I have this almost OCD (but not OCD yet) thing about the number 4. It has been my favorite number since I was a little kid, and now I really like doing things in 4's and having 4's around me. I really, really like and almost need to have them... almost. See? Not quite OCD; just flirting with OCD. Since this is my fourth post and I just got my fourth follower, I decided to blog about my 4 thing.
It all started at the Costa Mesa Fish Fry, a Lions Club charity carnival that benefits "local schools, clubs, and other organizations in the community." When I was a kid, I just knew it was a carnival that was smaller than the Orange County Fair and really close to my house. Wow, I just looked it up, and it was super close. To illustrate its closeness, here is a google map that I've annotated:((The red annotations actually make my point. The green ones illustrate streets and places that just scream, "I am in a town in Southern California!!"))
Anyway, I went to the Fish Fry one day with my dad (I think. If it was you, Mom, sorry), and I was allowed to play some carnival games. I played the fourth game in the fourth row and won a prize, despite the fact that those games are almost always rigged to make you fail. I don't remember what the game was or what the prize was, but I know it hooked me on 4's at an early age.
With the backstory firmly in place, I thought it might be fun to list things that I do in 4's and the length to which I will go to make things 4's.
Things I did in 4's as a kid and have managed to stop:
-I used to chew in 4's. As I chewed, my internal monologue would count to 4 over and over again as I chewed. Sometimes, I still catch myself doing this when I'm bored.
-I walked in 4's. I would take smaller or bigger steps to ensure that my destination took a multiple of 4 steps.
-I really liked the game MASH, not for its divinitory capabilities, but because it had 4 categories each with 4 items and therefore exemplified my preferences... Also, it sometimes told me I would live in a Mansion, drive a convertible, and have one kid with Wil Wheaton, which was awesome!
-I got unnaturally, internally happy when something came to 16. What could be cooler than 4 4's?
Things I do in 4's now:
-If I am eating something that comes in pieces, I will always try to eat a multiple of 4. If there are 7 Skittles, I will bite one in half to make 8. If there are 6, I will bite two in half. Somehow, biting them in half makes them multiply to my satisfaction.
-If I am eating something I have to cut, I will cut it into multiples of 4. I have an amazing power to keep track of how many bites of steak I've had while maintaining polite dinner conversation. I can't tell you if it was 20 or 24 bites, but I can tell you it ended in a proper 4 and that's important.
-Licking your fingers or the utensils after food can be used to make it to 4 when it's the only option (especially handy with popcorn in a darkened movie theater).
-When kissing my husband, I try never to stop on three. I will kiss him again, even if it involves wrestling. If he kisses me five times, I will fight for three more. Sometimes, I think he knows that I'm aiming for 4 and will throw in the fifth to spite me.
-If I run my thumb across my nails while I think, I will run make sure to do it twice each way to make 4 even if I finish thinking first.
-If I have five of something and don't need them all, I will frequently give the fifth away. I seem generous, but I mainly just want to have 4.
-If I hum or tap out a rhythm, it almost always has a 4 beat. If it doesn't in the beginning, it usually starts to.
-I didn't really have an eighth item, but it's important that my list is a multiple of 4.
The only reason the above lists don't convince me I have a disorder is that if I can't make a 4, I just accept it. It sucks, but sometimes I can't have a 4. If it made me freak out, I would have a problem. Instead, it just makes me think, "Well, damn." I'm not completely crazy, right?
Note: I am posting this at 24 after. That's a 4 right there. Rock!