It is Ode to …, a weekly column where we share what really excites us in the hope that you too will take a real interest in it.
Open your Notes application. Make a quick scroll. You’re not 100% sure what’s going on there, are you?
For the most part, we don’t compose Notes with an audience in mind. In fact, we assume that no one other than us (if we can remember to watch) will ever see them again. The result is a surprisingly authentic account of what we’ve done, what we’ve seen, what we want to remember – a stupidly serious and unintentional diary.
Can’t help but watch strangers blind date on YouTube
The My Notes app is a mix of shopping lists, presentation ideas and context-free reminders. Aside from the grocery lists (some of which, like the one that reads, “Pasta / Drano”, are deeply confusing), I have only a fuzzy idea of what most of my notes mean.
What a date, indeed.
On June 18, for example, I wrote a note that only said “what date is it”. This, I guess, was a forwarded note – the silent message you type into the Notes app and then show it to the person next to you so you don’t have to say it out loud. In this case, I was probably asking who I was with either 1) calendar date or 2) guessing what date – first, second, fifth – a neighboring couple was on. I love listening!
Then there are the Night Notes, or (in some cases) the Morning Notes. These are the notes we don’t remember writing because we were drunk, still asleep, groggy, or a combination of the three. These notes are fascinating to read afterwards. They are a magnificent window to the psyche.
Concrete example: this note from a colleague, which reads as follows: “glove thing”. She doesn’t know why.
What does all this mean?
Then there are the lists – the grocery lists, the hardware lists, the pro-con lists made in the heat of the moment that seemed important at the time. Lists tell us what it was, on a particular day, that we needed or wanted – even if it was just “dish soap”. And, for the most part, we can trust them to be honest. After all, no one else would see them.
(The pauses between items are also great: Did you remove any foods from your shopping list as soon as you found them? Did you feel organized enough to divide your list by store? The Notes app keeps this record the most. mostly unnecessary.)
A target list.
A grocery list.
Among the lists, messages and one-off ideas for your novel, you might find some really moving Notes. They read like miniature journal entries: set lists, bizarre observations, funny quotes from your friends. These are the best grades – you wanted to review them yourself.
From a colleague: Phish at Wrigley Field, 6/25/16.
A great way to eat French fries.
So one day, when you are not on duty on an airplane or in the subway, take a moment to go through your notes. Look back at your grocery lists and mysterious bad ideas. Maybe you will remember a fun day that you forgot about. That’s why you wrote a note about it, after all.
Don’t write your apologies in there.
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