I am bothered, I just don’t realize it. If my kitchen is messy, for example, which is often, I do not prepare food in it. That may sound like perfectly logical behavior, but logic plays no part in what is actually a series of competing impulses. The way I experience not-cooking as a function of kitchen messiness is as a Thing That Happens Over and Over Until I Start To Wonder If There’s a Correlation. It’s not a decision I’ve made; rather, it’s a behavior I have observed, as if I were my own lab rat. Never have I said to myself, “This kitchen strikes me as unhygienic. I don’t want any food that’s prepared in here. Maybe I should clean up.” Instead, I get up in the morning and blearily imagine making breakfast. Somehow it doesn’t seem appealing, so I don’t. Later I think about breakfast again, and it seems just as unappetizing. Then it’s 2:00 in the afternoon and I have a migraine from not eating. Am I conscious of how this came to pass? I am not.
Luckily, I live with someone who brings these things to my attention, and the best advice I received this year was from him. Weary of finding me an insomniac mess in the morning – often because I’d been cold all night because I went to bed with wet hair, for example – my boyfriend has made me a list of questions I need to ask myself at regular intervals. Read more