Nancy Roman


I am a ranker.

I love to put things in order. Not in my home… that is often order-free. In my mind.

I rank objects by how much I like them. What is my favorite color? How about my next-favorite? We have a set of coffee mugs – 6 mugs, each a different color – with white polka dots. My husband and I both love these mugs. But I have a ranking of which one I love most. I love the yellow, then the blue, then the green, then the purple, then the orange, and lastly, the red. Sometimes this changes slightly. Sometimes I love the green a bit more than the blue. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t love the red cup. I love them all. But in order.

I have an order to my lipsticks.

I have an order to my paintbrushes.

To my TV Shows. To Movies. To Music. To Books.

I don’t think of this as judgmental; I am not criticizing my lipsticks. They’re all quite wonderful. But my Marc Jacobs “Send Nudes” is the first wonderful lipstick. Ulta’s “Raspberry Beret” is the second wonderful.

I put my sweaters in my drawer by rank. And I am a bit more fickle with clothing, so I have to rearrange a lot.

I saw a meme recently that said you were an adult if you have a favorite burner on your stove. I thought, Of course! What kind of monster would not?

I play a lot of online Gin. And I have found that there are certain playing cards I like. I like nines. then fours. If I am collecting suits, by all means it is clubs. That doesn’t mean I won’t discard them, since I also like to win. But winning with my preferred cards feels especially good.

All of this meandering (and I have a ranking of words too… and I especially like ‘meandering’) is leading me to a concept that I have only recently accepted.

Ranking my loved ones.

Oh, this sounds cold, I know.

But honestly, didn’t you have a best friend when you were a kid? Maybe even now? Didn’t you have a favorite aunt?

And it doesn’t mean that you didn’t love your other aunties. I loved all my aunts – very much. But there was one.

When Speed-Dial was first introduced, my mother announced to us that she had put all her children’s numbers into the system. She ranked them, at first by age, but after a while, with her deliciously tart sense of humor, she began to rank us by other criteria. She moved us around. She delighted in telling us who was currently #1 and who had slipped.

This was just for her own amusement, but why not use this idea for a good purpose?

I have been contemplating my family and my friends. And consciously doing what my emotions have been doing all along – ranking them.

I love them all. My husband, my mother, my sisters and my brother, my cousins, my in-laws, all their little spawn, my friends, my clients.

But there is an order. A formal order which can change tomorrow. Or not.

I am sensitive enough not to reveal the order of human beings that I love. But I know it. It makes a difference to me. I am glad to know this about these loved ones.

And yes. I meant it when I said I do this for a good purpose.

Here is the purpose:

Now that I understand who is the first of my loved ones, which of them make up the top of the rankings, then my purpose becomes clear. These are the people I need to TELL. These are the ones I need to listen to. To spend time with. These are the people I need to shower with love.

And those who are still loved but who are further down in the my love rankings? Well, I have a goal for these souls too. To ask myself why they are less important to me and what I could do to either add to their significance or else worry about them less.

Sometimes, maybe often, the people who are most important to us can be taken for granted. We can become so comfortable and complacent – sure that the love is and will always be there.

But once you realize which people are the most important people in your life, you might actually treat them like the most important people in your life.

Learn who they are.


  1. I so get this I do it myself


  2. Love!


  3. oh definitely yes. enjoyed this post and can totally identify. i hang all my clothes by color code according to a sliding color wheel scheme. and you are right; who doesn’t have a favorite stove burner. people ranking–that is another–but only for those below #3. first is always hubby (and he can’t be knocked out of first place) and my kids tie for 2 and 3, although one can, and often does, drop to 3.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Too often the people who are most important to us get the least attention. We don’t do it intentionally but it happens. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barbara Lindsey

    I enjoyed this post it was food for thought. I don’t actually rank things and people but I can see where you are coming from on this. I have just recently placed myself #1 on my own list, (without realising I had a list at all), and there are many reasons for that. But that’s another story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Funny! Without realizing it I probably ranked my kids on speed dial years ago. I better not let them see!


  7. HelenG

    I do this as well. I’m also very fickle so a large part of my mental energy goes into reviewing and reorganising. Not so much with people but definitely with clothes and shoes.


  8. Love Love Love. No matter where it ranks in your heart its always there.


  9. Can we please all rank trees at the top of all our lists? For at the moment our Earth’s breathable air is filling up with carbon and trees can combat that. We need to plant more and save more and look forward to a future on this beautiful, as yet still habitable planet.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pat Carlucci

    Love this post and I so get it! I guess I and many others can be called rankers, as well. I just never put a specific word to it. I can now lovingly rank without feeling guilty!


  11. I love the way you figure out why the people you rank lower down the list need your attention too. Makes sense and is kind…

    Liked by 1 person

    • batchilly

      How are you doing today


  12. Love this. I didn’t even realize I rank things until I read your post. Scents are right up there (especially with candles); so are brands of chocolate, wine, and mugs (different ones for different drinks). I’ve always said I love my children “equally but different” so I don’t rank them, but I can unequivocally say my first born granddaughter is my favourite grandchild (because she’s the only one). Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your post had me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see which way your thoughts would turn next. I was relieved and


  14. You had me on the edge of my seat right to the end. Where was this leading? You described what I do with objects (though I have favorites, not ranks) then moved on to people. And yes — to favorites, a guilty secret in my case. To knowing and attending closely to our top ranked. And to digging deeper into our own feelings. And yes to attending to the loved but less adored. Thank you.


  15. That’s actually very good advice! My general instinct is not to rank things, and certainly not to rank people, but I’ve never thought out it this way before. If we acknowledge who is more important to us, then we are sure to treat them that way. And stop wasting so much time and energy on those who are not important!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You certainly have your life in pecking order! Sometimes we take the ones we love the most for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh Nancy, you certainly struck a chord with this one. I do a lot of the same ranking you do including my loved ones. I love your reasoning and strategy behind it. It makes a lot of sense.


  18. It’s very good advice


  19. Love this post! is it ok to rank your kids though? Or do we rank them without opening up about the results…?


  20. Well, it’s now 2020. Ranking seems like an interesting idea. Acting on that ranking seems like a great resolution! Thanks!


  21. Hello how are you doing


  22. good job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  23. I just realized that I’m doin’s it hahahaha



  1. Ranking — not quite old – mbereko

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