Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
When I was asked to write a memoir for our new six-word book, I made a list of a few dozen of my romantic mishaps and pared each of them down to six words. The result was a sad summation of the past decade of my life, a reminder that I dated people like “His pants were tighter than mine” and “Compulsive liar boyfriend full of compliments,” all in an orderly, easy-to-read format. I wound up sending “Silently suffered his facial hair experiments” to the publishers, but the one I’ve been revisiting recently is a remnant of a well-meaning high school boyfriend: “His love letters had bullet points.” At age sixteen, a list with the heading “Why We Should Continue Dating” was decidedly unromantic.
Do love and lists mix well? Everyone seems to have lists on the mind these days—the old twenty-five things meme that made the blog rounds last year has taken Facebook by storm, prompting snarky responses from blogs and major news outlets (TIME, the New York Times) alike. We’ve got our own in-house list maker: Stacy Abramson, whose endearingly neurotic inventories of her life—recounted in list form—sparked a lot excitement here last week. From her love life to her family to all her little hang-ups, Stacy gives us a better portrait of her life than 25 random things ever could.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so Stacy and SMITH want your love-themed lists. Unrequited crushes, romantic regrets, things you like—or don’t like—about your significant other, the pros and cons of staying with him or her, and all those things you wished you realized sooner—or wished you’d known ten years ago.
Looking for a little inspiration? Here’s Stacy’s list of bad and good boyfriend traits—true-to-form, a few numbered points paint a clearer picture of her ex than pages of descriptions ever could. We would all benefit from writing one of these, so get listing!
Date: February, 2003
Place: Surf Camp with Heather, San Diego, C.A.
What You Need to Know: Heather said the only way to get over five-year relationship was to make a list of what I wanted to find in the next person.
List: What I Want In My Next Boyfriend
What I Want
1. Someone who I can get stuck with on the train.
2. Someone who will run off to Cuba for a long weekend, or to Tel Aviv, but who has a grown-up life to come home to.
3. Someone who’s bear-like.
4. Someone who asks lots of questions.
What I Don’t Want
1. Someone who wears black turtlenecks.
2. Someone who likes British teashops.
3. Or anyone British really.
4. A vegan.
5. Someone who backtracks.
6. Someone with cats.
Want more love lists?
1. Create a playlist with the top 100 love songs of all time.
2. Write a list for your partner this weekend.
3. Quote someone famous in your love letters.
4. Browse this list of lists for everything romantic.