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.