10 reasons why I don’t like numbered lists

There are so many blessed lists to read every day on the Internet, on anything and everything you can possibly think of. It’s all so confusing and intimidating. Do I really, really need to eat those 7 foods every day to live past next year? I was so ashamed to learn that I only implemented 4 of the 27 ESSENTIAL child safety measures in my home while my kids were babies. Jesse and Nick are ruined. Why did that hiker magazine publish a list of the 14 most secret and amazing backcountry sites that no one knows about? Am I allowed to use the list? It’s so wrong. I know I’m missing something.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over the past 47 years, it’s that I’m a joiner, and not like a power tool but like a lemming, a very low skill lemming. Accordingly, here is my list of 10 reasons why I don’t like numbered lists:

1. There appears to be no rule for how long lists are allowed to be. They should always be nice simple numbers, preferably on a metric scale and thus divisible by 5 or 10. Why would anyone publish a help list of, say, 17 items? It makes no sense to me to use any prime number of two digits or more. Why isn’t there some kind of list protocol equivalent to OSI or whatever those internet protocols are called? We could call it the LIP, list interface protocol.

2. I usually feel like lists are longer than they ought to be, like there’s filler or duplication. I don’t know why someone would add filler to get to a list of 14 items, when you can leave out the crap and do 10.

3. I don’t have the attention span to read most lists all the way. I usually drop out by 6 or 7. It makes me feel like I have ADHD, or list depression.

4. This is a filler item to make my list longer, because I’m running out of ideas.

5. I feel like lots of lists are written by needy people, which annoys me and makes me grumpy. It’s basically the author saying, I have so much advice for you! I am full of amazing insight and ideas! Look at me look at me! I made a list because I’m too lazy to write a whole piece about each item and also I might lose your attention before you realize how awesome I am! (Except for this list of mine, which is different because I’m not needy.)

6. My experience is that many lists are snarky in a way that implicates me. I don’t need to be told that I’m part of a large cohort of dorks. I already know that. Stop wasting my time.

7. List sharing makes me feel so left out. I’ve never really fit in, and now everyone’s into lists and I just don’t really get it. Everyone’s so cool and I’m such a dork and a loser. God, I’m lonely.

Grumpy about the iPad mini

In a fey moment, Anthony and I decided to get the kids iPad minis for Christmas. We should have given them pajamas and socks instead. There would have been more collective joy in the long run.

Since 12/25/2013 I’ve been listening to a constant refrain of “can I play with my iPad?”, like the buzzing noise of plague locusts. Then there are constant demands for help, incessant requests for new games, and a lot of bitching about game results.

The iPad minis also generate some quiet moments for me, which I treasure and NEED. So it’s really my fault, because I say yes to their use much more than I should. So sue me.

It took just 6 weeks for Jesse to break hers, via a series of temper tantrums over whatever thing was bothering her, as well as a Tourette’s-ian need to drop the device experimentally onto any hard surface that presented itself to her attention. That test protocol achieved expected results when Jesse discovered last night that the screen is cracked all over. Then she performed a separate empirical test of how much emotional melting-down and ululating I can tolerate without turning into a yeti. A lot, apparently, but not as much as she wanted.

I tried explaining the cost of these devices, but my kids rarely see cash in this age of debit cards, so they can’t evaluate relative quantity as viscerally as I got to as a kid. I don’t have a stack of twenties sitting around. I also tried the food comparison perspective. (One iPad mini) + (1 failed safety cover) = (2 weeks of food for our entire family). EVEN THOUGH I SHOP AT WHOLE FOODS.

That emphatic closer, which I thought was compelling, got me nothing. Jesse gave me a teenage “whatever” glare. I think all Nick heard was a Peanuts adult (wa-wah, wa-wah).

I went to the Apple Store this morning and discovered that iPad mini screens won’t be repaired by Apple because they’re so fully integrated. All I can do is buy a replacement from Apple at cost for about 200 bucks or try to find some third party willing to take my money for a maybe-destroy-the-iPad repair attempt.

“Are you kidding me??” I snapped at poor J.J. from the Genius Bar. He didn’t look like a genius to me. I glared at him as his eyes wandered innocently around the store, la la la, but I didn’t curse even once. Good Carla, good. Bad Apple, bad.

I huddled with Anthony afterwards and he authorized me to make the following offer to Jesse: You can have a replacement iPad mini, or you can have a big birthday party this year, but not both.

I’m hoping desperately that she chooses the party, because then I don’t have to deal with this shit anymore. I’m also hoping desperately that she chooses the iPad mini, because then I don’t have to go through the hassle of putting on a big party.

Either way, I’m probably f#*%ed.