I have an extremely obsessive personality, which manifests itself in really weird ways. In seventh grade, my parents wouldn’t buy me the Nike Air sneakers that all of the cool kids were wearing—they would only buy the cheapest pair at Foot Locker—which set off an insane obsession with sneakers. Within a week, I could name every pair of sneakers that all 222 kids in my class wore every day, and how much they cost.
This was eventually replaced by an obsession with woolen clogs (popular in eighth grade), high-heedled clogs (popular in ninth), North Face back packs (a must have object in 10th grade), Patagonia fleeces (11th), and then cars (in 12th). I became extremely dismayed that my parent’s Suburban had cloth seating—I had decided leather seating was the true signifier of wealth—and spent a summer in Nantucket peering into people’s SUV’s, and praying to God that one day, my parents would come to their senses, and buy a Range Rover with Nubuck leather.
Over the years, I’ve obsessed about Chanel bags, I’ve obsessed about notebooks, I’ve obsessed about Delman flats. I developed an encyclopedic memory of the people who are “haves” in each category, and become friends with those who, like me, are “have nots.”
Of course, I’ve obsessed about normal things like boys and my career, but meaningless preoccupations still dominate up to 20% of my mental energy every day.