Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Nuances of Neurosis: A Brief Look Into My Superstitions

Sometimes, my life is controlled by superstitions.

I seriously have no idea why these things happen to me. But once I get locked into a patten, things must go that way.

This happens to me on airplanes--
when entering the plane, I have to touch the outside of the plane with my right hand.

I know how this one started... I was flying from San Diego to Las Vegas, alone for the first time heading up to San Jose where Kelsey would meet me and we would drive to Redding together, the last real time I ever spent with her. I was terrified because 1. my mom didn't know what I was doing. I mean, not that she needed to. I'm 18 and an adult and everything, but I had never done anything so big without telling her. It wasn't the fact that I could have potentially died, because I've put myself in those kinds of situations multiple times. It was just the fact that she didn't exactly know where I was or what I was doing or how to get ahold of me if something should happen. And 2. I was travelling for the first time alone. I'm used to it now, but then I was basically in panic attack mode. I had called the SD, LV, and SJ airports to get an idea of what it would be like. I had printed out maps, directions, tips to getting through security, emptied bottles of Purell to put my hair conditioner in less than 1 oz. bottles. Now, I basically check in, go through security, and sit and wait for my plane.

I freak out a little at security. I pray every time I don't get stopped for random body scans or anal probing or whatever. I'm always reminded of when I crossed the border coming back from Mexico and all my bags had gone through the scanners and the guy stops me and asks if I have candy in my bag. I say yes. And he says "Ok, just checking." But I was wide-eyed and flight-or-fight ready. He totally let me go after that, but I was seriously shaking at the thought that my Nerds were going to get me thrown into a detention cell in the middle of nowhere, Mexico, and I wouldn't be seen or heard from again.
I think my mom has instilled in me this worst-case-possible-scenario-ideology-- if someone isn't dead, they will be in .3 seconds. I always do that. I really like to know that the people I care about and even simply my acquaintances, shoot even my enemies, are safe. And I will go out of my way to make sure of it. It bugs me to no end if I don't know the safety status of someone. It's why I would have severe difficulties marrying someone in a position of danger (police officer, firefighter, military, pro-wrestling, etc.).

Anyway, so when it comes to planes, I have to touch the outside of the plane. I usually also pray that God carries our plane safely to our destination with His own hands. I also always pack my Converse in my carry-on. If there's a Lost-situation that I ever become a part of, I do not want to be stuck with my plane-slippers.
And all of these things must be down if I want the plane to get me to where I need to go. Seriously.

My superstitions heavily come out when I take tests.
Multiple choices tests are absolutely the worst things to have superstitions about because I'm already questioning every answer I put down, but patterns start emerging, there's seven D's in a row and what professor would fucking do that to his students.

But it's happened.

I have a big problem with multiple questions answered with the same letter in a row. However, this is contingent upon which form I have. If I have Form A, I automatically assume that this would never happen. Two in a row, maybe. But three? Four? Simply out of the question. If I have Form B, I am less scared about this occurrence, though I still definitely worry. However, the more versions of the test there are and the farther away from the original the test I have is, the less worried I get.

I think that's an inverse relationship.

The Creativity midterm I just took had so many of these triple, quadruples in a row, I was literally second guessing everything. I've already put down four B's in a row. Could this question really be B too? WHO THE FUCK DOES PROFESSOR MCKENZIE THINK HE IS? WHY IS HE DOING THIS TO ME?
I sincerely doubt he even knows he's completely torturing me, but he is and if I can't say this to him in person without sounding like I need to be locked up, then I'm at least going to say it here.

Another test superstition has to do with question 13. It's a really arbitrary one, but I like question 13 to be answered with a C. 13 is my favorite number, C is my first initial. I feel like I will ace a test, if this occurs, no matter how poorly I know I'm doing.

13 = C = A++.
It's a pretty simple equation.

If 13 isn't C, then I'm fine with D, for Davis. We're still all good in the neighborhood.
However, if 13 is either A or B, then we need to do some work to make myself feel better. I first look at 7 and see what that is- if it matches 13, then I look to 20, if the matches we've got a pretty good set-up and I feel awesome.
See, 7-20 is my birthday and 20 - 7 = 13 and so because of the complex and personally important relationship that these numbers create for me, if they all match, I feel elated.
During my Creativity midterm, I had 13 as a B. Not a good sign. I didn't like it once bit. I read and reread that question over and over, trying to find any way that the answer could possibly be C or D. There wasn't. So, I looked at 7- also B. Ok, now we're getting somewhere. I get to 20- also B. Whew, that was close. BUT WAIT! if I have the 7+13 relationship to 20, then I also need 7+20 and 20+13 as well.

Seriously, this new hang up just created itself this past week. And in all honesty, I'm not mad I have new relationships to check. I'm frustrated that I haven't thought of this before and how many Scantron tests have I taken in my life? How many of these relationships did I fail to match and figure out? It's unbelievable. I wish I could go back and see every test I've ever taken to double check.

Back to Creativity midterm, I check out 27- B. Good. But 33, that's a no go. D. I go back and check every answer in the relationships- 7, 13, 20, 27, 33. I need these to connect before I turn in my test.
Unfortunately, I cannot forge a full relationship. Fortunately, I;m not so bound by this need that I will change answers I know to wrong ones just to make things fit into my compulsive-patterned brain. I can walk away and turn in this test and be ok with the results, come what may.

Wouldn't you know? I was finished with my test first and got the second highest grade in the class. HELLA!

1 comment:

  1. I love this. As much as I love you. And that's a lot.
    The way you write cracks me up.
    I also love the fact that someone else shares the fear of "multiple questions answered with the same letter in a row."


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