Guilt...and Why You Shouldn't Ever Go to the Grocery Store if You Personify Inanimate Objects

I carried a discarded Otter Pops box for three miles today.  

I found it on the side of the road and at first I ran past it.  Then I started feeling guilty about not picking it up because I started to think of all the bad things that could happen as a result of my negligence - What if a bird gets its head stuck in there?  What if someone saw me totally ignoring my responsibility to personally keep the planet clean and free of discarded Otter Pops boxes and then they judged me for it?  What if a child runs across the road to check out that brightly colored thing on the other side and is struck by a car?  What if next time it rains, the dye from the packaging material seeps into the soil around it and then next year a wild strawberry plant grows in that location and produces a strawberry that is just full of toxic chemicals waiting to be ingested by an unsuspecting person who will later die of colon cancer and have no idea why because they always took care of themselves and ate their fruits and vegetables but actually?  That's what killed them.  And it would be my fault.  

I turned around and ran back to pick up the box.  

It was an unwieldy thing and not easy to run with, but I live in the middle of nowhere and trash cans are not easy to come by so I had no choice but to carry it with me for miles.   As I was running along, trying to ignore the strange looks I was getting from passing motorists, I started to hate my guilty conscience.  Why do I always feel like I have a moral obligation to do these things or else something bad will happen to the world, my mom and everybody?  Why can't I just ignore trash on the side of the road like a normal person?  Crap... was that a beer can?   

And it doesn't stop at roadside waste, either.  I feel the need to donate a dollar to breast cancer research every time I go to Safeway even though I only have seventeen dollars in my checking account and I know that I am going to get an overdraft charge but the cashier looks so nice and she was smiling at me and then she was watching me while I was deciding whether to check "yes" or "no" to donating a dollar for breast cancer and I just couldn't check "no" because then she'd see me do it and she'd think I was an asshole and I'd think I was an asshole for personally ruining the lives of researchers and breast cancer sufferers everywhere.   

There is another obstacle I face every time I walk into the grocery store.... and here's where it gets really ridiculous... I feel bad for all of the unwanted items on the clearance rack.  That's right - I experience emotional distress over the "feelings"of inanimate objects.  I start thinking "Oh those poor scissors!  They are on sale for 80% off and no one has bought them yet!"  And then?  I feel like it is my duty to buy them and rescue them from the terrible abandonment they must be experiencing.   

Luckily, I usually have Boyfriend there to try and talk some sense into me.  Sometimes it doesn't end well.  Tthe scissors incident (which is a real incident that I am just getting ready to tell you about) is a good example:  I was in the local IGA with Boyfriend and we were walking past the clearance aisle and there was a bin of items that was marked "50% or more off! WOW!"  On the very top of this bin were the scissors I was just talking about.  Actually, they were scissors with a corkscrew on the handle.   I thought "Oh those poor scissors!" and then I said "hey... we should get these..."

Boyfriend: "What is it?"

Me:  "It's scissors with a corkscrew on the handle."

Boyfriend: "That's stupid."

Me:  "Don't say that!"

Boyfriend:  "Why not?"

Me:  "You'll hurt their feelings..."

Boyfriend:  "They're scissors, Allie..."

Me:  "I know... but they have been rejected by everyone else and they are sitting here in the super-clearance bin waiting for someone to buy them but obviously no one has bought them even though they are eighty percent off and now you just called them stupid!"

Boyfriend: ....

Me:  "Take it back." 

Boyfriend: "What?"

Me:  "Take it back... what you said to the scissors..."

Boyfriend:  "I... I am not going to apologize to a pair of scissors in public."

Me:  "Then can we at least buy them and you can do it at home?"

Boyfriend:  "Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds?"

Me:  "Please?" 

Boyfriend:  "Fine... (whispering) I'm sorry, scissors..."

Me: "Pat them."

Boyfriend:  "WHAT??"

Me:  "Pat them... to let them know you mean it."

Boyfriend:  "I draw the line at patting the scissors."

At this point, I felt strongly that Boyfriend was being demeaning toward the scissors, but - because I am not actually insane - I decided not to push him any further.  Plus, I totally patted the scissors and mouthed "I'm sorry..." when Boyfriend wasn't looking.   

Boyfriend likes to make use of this little quirk of mine when he wants me to do something.  When he can't finish his fries he'll ask me if I want them.   If I'm too full, I say no and then Boyfriend says "but how do you think the fries feel?  You don't want to hurt their feelings, right? I bet they totally want you to eat them and now they feel rejected because you're 'too full...'" And then I throw a mustard packet at Boyfriend and immediately regret it because I start feeling bad for the mustard packet. 

According to Wikipedia, this "object personification" is probably a symptom of my synesthesia:

"For some people, in addition to numbers and other ordinal sequences, objects are sometimes imbued with a sense of personality. Recent research has begun to show that alphanumeric personification co-varies with other forms of synesthesia, and is consistent and automatic, as required to be considered a form of synesthesia"

But that doesn't necessarily make me feel any better about it.  However, it gives you guys a psychologically justifiable reason to not write me off as completely insane, so I figured that I better include it just in case.  I mean, I don't think you typically run across people who project emotional vulnerability onto scissors.  But maybe other people do this too, in which case I would love to hear about it!  

This little problem of mine has lessened with age.  When I was young, I felt terribly guilty every time I walked on grass because I thought the blades of grass would get hurt.  I cried when I lost my mitten because I pictured my poor little mitten sitting alone in the cold and feeling abandoned.  I became emotionally attached to a dead fish that I was supposed to feed to a sea lion and ended up carrying the fish around and singing to it until my mom convinced me that the fish wanted to go play with his friend the sea lion.  I think this all sounds pretty normal for a kid, but for an adult?  Something tells me no.  

Most of the time I can use logic to overcome my tendency to look out for the emotional well-being of inanimate objects, but I still feel twinges of guilt every time I throw something away and I have a very hard time eating Goldfish crackers.  

P.S. I read this to boyfriend and he vehemently denied insulting the scissors.  He remembers the incident and the fact that he said something was stupid, but he asserts that "I would never say that about scissors!  You can pretty much add anything to scissors and it makes them more awesome!" 

I just wish he felt that way when those poor scissors needed to hear that.    


Grant said...

Poor scissors. People look at me like I am crazy when I pick up trash at the bus stop. I have even had people come up to me and tell me thank me for picking up their trash. Don't thank me... throw your shiz away.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

I'm trying so hard not to laugh because I feel like I'm getting judged right now for reading too many blogs today, and this is resulting in a heaving motion, like I'm going to vomit. Which is still better than laughing and getting judged.

Now I'm heaving and moaning. This is a good ruse.

I wish I had known kid You. I would have totally been your bitch I think, but that's ok.

Wynn said...

ALL my things, and everything around me totally have personalities. Even weather. I didn't know it was an actual condition. Good to know, maybe. Hmmm..

Wynn said...

"[...] and grapheme-color synesthetes, as a group, share significant preferences for the color of each letter (e.g., A tends to be red [..]"

I have ALWAYS pictured the letter A as red, my whole life. This is kinda freaky actually.

Cap said...

Scissors with a corkscrew? No household should be without them.

I love Goldfish crackers. I hope that doesn't make me a cracker murderer.

Chris Gooch said...

Simply adorable.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I kind of suffer from the same problem. I feel really bad for the stuff that's been sent to the clearance end cap at Target in the grocery section.

Tony said...

It's people like you that make this world a better place.

I used to feel sympathetic for inanimate objects. Example, when I was a whee lad, my mommy used to give me small bowls of fruit. One day, she gave me grapes. I came across this tiny little grape, and I thought it was the cutest little grape in the world. I saved it, and when my mom asked me if I ate all the grapes, I told her no. You know how parents are, trying to get their kids to eat everything off their plates. She made me eat the cute little grape, and I felt terrible for the cute little grape.

I also feel the same way about getting rid of old shoes.

Roshni said...

I just loved that you carried the Otter pops box! good for yu!
To tell you the truth, I would rotate wearing my clothes (even the clothes I bought and then hated) coz I used to feel I was hurting their feelings by not wearing them!

Cwybrow said...

THIS is why I have so much clutter! I think "Oh, I can't get rid of this book! I remember the last time I was reading it I was on this train..." I am indebted to my stuff. All of it/ How great would that sound in an acceptance speech? "I'd actually like to thank my STUFF..."

juliaelise said...

OMG. Wynn, I see A as red too. That's insane.
And Ally, i'm like this too. It bothers everyone around me. Especially with my clearance obsession. I have to buy something from it because it was rejected, but then I feel bad for only buying one thing when everything else was rejected too and it will be sad, so I buy the whole bin.
Hmm.. No wonder i'm so broke.

Allie said...

Wynn and juliaelise - My A's are red as well! I hear that most synesthetes see A as red - like 80%. There is a lot more variance with the other letters.

BTW... most other people don't have colored letters/numbers/words. I didn't know I was the only one seeing what I saw until I was 22 and when I found out, my head exploded.

Is music colored for either of you guys?

Ellen Di Giosia said...

When I was a little girl, my favorite color was yellow. But then it became green, but I wouldn't tell anyone because I felt so bad for yellow.

slipbananapeel said...

Poor overlooked scissors. I persoify things, too. It sucks beause I have a lot of "reject" items because I fell sad they are so lame.

Oh, and I also have synesthesia so maybe it is related. Good to know. I'm glad you taught me something today.

juliaelise said...

No, but music has pictures. It's really strange. Not even relevant pictures... More like chickens chasing pigs and random things like that.


A box of Otter Pops killed my whole family Christmase night 3 years ago. It said it's car broke down a few miles back and can it come into the house to use the phone, my family was too trusting Allie, I came home to a slaughter house. They say it's now in an insane asylum forever, but is it Allie? Is it?

dogimo said...

I have to tell you, Allie. That Crap Blog Detective guy is ALL RIGHT by me. Because without his little bit of reverse-marketing, I probably never would have been clued to the awesomeness that is Hyperbole-And-A-Half.

And yes, I just linked to your blog right here in a comment on your blog. Because it's exactly how awesome it had to be, for me to do that.

Amber said...

I cried going over the mountains once because of all the little bugs we were killing with the car - I felt like a mass murderer.

And I've never thrown out my stuffed animals because I would feel bad if they were all alone in a landfill somewhere, and I've even kept the ones that hubby got from ex-girlfriends even tho they are evil.

OH! And on a totally unrelated subject, I googled Crap Blog Detective to get a picture for the pic I am making for you, and YOU ARE TOTALLY NUMBER ONE ON GOOGLE BEFORE HIM!! ALLIE, YOU WIN!!!!!!!

Noelle said...

God I totally do this too. The reason I have stuck with my fake tree is because Christmas tree shopping is an emotionally devastating experience for me. I feel so bad for all of the ugly trees that no one wants to decorate that died for nothing. :-( The thought is depressing me now.

On the other hand, scissors with a corkscrew in the handle sound really fucking dangerous. And you don't drink. I however, enjoy drinking while I cut things. You should bring them to my house.

Allie said...

Jesus Noelle... I think I'm going to have to make a post of my favorite comments just to highlight this one. Holy shit.

However, I DO drink... just not usually real-person alcohol. I drink MD 20/20 - orange flavor. Or wine out of a coffee mug (which kind of discounts the fact that it's wine). Oh and I think I drank beer on Halloween, but I can't be sure. At any rate, I probably wouldn't have any use for scissors with a corkscrew on the handle other than injuring myself. Good call.

Russ said...

And this is why ambivalence reigns supreme!

Ed said...

I used to be the same way when I was younger. Then one day I said, "Fuck inanimate objects!"

So then I did.

I've felt better ever since.

Amy said...

I love reading your blog, Allie. It's a beam of light in my day... every day.

Thanks, girl!

Sarah said...

Shit. I think we're brain twins.

I always worry one item on a shelf is lonely or that, in an odd number of items, a bunch of them will pair off and shun the singleton. Even numbers are best for dinner parties and knickknacks.

My sanity was probably saved by having twins.

Running the water while I brush my teeth? I should be ashamed of myself. Turn off that water RIGHT NOW, me. Don't you know that, in some places in the world, people use as much water in a day as I use in three minutes of shower time?

You want to throw away the milk jug because it's full of crusty, stinky, spoiled milk smell? No, no. Suffer. Wash it out - but not too much, because you don't want to waste water - and recycle it.

See? Brain twins.

Erin said...

When I was little I only allowed myself to sleep on about 8 inches of my already tiny twin bed because the rest was reserved for my stuffed animals. If I had taken a few off, I would have had plenty of room. But how could I play favorites like that? How could I let some stay on the bed and shun others to the floor? They would most certainly get their feelings hurt. And that's just unacceptable. But I guess my story is a little different because stuffed animals really do have feelings... They have faces, so they must have feelings.

Christine said...

Someone informed me that I had some sort of disorder when they realize that most of my objects have names and personalities... is that weird? I mean, yes *I* name them, but I didn't give them their personalities! But yes, it's gotten better with age. I specifically remember, as a kid, my parents having to pretend like they were putting my used band-aid in a safe place, not in the trash, because I had gotten so attached to it. Or how, when we lived in Florida, I would stuff seashells into my swimsuit because I didn't want to leave them at the beach.

This may also be because they would not get me any pets. Thanks, parents- I'm screwed up forever, all because Mom didn't want to deal with a little animal potty training.

Hipstercrite said...

pretty brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Buddhist monks that go into a life of seclusion do so because they are so traumatized by the damage that we do every day to other living things, like stepping on ants? I used to personify everything, but it's gotten better as I've gotten older, now only living things are personified, so yeah, I get sad to at all the poor rejected christmas trees, have allowed a spider to inhabit my mailbox for about a month now (her name is Isabel, and I'm thinking of moving her under the porch for the winter...sigh). But don't think some of my objects aren't my bestest friends too, my motorcycle - Molly - would have a big issue with that. - Elan

Kitty Moore said...

That gave me a much needed giggle. Thank you!

Cathy said...

Yeah, totally -- when I used to use pencils in school and, after having been sharpened countless times, they wound up as just useless nubbins, I kept them in my desk. They gave their life for me to do well in school, I couldn't just throw them away.

I currently also do this with batteries. I have a drawer dedicated to my battery graveyard. It's sick.

lacey said...

YES YES ME TOO! always, since i was a kid, and mine has lessened with age a little, too! i do not have the big-brain / numbers-colors thing, though. just the tendency-to-constantly-personify-things-and-translate-that-into-crippling-guilt problem. here are some things: (a) as a child, i tried to swallow a large percentage of my food whole, so that it would not experience the trauma of being chewed. not only bear-shaped and goldfish-shaped things, but even BEAN-shaped things. if something prevented me from swallowing most of my meal whole - i.e., my mother telling me i was insane, or a lack of time, or a sudden onslaught of common sense - then i would swallow the first item whole, so that it could put the others back together once they were all in my stomach. (b) my stuffed animals got rotating turns to sleep with me. i would spend about thirty minutes every night giving pep talks to that night's discarded ones - telling them that it would be ok, and i still loved them, and they would have a turn soon, etc. (c) that dead fish thing - i did that too! with a gummy worm, which doesn't make as good of a story, but still. i made a little bed for it and everything. it was pretty sticky by the end of the day. (d) ok, adult stuff. that is not as funny. i too "pat" the things that i do not buy. it is often hard to not give an item a small reassuring kiss. my grandmother is in the process of moving, and some of her discarded items - old VHS tapes, jello recipe books printed in the 70's - BREAK MY HEART because OH MY GOD NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE THEM AGAIN. oh crap. i am starting to tear up.

Dezzy Lou Where Are You said...

"Artisan Spring Water"-

Id like you to draw a family portrait for me... I am 5'1 with dark brown hair and eyes, my bf is 6' with blondeish hair and brown eyes- we have an apricot colored yorkiepoo and a black labradoodle. All of these people/creatures can me found on my blog should you need more description.

If its a good picture, Ill post it on the sidebar of my blog linking you- deal?

rambunctiously softspoken said...

one time when we were little and getting ready to go to school or the babysitter's for the day (i don't remember which) we were getting into the car and my mom had this mug of coffee. Well, she put it on top of the car so she could help me and duncan get inside and buckled, and then when she shut the door, the mug of coffee fell off the car and broke, and my mom just sighed, picked up the pieces and threw them in the trash can that was a few steps from the car. I felt really bad and think I almost cried (if I didn't actually....I was pretty close). Not because I felt bad that my mom had just made a fresh cup of coffee and now she couldn't drink it because it was all over our driveway (unless she wanted to hoover it, but that would have been really gross).....but because the MUG itself could no longer serve it's purpose in life of bringing joy and (caffeinated) strength to people through that warm, dark liquid that it carried inside its ceramic walls. I felt bad because the MUG was now broken, and 1) being broken probably hurt A LOT (because what wouldn't get hurt falling off the top of a car, landing on concrete, and shattering into many little pieces!?) 2) because it probably felt bad that it couldn't serve it's purpose and was now in the trash, and 3) because it was now not only sad and lonely in the dark trash can, but was also broken and in pieces......

....I think I still feel bad for that mug.....

Shaky Jake said...

I used to place my G.I. Joe action figures far enough away from each other so that they wouldn't be uncomfortable until the next time I took them out to play with them.

So I feel your pain.

P.S. This crazy effin' blog gets better each time I read it.

Wynn said...

I've always put personalities on everything and seen numbers/days/letters/months in colours, I have a 3D-image of the months (that I've never reacted very much on til I read that it's one of the synethesis-things) and it always fucks up my image of "half a year", because in my head, the months 1-8 are on the right, and 9-12 on the left.

I don't connect sounds/music and colours. Do you? :)

Allie said...

Wynn - yeah, I connect music and shapes/colors/feelings (that aren't necessarily related to the music in the traditional sense of connecting feelings to music) - but not as strongly as some people do! It is strong enough to make me despise funk music though- listening to it makes me feel like I'm being molested!

I see colors with taste and emotion too. Everything's colored! Definitely for me the colors of letters/numbers/months/days of the week are the strongest, though.

Isn't it weird to go your whole life thinking that what you see is totally normal and then suddenly you realize that it isn't? Does it weird you out that most people don't see colors when they are trying to remember words? They don't even see the word in their heads! I asked boyfriend how he remembers things and he says "I don't know... it just pops into my head..." For me, I think "okay, so the word has an orange-y tinge and there's blue in the middle and yellow at the end..."

Is that how you remember words too?

Adelaide said...

I bet you get really choked up over those Ikea commercials, eh?

Nikole said...

I feel like corkscrew-scissors would be an awesome/dangerous thing to have in my house. Last year I was really into drinking cheap wine that had screw tops so when I got my first bottle of wine with a real-live cork I didn't have a corkscrew. I tried to shimmy it open with a knife and ended up stabbing myself in the thumb as my roommates were out the door to buy a corkscrew..not cool. The corkscrew-scissors would have come in very handy that day.

Kaitlyn said...

On a mildly unrelated note, today I was at an overstock store. You know, the ones that the ENTIRE STORE is a super bargain 80% off rack? So, the organization of said store is perplexing, at best. There was one aisle that was quite obviously the "DIY Meth and/or Bombs Aisle" which contained fertilizer, paint thinner, quarts of ammonia (because people often buy mass amounts of it?), and other assorted items. The next toys, one very battered looking can of salsa verde, and box upon box upon box of maxi pads.

Wynn said...

I actually don't connect all words with colours, just names of months, days, numbers.
I guess I'm a pretty generic synethesis-person :)

And I'm one of those people who never talked about it because it felt like it would be my secret, never really knowing why. Maybe because when I was growing up, everyone stopped talking about things having personalities while I continued thinking they had.

Bf had NO idea and didn't get it, claiming he couldn't imagine the colours and stuff that I told him, then he called me a freak (as usual). He's OBVIOUSLY not as awesome and creative as us.

Angie said...

Don't feel too bad. I was recently on vacation and I started thinking about this big brown couch in my basement... all alone... in the dark... with no one to sit on it... feeling alone and abandoned and wondering where all the nice warm bums were. I got really emotional and guilty about the couch. Then I told my sister about my feelings and guess what? She totally agreed and felt back for the couch too... then got made that I put that sick thought in her head. You see? These things happen.

Gretchen said...

I know this is an old post but I'm catching up. I always feel really really sorry, like almost crying sorry for broken bottles of ketchup or whatever at the grocery store. Its terrible, the whole reason for them is to be a yummy jar of pickles or spicy mustard or whatever and there they are, dying in the middle of aisle 7, never a chance to be what they were created to be. And its not just food but things should get to do what they were supposed to do, you know? Like those scissors. Plus, what a great deal, over 50% off? I mean, think about how much money you'd be saving?

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

I do the exact same thing with food. For instance, right now there are approximately 1500 Tupperware containers in my fridge with all manner of things in them, but I can't bring myself to throw them out because I feel SORRY FOR THE FOOD. Like, oh you poor little spoonful of mashed potatoes, all your friends were chosen and you weren't, let me allow you to live in my fridge for months until you grow something funky or start to smell.

This is also why I will eat everything on my plate even when my body has said, "enough is enough, you're full."

It's really sad, but glad I'm not the only one.

Sara.A said...

I know it's like a really really long time after the original post, but I've been reading your blog as a hilarious distraction from a really huge paper I'm writing. AND I ABSOLUTELY had to tell you (even if you never read this) that I am still made fun of by my family for having an emotional attachment to objects that should never be given personalities. One of the most traumatizing moments of my childhood was when my grandparents got a new washing machine. I cried for days after the old one was taken away. I also kissed my mom's car goodbye (it was named Twigzy) whenever we took it into the shop for anything. I still give things personalities, but I haven't kissed a car goodbye since I was 6 or so. Plus I hate my current car now.

Cat said...

I know exactly how you feel. A few weeks ago, I was taking a walk past my local hospital, and there was this little plastic doll just lying there. I saw it, and kept walking, but I was thinking "I can't leave now that I saw it, that's just awful..." so I ran back and took it home with me, thinking that would be enough. But then I realised I was just torturing the poor thing by getting it's hopes up by bringing it home with me, then just putting it on a shelf. So, ever since then, I've taken him everywhere with me. I made a sort of bracelet twine thing. We've pretty much become inseperable.

Anyways, maybe this makes you feel less weird. It certainly made me feel more so about the whole situation.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Whoa! And here I thought *I* was the only one in the world who felt this way. Seriously. I didn't know it was actually a real thing. I thought it was just me being me, meaning me being extremely strange and weird. Which is why I have such a hard time throwing things out. I feel sorry for them. I cried when we had to throw our couch out to the curb. I did.

Thank god I found you. I will never let you go. And I don't mean that in a weird, stalkerish sort of way.

Elise said...


I'm really sorry for commenting on an old entry and stuff, but I have synaesthesia (because I live in England I get extra letters! Woo!) and nobody understands why I keep not being able to find Sainsbury's (which are supermarkets, but "Sainsbury's" is a blue word and the logo is orange so I always look for blue and it all goes wrong from there).

Also when there are say 3 items left and 2 are a colour I like and one is a colour I don't like, I still have to buy that one because it is already in the minority. This doesn't even make logical sense; obviously the colour I don't like is the more popular colour because all its friends have already been bought. All the same, it is what I do and what I have done since I was a kid.

My son also seems to be synaesthetic, he's just now (almost 8 years old) finally learned the difference between smelling and feeling. For years, both actions were combined in the fabulous word "shmeelving."

He's less cute, but now when he asks you if he can experience something, you know whether he's going to put his hand or his nose in it, which is a total bonus.

MightyChristinaDawn said...

Ohmygoodness, I do this, too, as does my sister.

Our worst was when there were two of something left in a package(granola bars, or cookies or somesuch), and one of us would want one, and ask the other to eat the other one so that it wouldn't be lonely in the box. Two granola bars once lasted a month this way, because when one of us wanted one, the other didn't, and we just didn't have the heart to leave them lonely.

When my boyfriend and I were moving, I wanted to leave our couch in a field, where some strangers had put two other chairs, so that they could be kept company. I got sick, and couldn't help him move it, and later found out that he had recruited some friends and taken a sledgehammer to it. I was distraught for days, and felt guilty upon buying a new couch(which we had planned to do anyways).

I've mostly conquered it now... I've fooled myself into the belief that objects can be kept company by other objects, even if they aren't the same. I have an apple sitting on my desk, and I know it's not lonely because it has a chocolate bar to keep it company - and if I eat that chocolate bar, there is a box of teabags for it to party with.

Also, I've always wondered what it would be like to be synasthetic. Aside from the sympathizing with inanimate objects, how do you see the world?

Flann said...

Hi, I'm a creep and catching up on your blog. So anyway, I could have written this post myself. I fall into these traps ALL THE TIME and the next thing you know, you're refusing to sell a car that hasn't driven in 8 months and releases a cloud of noxious smoke whenever it's started-- IF IT STARTS AT ALL-- and has accumulated hundreds of dollars in parking tickets because there's no way to move it when street sweeping day comes just because you deeply, deeply feel that the car just wants to live a quiet life with you parked on the street with its friends, and it won't understand why it's being loaded up on a tow truck and driven away from its home when all it did was love you.

Hypothetically. And stuff.

Unknown said...

Oh god, my brother used to torture me with this. I can still vividly recall (such was the level of trauma) attempting to throw away a tiny piece of scrap paper, which my older brother promptly rescued from the trash with a sad face and cooed "poor little paper! you don't love it anymore! It loved you" and proceeded to make it dance in front of my face. After this strange impulse left him he tossed it back in the trash and started to leave, at which point my heartbroken 5 year old self burst into sobs and rescued the paper, wailing "I'm sorry! I'M SORRY! I LOVE YOU!"

Maybe you would say that is excusable in a five year old, but you know what? I still have that piece of paper. Nearly twenty years later.

Xilonen said...

I'm totally late to the party here, but I personify everything. I'm constantly worried about hurting the feelings of inanimate objects. This, combined with an unnatural attachment to just about everything I've ever owned will inevitably lead me down a path toward crazy-old-ladydom. Social workers will come to my house trying to convince me to part with everything from old shoes to leaves that I found on the sidewalk that 'just looked neat' all piled into boxes which I will look at periodically torn between the rational knowledge that I'm completely insane and the illogical attachments I've developed and the sneaking fear that the items will resent me if I were to abandon them.

As a kid I picked out the cutest pumpkins for Halloween, named them and slept with them in my bed as though they were stuffed animals. I gave this up around the time I graduated high school and began spending October sharing dorm rooms with strangers.

Winter of 2005 I had an Satsuma orange that was so cute I was unable to eat it and it lived on my desk until it no longer resembled food.

Last year a coworker gave me a dozen eggs from her parents' farm. Among them were the most adorable green eggs I have ever seen. Not wanting to let my attachment to cute inanimate objects keep me from enjoying farm-fresh eggs, I had my boyfriend use them in omelets but not tell me which eggs ended up where so I wouldn't know who murdered the eggs. I was torn between hoping I didn't have any part in their destruction and hoping that at least if someone was going to eat them that it would be me so they knew I loved them.

manny_bee said...

I can honestly say I personify inanimate objects constantly. Most specifically, my Sparklebear. I have had her since...forever. And she is kind of a whiny brat, but I love her. One time I wanted to buy a stuffed animal for a boy I liked because he had no favorite stuffed animal for a teddybear teaparty and it made me sad. So I went onto ebay and looked for another Sparklebear for him and this GREATLY upset Sparklebear. She really did not like the idea of me getting another bear that was newer with all of its glow in the dark starts and its hair isn't nappy. I can honestly say that I had at least a 15 min conversation with my stuffed bear about how she was against me buying another toy like her. This happened only about a month ago.

r3 said...

We all have these small personality quirks, and I want you to not worry about it so much. Just because one of our quirks has a NAME doesn't mean that it is BAD or that it's ABNORMAL. I would only begin to worry about it if it starts to interfere seriously with your ability to live life.

That sounded terribly grown up, condescending, and authoritative, and I want to assure you I am not any of those things.