Monday, November 20, 2006

My Obsession with Straight

As we were hanging the now-matted-and-framed poster from the horse festival in Provence, I realized how obsessed I am with pictures being straight. It's as though looking at a crooked picture throws my whole system out of balance.

When I come home from work every 2 weeks, I can always tell when Angelina has cleaned our house. There is a marked absence of dog hair on the floor and virtually every picture is slightly crooked. I tell myself to be grateful that she is conscientious about dusting everything hanging on the walls as I walk around straightening them up.

This obsession of mine is not limited to my own house. I distinctly remember being the middle of a pilates class and asking my teacher Chris to adjust the picture I was repeatedly looking at because it was simply cockeyed. Chris himself is a very ordered guy so he understood, but some people just look at me and shake their heads.

There are many things in life that don't offer the same ease of alignment if they should get out of balance. Wouldn't it be great if you could adjust your spine or your mindset with the same ease?

As I make that small adjustment and then step back to check out the result, I'm always happy to have had the ability to make this one thing straight.

Is this something that matters to you?


Blogger Richard said...


Personally, I prefer blank walls, I find things hanging on the walls unnecessary and distracting (I never hung pictures on my wall as a teenager). Needless to say, this is yet another area Sofia and I differ. She is constantly looking for things to hang or place decoratively around and I am wondering, "Why?"

2:37 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

We have an intentionally off-kilter motivational poster about "balance" in the office. It drives me nuts. Every. Single. Day. I'm learning to let go, a little, though.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I'm with you. I like straight lines, I like things to look balanced. It eases my mind...

6:50 PM  
Blogger wharman said...

I can never tell whether a painting is straight or not. Perhaps it's me that's askew.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am anal about it. I always hang pictures with 2 nails/screws/whatever is necessary.

Sometimes it makes me nauseous even. Have tried to overcome it but to no avail. I restrain myself in other people's homes, unless no one is around. Then I am tilting, tipping, whatever I can do to make it right.



6:59 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Well, this is really interesting. You all run the gamut from Richard who likes no pictures at all to Kristin, Pauline, and Kate who are as anal as I am apparently to Wendy who can't tell the difference. Wendy is probably the most "balanced" of the bunch of us...

11:12 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I do notice it and I naturally straighten them if crooked, but I don't obsess. If I was putting up buletin boards at school and they were a tad uneven or crooked, I'd leave them! If it bothered anyone and they wanted to fix them, that was okay with me too.

(I'll get my husband to work on that method of adjusting your spine and mindset at the same time!)

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chairs. I have a thing about chairs. Must be aligned and pushed in.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Bengal said...

Barbara, I hope you come home from work more frequently than once every two weeks. Aloha, Bengal.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- That's a "balanced" attitude.

OL -- You're one of the anal types.

Bengal -- I knew that didn't sound quite right when I wrote it! It's amazing how we are so trained to read through the mistakes and catch the gist of something. Have you ever done that test that shows you don't need vowels to be able to read quite fluently? (I guess Hebrew was ahead of its time.)

10:07 AM  

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