Just in case you believed you were the only one who ever had a particular idea or performed a certain behavior, be assured that (almost) everybody you meet has had a version of the following experience:
1. Googling one's self. For those of us over a certain age, this is a version of looking up your family name in the phone book. Done as a child, and still occasionally practiced as an adult, this ritual serves to validate a sense of self. It is also the first experience many of us have of being "published." For many of us, it is the most happy experience we have had of being published.
2. Going into a toy store, ostensibly to look for a gift for a child, but really to play with things. This might entail actually purchasing a toy for a child but deciding to keep the toy for one’s self.
3. Believing that your pet is actually someone you knew in a former life. Alternatively, believing that your pet is the reincarnation of a relative who has already “passed over”--sort of like the old t.v. show “My Mother The Car” but in this case “My Mother The Bichon Frise.”
4. Being certain that at least one former boyfriend or girlfriend has Googled you to see if your name comes up. Not that you would ever Google a former flame, no siree, not you.
5. Buying a garment on sale and thinking “When I lose those five pounds, this will fit perfectly.”
6. Trying to pass off foreign change as American change. (I refer here to currency, not policy, although the latter might be better for all of us than the former.)
7. Seeing somebody in a bathing suit and wondering whether you look like THAT from the back.
8. Trying to figure out, by closing your eyes as far as possible, what you look like asleep.
9. Looking in the mirror when you are weeping. Not pretend-weeping, like the sleep item above, but when you are genuinely, heart-breakingly crying. Just because.
10. Despising the smallest of tasks so profoundly that you will do almost anything to avoid them, including marrying someone who promises (explicitly or implicitly) to relieve you of responsibility for the following: replacing clock batteries, typing, filling the ice tray, emptying the dishwasher, buying toothbrushes, peeling fruit, cleaning the lint-filter in the dryer, checking to see whether the replacement light bulb is of the correct wattage, running vinegar through the coffee-maker once a month, replacing windshield-washer fluid, knowing where the hell the Scotch-tape is, picking up the dry-cleaning, and composting.
11. Thinking your pet would look truly excellent in a hat.
12. Being able to locate the position of a letter in the alphabet only when you can sing the whole alphabet song silently in your head.
13. Tying your shoelaces by using the bunny-ear method taught to you in kindergarten.
14. Believing that, aside from the alphabet and tying your shoelaces, you did not learn everything you need to know in kindergarten. They did not, for example, teach you how to lobby successfully for the maintenance of health-care benefits in the workplace when the bosses (who, after all, can hire private nurses when they get sick) decide that upping an individual employee’s the co-pay amounts can save the company a total of at least, oh, $56.78 per year. Nor did they teach you in kindergarten how to choose a savvy but socially responsible financial advisor, one with integrity, in order to secure a decent retirement. Both of these are just about as important as learning your colors.
15. Wondering whether you aren’t just a teeny-tiny bit more aware of life’s essential truths than your friends and family, but not wanting to hurt their feelings by mentioning this. Poor, naive things.
16. Enjoying some television commercials so much that you watch them on YouTube.
17. Buying only candy you enjoy for Halloween so that when the holiday is over you will be able to indulge yourself without guilt (“Well, somebody’s gotta eat them.”).
18. Secretly having arranged to give away to unsuspecting trick-or-treaters only the candy you don’t like (candy corn) in order to be left with the candy you like (those new adorable little M&Ms in fabulous colors) in order to arrive at #17 (see above).
19. Assuring yourself that your life would make a great sit-com and already knowing what your theme song would be.
20. Reading a column and wondering “Gee, why don’t they ask me to write this stuff?”