For my thirtieth birthday, amongst other things, Stuart had this bracelet made for me. He asked the designer to put 808.02 on there. It’s the Dewey Decimal Classification number for style manuals. Actually, 808.02 is the DDC for “authorship and editorial techniques,” and 808.027, “editorial techniques,” is where cataloguers are instructed to class style manuals, but that was getting excessively clunky (and I had to log into OCLC Connexion to find that out) so 808.02 it is.
I asked, upon opening the gift, what the DDC number was for. So sue me, I knew the 800 class is literature! That’s more than most people who aren’t librarians or sixth graders could tell you. Stuart said, “it’s for style manuals. Because you’re so stylish.” He’s just being nice – it’s also because I love rules. I love grammar. I love the way different organizations or cultures have sprung up around the correct way to create a bibliography, and why. How for different applications, there are different ways of organizing information and displaying it. There’s a good reason why I love library science. It’s because I love order.
This is one of those teachable moments, realizing how much I love order and organization. I’m thirty now! It’s okay to be obsessed with taxonomies! That’s just who I am! Another thing I am is a woman in her thirties, starting to think about family. And babies. Ohhhh, the kicking ovaries. Ladies, you tried to warn me.
I’ve been stymied as to why a woman already aware of her desire to start a family would suddenly FLIP A SWITCH just because of a birthday. And it’s not, to clarify, that we’re going to have a baby tomorrow. The dog and the graduate degree are enough for me right now. But what’s the difference between spending all of my twenties happily, calmly aware that I was going to have children someday, and turning thirty, where I can’t even look at pictures of my friends’ babies without getting all broody and making funny faces at Stuart? (Although, have you met Esme? You’d want one too.) Seriously, the other day, I found myself cuddling Nano in a distinctly …. swaddling … manner. What! The! Eff!
But today, I was talking to my therapist and I hit on it. In my twenties, starting a family with Stuart was something I was going to do in my thirties. In a very rigid, time-centered way, it was Tomorrow. I wasn’t in my thirties! Oh, guess what. Now I am in my thirties, which means that clock is suddenly labeled Today. And while nothing else, empirically, has changed, everything has changed. This is the decade we’re going to do this … and here we are, in that decade. Someone get me a to-do list! (Don’t worry, that to-do list starts with: Finish Degree.)
Which goes back to my first point, stepping slowly away from all this Heavy Stuff (although feel free to empathize and extemporize on your own clock systems if you have them). I am 808.02! I am your friendly neighborhood organizer. But Stuart also pointed out, I could easily be Greek myths and legends, which would be 398.20938. What would you be, if you were a DDC number? You don’t have to be a library nerd to play along – give me a general category you think would work and I’ll see if I can’t tease out the right number for you. My nerdy expertise could be your new charm bracelet!