I was at my work party a couple nights back and was having a conversation with a friend; I may have been a couple drinks deep when I told her a little known secret. She found it to be very weird and her immediate response was “you need to write a blog post about this”. So, to make my friend happy (yes, I am a people pleaser), here it is.
My friend later forwarded me a facebook post that her friend posted the following day.
“Does it bother anyone else that the word "symmetry" isn't a palindrome? What a waste of an opportunity."
I had a good chuckle. Anyway, back to the story… My brother is three years older than I am; when I was about six years old, he came home from school and told me he learned about palindromes.
The list goes on… but my all-time favourite (yes, one that I learned that day and still continues to be my favourite to this day) is racecar. I’m not sure why. Probably because my mind was completely blown. I may or may not have had to write it down to verify the fact. C’mon, I was six, give me a break!
Since that day, I’ve loved palindromes. There was even a time where I knew I loved them, but couldn’t remember what they were called.
It’s one thing for a six year old to love something like palindromes. It’s another thing to have palindromes completely take over a six year olds’ life. It another thing altogether to have that same control still be present in a 33 year old body.
Once I learned what palindromes were, I started doing something; something that can really only be classified as OCD. You see, my mom worked mornings and I was in charge of setting an alarm, answering the phone when she called and getting us ready for school (yes, I’m the younger sibling). But for some reason, this new found responsibility manifested in an obscure way.
I still do it to this day and I don’t know why. I started trying to convince myself that I needed to stop this behaviour, so when I passed the palindrome on my alarm clock, I’d stop. Yes, I used to go all the way around just to get the ‘perfect’ setting. But it always ended badly. I wouldn’t sleep well, and once I fell asleep due to pure exhaustion, I would oversleep and I’d be late. It had nothing to do with the fact that I: stayed up too late, drank too much, ate right before bed, was stressed out or the hundred other reasons why I didn’t sleep well.
No, clearly it’s because I didn’t set my alarm clock to a palindrome. I know it’s irrational, so I’ve tried to steer away from it; tried to regain control of my life. After all, two out of three of my current alarms are not set in palindromes. But I realized at my work party, that it still affects my life.
I bought a 50/50 ticket; when the draw was happening, I scanned my tickets to see if I had a palindrome.
I’m willing to look past whether or not it’s a “true palindrome”. I will accept if the last 3 or 4 digits (the ones that count) are a palindrome. Turns out, I had one and was pretty convinced I’d win the 50/50 because of it.
I didn’t win. Because I never win 50/50 tickets. But…
The winning ticket was a palindrome!!!!
Fuck! So, my irrational rationalization is now justified. I’m pretty much doomed.