Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I may have missed a step or two, it's true

As a child, I was very prone to magical thinking. I am a singleton, so I had no-one to compare notes with, and therefore it took until my twenties to discover that while this is maybe not normal, it is certainly quite commonplace. It meant that seemingly unimportant everyday things (reaching a certain step of the staircase before the door to the staircase would bang shut, for instance, was a central and daily magic-making point) would - although totally unrelated - somehow relate to the Grand Scheme of Things: to avoiding horrendous, fateful events (usually not specified in the magic, but Very Big, always). Sometimes it would enable the possibility of finding love and happiness, too, but mostly it was an avoidance-type magic.

Thing is (and I believe psychology folks will agree), you don't really need to scratch people deeper than a little teeny-weensy bit, and the old magic will be uncovered. This idea gives me great comfort, as it proves I'm not alone in conjuring up plans to save the universe using coffee cups rinsed in the right fashion, cetra.


nmj said...

Honey, A lot of my childhood was spent magical thinking, how else would I have survived?! It is, as you say quite commonplace, a way of imposing order on a rather scary universe. Our fates being dependent on the way one rinses the cups is especially magical, I love it. x

word ver: bedie

perfect as that is where i am headed.

Reading the Signs said...

Anna, I personally have saved the universe on countless occasions through my strenuous efforts not to step on the cracks, missing out the last-but-one stair and touching the top of my head whenever anyone said "touch wood".

Shrink always uses the word "magical" disparagingly, but I believe in it - I swear I can feel it if people are beaming good thoughts at me - and the other kind also (skin prickles).

dowfa sounds a bit scottish to me.

trousers said...

Well such still has continued for me, definitely. For example it was not so many years ago that the universe would be saved only as long as I had managed to count to 435 in Italian, on the walk between getting off the bus and getting home.

I've been counting lately too - just occasionally in Italian - and I wonder what that means.

Word ver = resse

The mid-point of stressed?

Nicola said...

I saved myself and everyone else through my own flesh and blood. Having great big clodhoppery feet, I would, on walks, accidentally kick my own ankle with my opposite foot. This meant that I then had to kick the other ankle with the other foot. But it had to be done with exactly the same pressure as the first kick - very tricky. So it would take several attempts before I felt reassured that the universe was back on track. My socks were daily bloodstained and I had to run to catch up with the others. I sometimes added the extra challenge of avoiding the cracks.
(Sorry about earlier comment re flashing dog collars - I can be horribly self-opinionated. Hope it didn't cause offence (though I may just have to have a word with your vet).

Anna MR said...

Hei, bedie-hedie, the coffee cups thing is ridiculous but what can I do? I seem to grow new and different magical rites - all I need to do is to think of an action in a certain way, and it starts becoming weightier and weightier and and and... Thank God I sometimes drop old ones or it'd get a bit much. Just wish I could cut down on the hand-washing one, is all I'm willing to say.

But I actually really didn't know other people did/had magical thinking until my twenties. No, but wait - are you saying you only did it in your childhood? Maybe I am a bit weird, then, after all.

Hope you've slept beautifully, at any rate.


Anna MR said...

Dowfa does sound a bit Scottish to me, too, Signskins. According to my research, though, only "dow" appears in the Shetland Dictionary. It appears, Signs (and may I be the first to congratulate you) that not only have you made up a new word, you've made up a new Scottish word. It must be all that co-fragulation you've engaged in, in Portugal, with the Horse of Scotland. Well done, in any case, and three cheers.

Shrink disparages "magical" things, hard scientists disparage "shrinkical" things, you know what I mean? What goes round, comes round - or is it the other way round - I can never remember? Anyway, the thought still stands, and Herr Schrink would do well to stop having this destructive, dysfunctional, disparaging attitude. It just might come back and bite him on the bum - and you can tell him I said so. That should sort him out.

Are you getting the skin prickles now, as I'm writing this, I wonder? You should try to time them and then compare them to the hard evidence of comment replies, emails, cetra. Give the soft scientist something to think about.

Keep on saving the universe, k? I can't be expected to do it all on my own, now that NMJ has confessed she kicked the habit once she grew out of childhood.

Anna MR said...

housut - the universe will only be saved if you count to 435 in Italian right here. Help us, Obi-wan Kenhousut. You are our only hope.

(That thing about the mid-point of stressed was good, by the way. Enjoyed it a lot.)

Anna MR said...

Clod-Hopping Nicola of the Order of the Bleeding Sock, hello. How uncanny, that - for I have exceedingly small feet (used to be size three, but life and pregnancies nearly two decades old cetra blah have forced me to sometimes go for a three and a half), yet I used to kick myself most painfully on that protruding bony bit on my inside ankle, on a regular basis, as a girl. Fucking hurts, that does, and that was before I learnt (just now) that each (painful) kick caused not only girlish swearing and profuse bleeding, but also grave universal misalignment and misbalance. No wonder everything is as pear-shaped as it is - and I always knew it was my fault, somehow, although it took till now for me to discover my exact method of cacking up Everything.


(And stop being such a silly bum-bum and apologising for my dog's collar flashing like a diminutive but spastic torch on acid in a love-rave, k? No offence was taken, and here I was, happily thinking the exchange was funny, whilst you've not been feeling that way, you've been all guilty. Bad, naughty Nicola, never feel sorry for commenting or being self-opinionated, or indeed anything, ever again, or I'll set Signs upon you with one of her sorry-punishing tasks. Not something to look forward to, I can assure you, fair Nicola - so try to stop being sorry about the dog-collar incident, please.)

Hoping your as hunky as a dory, in the meantime


trousers said...

Uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque, sei, sette, otto, nove, dieci

Undici, dodici, tredici, quattordici, quindici, sedici, diciasette, diciotto, dicianove, venti

ventuno, ventidue, ventitre, ventiquattro, venticinque, ventisei, ventisette, ventotto, ventinove, trenta

trentuno, trentadue, trentatre, trentaquattro, trentacinque, trentasei, trentasette, trentotto, trentanove, quaranta

quarantuno, quarantadue, quarantatre, quarantaquattro, quarantacinque, quarantasei, quarantasette, quarantotto, quarantanove,


There's the first fifty (from memory, so I'm not 100% about spelling etc).

You sure you want me to go up to quattrocentotrentacinque?

Anna MR said...

Oh man - housut, that is funny. Yes yes yes, of course I want you to continue all the way to the fabulously-outrageous quattrocentotrentacinque. In fact, if and when you feel like counting is the only answer to resse, please feel most free to come here and continue way past quattrocentotrentasei and so on. It may be the thread that the tapestry of Everythingness is hanging by, housut, so go to, go to, brave number-warrior.

trousers said...

cinquantuno, cinquantadue, cinquantatre, cinquantaquattro, cinquantacinque, cinquantasei, cinquantasette, cinquantotto, cinquantanove, sessanta

(are you sure about this?)

sessantuno, sessantadue, sessantatre, sessantaquattro, sessantacinque, sessantasei, sessantasette, sessantotto, sessantanove, settanta

settantuno, settantadue, settantatre, settantaquattro, settantacinque, settantasei, settantasette, settantotto, settantanove, ottanta

(you realise, the bigger the number, the more syllables - this could get very unwieldy, as beautiful a language as it is)

ottantuno, ottantadue, ottantatre, ottantaquattro, ottantacinque, ottantasei, ottantasette, ottantotto, ottantanove, novanta

novantuno, novantadue, novantatre, novantaquattro, novantacinque, novantasei, novantasette, novantotto, novantanove....

(takes deep breath - is this getting tedious/creepy?)


Reading the Signs said...

omg, Trousers! (Anna, this is the real deal, you know what I'm saying? A deed. I think you must marry him now.)

Nicola, I'm watching you, don't think I'm not.

trousers said...

...centouno, centodue, centotre, centoquattro, centocinque, cento sei, centosette, centotto, centonove, centodieci....

Anna MR said...

Neither tedious nor creepy, housut - but I daresay it's you feeling creeped, what with naughty Signs and her matchmaking. Signs? Behave. For young housut is quite clearly a lovely young man, and I am someone with a track record. Of bringing woe and misery and train-wrecks, as there are surely people who'd be more than happy to testify, so it is out of the question that I'd ruin the happiness of yet another person. (Not that he's expressed any interest, right enough, and this goes to show, Signs, that this my reply here is to be considered as referring to any and all such situations, and by no means just this (totally hypothetical) one.)

Boy oh boy. Keep counting, housut, it'll do us all the world of good.

trousers said...

*takes another deep breath*

Centoundici, centododici, centotredici, centoquattordici, centoquindici, centosedici, centodiciasette, centodiciotto, centodicianove, centoventi

centoventuno, centoventidue, centoventitre, centroventiquattro, centoventicinque, centoventisei, centoventisette, centoventotto, centoventinove, centotrenta

centotrentuno, centotrentadue, centotrentatre, centotrentaquattro, centotrentacinque, centotrentasei, centotrentasette, centotrentotto, centotrentanove, centoquaranta

centoquarantuno, centoquarantadue, centoquarantatre, centoquarantaquattro, centoquarantacinque, centoquarantasei, centoquarantasette, centoquarantotto, centoquarantanove,

*goes for a lie down*

Anna MR said...

I most certainly hope you've caught your breath by now, housut, for you've been lying down for six whole days, whilst the universe is quite clearly going to pot in the meantime. Rise, take up thy bed, and walk - or continue counting, more like. We can't be having the end of the world right now, surely, housut? Do something, for heaven's sake.

trousers said...

Centocinquantuno, centocinquantadue, centocinquantatre, centocinquantaquattro, centocinquantacinque, centocinquantasei, centocinquantasette, centocinquantotto, centocinquantanove,

centosessantuno, centosessantadue, centosessantatre, centosessantaquattro, centosessantacinque, centosessantasei, centosessantasette, centosessantotto, centosessantanove, centosettanta

centosettantuno, centosettantadue, centosettantatre, centosettantaquattro, centosettantacinque, centosettantasei, centosettantasette, centosettantotto, centosettantanove, centoottanta

centoottantuno, centoottantadue, centoottantatre, centoottantaquattro, centoottantacinque, centoottantasei, centoottantasette, centoottantotto, centoottantanove, centonovanta

centonovantuno, centonovantadue, centonovantatre, centonovantaquattro, centonovantacinque, centonovantasei, centonovantasette, centonovantotto, centonovantanove

DUECENTO!!! Nearly halfway there. I had to give the counting duties a rest the last few days due to lack of internet access, and I may well have been out of puff due to the excess food and drink and so on. But I'm back, and fighting fit, and the magic number draws ever closer...

word ver = snogin - don't tell signs, or she'll be getting ideas again...

Anna MR said...

You know, housut, I absolutely loathe "LOL speak" or whatever the fuck they call it, and totally refuse to use it, ever (with the notable exception of "wtf", which, for some reason, doesn't annoy the hell out of me). I will, therefore, spell it out in full: this particular word ver made me laugh out loud, quite literally.

Very glad you're back onto the case of saving the world. Where would we be without you? Not at duecento, that's for sure.