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Confessions of a listmaker gone sour

October 30, 2011
By JANICE R. KIASKI - Community editor, Herald-Star , The Herald-Star

I've always made very neat, very specific lists of things to do, a practice I adopted many years ago in college to make sure I'd remember to do this or do that.

It's a habit I've been faithful to through the years as a person who can't seem to function without a pen and a legal pad noting what needs done day in, day out in a 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., etc., gotta'-do-it fashion.

But somehow that's been replaced with a newer but not necessarily better approach.

Somehow I've digressed.

Gone are the legal pads but not the effort entirely to remember to do things or just to remember something period.

With the new "system" comes the need for some deciphering or translation but not in all cases.

Some things are quite obvious.

If I needed to take a package to the post office and some mail that needed weighed for extra postage, the old list maker in me would have dutifully noted on the legal pad "go to post office."

The new me forgoes any written reminder of this entirely.

Instead, I take the package and what mail needs weighed, and I stack it in the morning on top of Better Half's coffee cup strategically located right smack next to the coffee pot.

It is my very subtle way of telling my male that my mail needs mailed, something he realizes even in a pre-caffeinated a.m. haze.

Mission accomplished sans list.

I think what's happened to me lately is that I've become list lazy, that I'm a person now who has brain burps, followed up with a thought or two, then a realization that, hey, I should remember this.

So I jot a note. A word or two. A name and number, perhaps. It goes on a Post-It. The back of a receipt. A napkin. Whatever's handy. Or maybe on the kitchen calendar.

One recent Saturday block had "Wellsburg" scribbled on it. That's it.

Better Half made the mistake of asking me in one of my menopausal-melting moments what exactly that meant.

"I'm going to something in Follansbee," I responded curtly in an attempt to give the illusion that I know what's going on.

Wellsburg means Follansbee?

He flashed me one of those you're-not-well looks.

It was much the same response to a note taped to the computer. "Bills" was all it said - with no distinction between paying them or generating more.

On the kitchen counter the other day I had made another note to myself - two words.

Horse ticks.

It was not the start of a grocery list, it was a reminder to look up information on, duh, horse ticks, which I'll get around to one of these days.

Perhaps as soon as I get back from "Wellsburg."

After the male mails the mail.

And when I ponder bills to send or accumulate.

I'll do what needs done. Probably.

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff writer and columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at the Herald-Star at

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