Return of the Neuroses

Return of the Neuroses

Like I said, I don’t have fond memories of school. I was born a bit on the neurotic side and well, let’s just say school exacerbates my anxieties (I had nervous breakdowns in middle school). So, now I’m a student again: I think this new phase is going to take some getting used to. You see, this morning, we had a quiz (or maybe it was just an in-class exercise). Either way, the teacher told us last Friday that we’d have to write the characters from memory. About 30 words or roughly 60 characters (each word averages two characters). Luckily, I had been studying a little bit every night anyway, so when Sunday rolled around, I was mostly prepared. Still, I ended up creating review sheets to make sure I had the strokes absolutely right (the character fonts are a bit small in the textbook). I even typed the words out using MS Word and blew them up to sizes worthy of vision-impaired readers. The lights went out around 1 a.m., but I was still wide awake at 3:30?! Class was at 8:30.

I’m a freak. Of course everything ended up being fine with the quiz, but I’m telling you, I’m messed up. I’m going to need some alcohol or SOMEthing to ease the nerves.

My newbie friends and acquaintances are always so surprised when I tell them I have a history of being high-strung. “But you’re so laid back and easy-going,” they counter. Haha, looks like I’ve actually pulled off some decent acting.

No seriously, I am rather laid back. Usually, I just go with the flow: Where to eat? What to wear (pre-Pamela)? Who should join? Whatever. No big deal. Certain things, however, I like my way. One example of my neuroses? Receipts. All kept. Yes, I even have shit from before we moved here. US receipts, China receipts, Taiwan receipts, Tokyo receipts. Receipts for crap eats and midnight snack runs to the Lawsons. It’s almost like I want to get audited by the IRS, just so I can pull out my impressive stash. Ok, not really. But to be honest, receipts are just plain handy for record-keeping and expense-tracking. And you know in Shanghai, receipts are a total lifesaver should you accidentally leave your belongings in the taxi. The receipt contains all the info you need to call up the cab company and contact the driver to get your stuff back. My receipt OCD isn’t so bad. At least I don’t input all my street vendor purchases into MS Money (I know someone who does)! Plus, in my defense, you never know when you’ll need proofs of purchase. In my life, I’ve encountered a lot of shit products– items that just break for no frickin’ reason! Receipts have given me new replacements more times than I can count on my two hands! And I’m not talking garbage items either: Bose headphones, Sony earbuds, Shure earbuds, an iPod, a KitchenAid blender glass, clothing, an Illuminations lantern… you get the idea.

This evening John told me about a feature on new cars now: tire pressure sensors. These snazzy things report the pressure readings on your dashboard. How cool is that? I’ve always had a thing for properly inflated tires. Back when I was with CDM, I drove from NC to a job site in SC, only to discover on my arrival that my car had a flat. Not so flat that the car couldn’t drive (obviously), but definitely flat enough to need a plug or patch. Ever since then, I’ve had this obsession. In the States, I checked my tire pressures weekly. And I even had an air compressor. John and I are carless here in Shanghai, but you can bet my bike receives comparable tire attention. I swear it’s the only way to smooth out the rough and bumpy ride. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now. It’s getting late, plus I need to go pump my bike tires. 🙂

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