only ones outed around my house.

By the end of the week I came to this conclusion — if there is one thing that tops a list of rules to live by as my wife and I look toward the future, it’s:

1) She is not allowed to retire.

Because if she does, my scam is over.


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