Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Top Ten

I just found a blog site that’s full of people’s Top Ten Lists. Anyone can pick the top ten…anything, and just write them down and explain them. Top Ten Summer Fruits. Top Ten Things to do Before I Die. Top Ten Reasons I like Taylor. Top Ten Books that Made Me Cry. Top Ten Reasons I’ll Never Forgive My Mother. (These are all real ones, by the way. I didn’t make these titles up. www.storyofmylife.com ) And if you’re going to go visit it, great. But…could you finish reading this first? Thanks a bunch.

Now, not only is a top ten list a cool way to get to know things about people you already like, it is also a way to make a connection to a random stranger. I just read one called Top Ten Reasons to Write Your Life Story. Some of them didn’t click with me, but some of them resonated. One of the ones that dinged for me was “No one has your unique perception of the world.” I am always so interested in ordinary stories about ordinary people who have ordinary feelings because it makes me realize there’s no such thing. Every person, every life has its quirky sunny points and its dark underbelly. Everyone has weird childhood stories and some creepy relative and embarrassing crushes and insecurities. And everyone has things that they think are special about themselves and reasons why they enjoy their own company. I like hearing about all of those things, the quiet parts, and seeing into someone else’s unique perception of the world.

Top Ten Lists have those ordinary parts, I think. You don’t manage to be a contributing member of society by spending too much time thinking about your Top Ten Favorite Movies, but they are a snapshot of you. They are little shafts of light into your character. I also think it would be interesting to know what people would choose to make a top ten list for. That was the first question I asked myself when I stumbled onto the website, so that’s where I started this exercise. Plus, I figure if I compile a list of potential top ten lists, whenever I feel stuck about something to write about I have ten topics ready to go. There are the obvious ones, of course, about your favorite books, or your “a ha!” moments or your favorite movies. But I would bet everyone’s Top Ten Top Tens would have a few surprising ones.

So, without further ado…My Top Ten Top Tens List:

1. Top Ten Friends Who Changed Me (I could make this one several times over…and I can’t think of why I deserve to have been that lucky.)
2. Top Ten Ways in Which I Have Been Incredibly Lucky
3. Top Ten Coolest Things About Being a Teacher
4. Top Ten Formative Songs (Jack Wagner singing “Lady of My Heart?” Yeah. There’s a story there.)
5. Top Ten First Kisses. (I've already written about two of them on this blog. But there were others. Oh, wait…is ten too many first kisses? Maybe it’s not a conservative enough number. Which leads me to…)
6. Top Ten Random Insecurites
7. Top Ten Pet Peeves – Entertainment Edition. (The movie and tv crap that pisses you off, like talking babies, alarming news teasers, and food words like “juicy.”)
8. Top Ten Pet Peeves – Social Edition. (People who crack their knuckles in public, for example.
9. Top Ten Surprises About Being a Mom (So. Much. Laundry. Aaaaaaannnd...vodka.)
10. Top Ten Old-School Movie Star Crushes. (There’s a LOT I could share about James Garner and Jimmy Stewart. And don’t even get me started on Dick Van Dyke…)

Maybe you will pick one, or make a top ten of your own. I’d love to hear it if you do.

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