Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quietly weird hobbies

Some folks have innately spectacular or at least social hobbies: Climbing every hill above a certain height in Scotland, say (the so-called 'Munro-bagging' bug) or collecting coasters from bars and pubs.

Then there are really quiet pursuits that can confer relaxation and calm, but seem utterly bizarre - in a quiet, modest way - to everyone else. There was an uncle of ours, for instance, who rather enjoyed washing-up after meals, and did so to exacting standards. Pa, in a similar vein, likes to fold and put away the laundry. After the clothes emerge from the dryer and washing line, good and dry, he tosses it all into an untidy pile on an armchair. It is imperative that everything be crumpled and creased, since the joy to be derived is in turning the mess into well-ordered, sorted-out rows, everything folded just so and organised according to type of garment, owner and size.

Anyway, the earliest signs are emerging that Sonny may just be taking after Pa in this regard. Having blogged extensively on his habit of gathering his toys before playing with them (click here for the post), we ventured to suggest that this showed an innate tendency with humans to 'claim ownership'. But there could be a less high-falutin' explanation at work: That Sonny is simply naturally inclined to favour organisation, and was gathering the toys into a neat pile before commencing to eat them.

It would seem that a love for making order out of chaos is the driving force behind a vast number of disparate pursuits. It might animate the fervour of stamp collectors, coin collectors and others of that ilk. It would, of course, not explain why some seeking wild adventure, parasailing and that sort of thing. But then people are different after all.

Perhaps we could try and categorise and organise the different types...


TJACK said...

There are some types that are very organized and then there is the other extreme. Both can be maddening! My husband used to neatly hang his socks on tiny hangers and then hang them from a clothes line in his closet, organizing them by color. It drove me crazy!

Cloudsters said...

Now you've gone and given Pa ideas, tjack... betcha, though, it's your husband who does the lion's share of the cleaning and tidying-up, on account of no one else being able to do the job 'as thoroughly'as he can!