Some people in my family are creatures of habit. There is one way of doing things, and it happens the same way every day with no deviation. I used to wonder where that came from until I remembered the burnt toast.
My grandfather Bernard (Pa) was the ultimate creature of habit. Pa's morning routine: Dress, make coffee, put toast in the toaster, go outside and run the American flag up the flag pole, come back inside and scrape the burnt toast to make it edible. Now, logic would tell him that waiting to put the toast down until after the flag flew high would have saved the time and energy of scraping burnt toast -- as well as having the luxury of eating a decent piece of toast. No. We must not deviate from the routine.
The Bernard genes run strong in my family. I pride myself in being the rebel -- yet I must admit there are certain things in my routine which absolutely are set in stone. I rebel at taking the same route home from work every night because change is good, I tell myself. I rebel at eating at the same restaurant all the time. I cringe at the thought of a "laundry day," because laundry can be done on any day. I will not deviate, however, from ordering either pizza or lasagna at Roma's Pizzeria -- nothing else will suffice. Gunther's ice cream needs to be one scoop of fudge brownie, but I will deviate with the second scoop. I won't budge about the order in which I put my clothes on in the morning. My desk must be completely clear from all clutter. Only current projects are allowed on my desk, and they must be organized just so! A box of Kleenex must be in close proximity to me at all times. There must be Kleenex in every room in the house, in my purse, in my car (even if in the trunk), and on my desk. Hand soap must be placed to the left of the sink in the bathroom, but to the right of the sink in the kitchen.
A therapist could make a bundle with my family, I'm sure. It might take years of research and analysis! In the meantime, I'm left to wonder how our brains work and what makes us tick.