I have a lot of routines set up for myself, some conscious and some unconscious. For example, at some point last year I got in the habit of eating specific lunches on specific days. On Tuesdays, for example, I go to Cosi and get a TBM. It sounds kind of crazy and OCD, which, to be fair, it maybe is, but it's not something I observe like a religion. It's just that I've found, at least for me, that settling into a few general rhythms helps offset some of the difficulties that come with being extremely absent-minded and oblivious.
I also tend to rotate through the same outfits at work on a fairly regular basis. This is more or less because I only see a small number of people in a given day and because it saves time in the morning to already kind of know a specific combination of clothes to go for. Anyway, at some point, I things kind of evolved into me wearing the same things on certain days of the week. I didn't put this all together, though, until I had a conversation with my Cosi cashier one Tuesday as she rang my sandwich up.
"You work at the salon next door, right?" she asked.
"What? No," I answered, wondering why she would think that. (I hypothesized that maybe my hair was looking particularly excellent that day.)
"Oh," she said, kind of confused. "Sorry--I just assumed, because, well--" she looked at my black shirt and grey skirt. "You come here often, and you have the same uniform as them. So I just assumed."
At this point, I came to the dreadful realization that I had probably come to this Cosi every Tuesday for the past several weeks wearing the exact same outfit. I had never made the connection before and I reeeallly didn't want to tell the cashier, "Oh no, I'm just a crazy person, and this is my Tuesday outfit, you see!" But I had to save the situation somehow, or else future trips to this shop would be too awkward and I'd need a new Tuesday lunch option.
"Oh! That is so funny," I said. "Yeah, I guess my job has sort of the same uniform." This seemed like a solid enough save. I handed her my check card.
"So where do you work?" she asked. Damn. This was like playing chess, and I was not planning my moves far enough in advance.
"Uh . . . nearby." Please let this transaction end. Please let this transaction end.
"OK, cool! Here's your number. See you next time!" Whew.
I decided that things hadn't gone too badly, and I could still come back to that Cosi in the future. But as I walked out the door, I realized that I would have to make sure I would be wearing that exact same outfit every time. I am now charged with the responsibility of keeping the uniform myth alive.