Actually, my iPhone is the host. I’m just a parasite.
Yes you do. It’s painfully obvious. Just spend ten minutes perusing my archives and it is obvious that my brain can’t hold on to a thought for more than a min—.
I’ve struggled with ADD all my life. I took Ritalin for a while when I was a kid, but I didn’t like it, so I stopped taking it in 6th grade (much to the chagrin of my parents who didn’t figure out that I’d stopped taking it until a year later; but, by then, how could they be pissed? I was doing relatively well without it, emphasis on “relatively.”) My struggle with ADD caused me a great deal of stress for a long time. Imagine living your life never knowing where the fuck anything is. Keys, wallet, sunglasses, passport, driver’s license, debit card: you name it, I’ve lost it. I have about four sets of keys. Currently, I know where one set it is.
For example, this weekend, I had one thing I absolutely had to do; drop off some documents at my office so my secretary could file them. Seems pretty simple right? RONG.
First, I forgot about dropping off the documents altogether. Finally at one a.m. on Sunday night, I remembered: “Aw, crap.” So I found the documents, had the sense to put them in an envelope, grabbed my purse, and drove downtown. I made it safely into the building, rode the elevator upstairs, only to realize that I didn’t have my office keys because of course I didn’t.
So I started rummaging around in my purse for a pen. I didn’t have one, because of course I didn’t. Then, I rummaged around in my purse for lipstick. THAT, I had. I also had a lipstick brush! So I scrawled my secretary’s name in lipstick on the envelope, slipped it under the door, and ran like hell. As my secretary later remarked, “Thank God you had an envelope! It could only be you! How did you even make it through law school?!” (Heh. That’s the exact remark my shrink made when he prescribed Adderall for me six months ago.)
My secretary is right, though. It could only be me. This type of shit seems to happen to me all the time.
I have no idea why I decided to put the documents in an envelope. Usually I just shove junk in my purse and let the chips fall where they may. I mean this literally; I usually have tons of random crap in my purse: potato chips, dental floss, pieces of string, gum that has long fallen out of the wrapper and has little pieces of tobacco stuck to it, a half-eaten bagel wrapped in Saran Wrap.
People mock me for the state of disarray that is my purse. Once, my friend Brett asked me for something—lip balm, I think it was—and as I eagerly exclaimed that I had some, I grabbed my purse and began to dig around it. He was noticeably disturbed, and rightfully so.
You see, searching for crap in my purse is a whole process; I never actually look inside the purse. I just stick one hand in there and start finger-searching for shit. It’s fun and exciting.
“Ew, what’s that? It’s sticky. I don’t want that. I’m just going to keep looking.” (Would it make sense to pull the sticky item out of my purse and then put it in the trash can? Yes. Do I have any sense? No.)
“Ow! Is that a safety pin? That hurt. I’ll just keep looking.“ (Would it make sense to check my hand to make sure I’m not smearing blood all over the contents of my purse? Yes. But remember how I don’t have any sense?)
Anyway, as soon as I started one-handedly rummaging through my purse, Brett sort of rolled his eyes and said, “Please don’t look in there,” as if the very thought of me spending the next fifteen minutes searching aimlessly for a tiny tube of lip balm, which I probably had forgotten in my car anyway was more than he could bear.
I, however, was determined. Convinced that I had what he desperately needed, I dumped my purse on to the floor. You can’t even imagine the little shoppe of horrors that fell out. My friends spent easily a half hour picking up random things and asking me, “Why the fuck do you have this in your purse?” My answer: “Because I might need it!”
Brett picked up one item, looked at me and looked at me with palpable exasperation: “And why do you need this enormous ball of tin foil?“ I didn’t have a sensible response for that one, so I grabbed the ball of tin foil (which was about the size of a tennis ball) and put it back in my purse. Why? Because I might need it!
So… crap… now I’ve forgotten where I was going with this post.
It amazes people how disorganized I am. They can’t help but imagine that if I just got organized, all my problems would be over. No more panic attacks. No more anxiety.
Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way. The way I deal with my ADD is by not giving a fuck. Lost my keys? Oh well. They’ll turn up. Can’t find my iPad? Oh well. I’ll just go buy another one. It’s my lackadaisical attitude towards these things that enables me to maintain what little remaining grip that I have on reality.
I’ve spent too many years wondering what’s wrong with me; why can’t I get my shit together? I once left my wallet at a Target in D.C. and drove all the way to law school (a 2 hour drive) before I realized I’d left my wallet in the damn shopping cart in the parking lot. I freaked out. It was good times.
Now, instead of freaking out, I’ve just come to grips with the fact that I’m not supposed to have my shit together. I’m a scattered mess, that’s how Bieber made me, and I can either learn to love it, or spend the rest of my days fretting about shit that doesn’t matter.
I’ve got piles of shit all over my house. Instead of putting things away, I put them in baskets. I’ve got nine baskets of varying sizes scattered throughout my house. One basket for power cords, cables, and other electronics-related crap; another basket for my keys, phone, and travel make-up bag; another basket for dog leashes, poop bags, treats; another basket for stacks of mail that I go through once a month, if that–sometimes I’ll just throw it all away without even looking at it; another basket for magazines; another basket beside my bed for my remote, lip balm, and glasses; another basket for jewelry; another basket for shit that just doesn’t belong in any of the other baskets.
At any given time you can find me wandering around my apartment just looking for stuff. Is it in this basket? Nope. Is it here? Nope. And in the middle of look for that something, I realize I really should look for this other thing, and then I forget about the first thing entirely.
Hours later, when I finally sit back down on the couch, it occurs to me: “Oh yeah! I need to find my checkbook!” And then I’m off again on another hunt for red October. (I don’t know what that means, but one should always reference Sean Connery movies if at all possible, and when one does it, one should type in a Scottish accent. Or is he Welsh? Is Pierce Brosnan Welsh? Somebody is definitely Welsh. I should look that up… after I finish this post.)
Each morning I begin the hunt for Shit I Need That Day. The best days are when I find all my shit where it’s supposed to be. This morning, I spent twenty minutes looking for my keys… in the sofa cushions, in all my purses, in the bathroom, only to realize that they were in the key basket where they belonged. I didn’t get mad about the lost twenty minutes though. My shit was where it was supposed to be! It’s a celebration, bitches!
So yeah. This is my life, citizens.
When I got my first iPhone, I figured that all my problems were solved. This little Smartphone was going to help me organize my life. I started filling up my calendar with all sorts of tasks. “Pay cable bill.” (I never do; it pays itself somehow.) “Pay electric bill (I pay it, but usually on the day they are going to turn off my electricity. I have the money! I just don’t give a fuck!) “Buy laundry detergent.” (I bought dish detergent instead.)
Turns out I was going to need more than just an app that would allow me to make a list of Shit to Do; I needed my phone to actively tell me what the fuck to do.
Eventually, I found an app called reQall, and whimsical spelling notwithstanding, I bought it. ReQall is a voice-activated program that texts and emails you your tasks. I can pick up my phone and say “Buy dog food,” and ReQall will translate my voice command into text and then will text message and email me what I said.
Sure… until the whole system breaks down!
Once, as I was driving to Target (which I now boycott because it is an asshat), I grabbed my phone and started whispering sweet nothings to it:
“You look very handsome today.”
“Buy trash bags.”
The list went on and on (as Target shopping lists are wont to do. You walk in there expecting to spend 30 bucks. You walk out having spent your entire paycheck on shit you don’t need, like a Japanese Water Garden and a pair of men’s flip-flops, size 12.)
I finally pulled into the Target parking lot and looked at my phone. I hadn’t heard the “DING DING!!” which alerts me that I have a new text message. Not wanting to walk into Target without my strategic list of Shit to Buy, I opted to sit in the car and listen to NPR while waiting for my list to magically appear on my phone. And there I sat. Sure, a normal person can walk into Target with a mind-list and get all their shopping done in a hurry. But not me. If I walk into a Target sans list, it’s game over man. My brain will short circuit forcing me to power down.
Finally twenty minutes had passed and still, my phone had not texted me. I was sitting there waiting for my phone to tell me why the hell I was sitting there.
It turns out that there was something wrong with the app. It wasn’t working properly and was holding my shopping list hostage in a microchip somewhere.
“Fuck it,” I said to myself. “I need to get out of this car. I look like a weirdo.” So I got out of the car, walked over to the Target, walked right past it to the liquor store next door, bought myself a nice bottle of single malt scotch and proceeded to drive home.
When I was halfway home, what do I hear? DING DING!! My phone sounded excited: “I’ve got your list! Here it is!”
I ignored it though. Who needs laundry detergent when you have whisky?