I really like to be even. As in Steven. Or Stephan, if you’re so inclined. I do not judge. We all have issues and if yours is that you want to throw a “ph” instead of a “v” into your “Steen,” carry on, you crazy phreak.

After all, I named my daughter Carly with a K (Karly!) and my grandfather’s name is Knute! but the K is not silent. Life (liphe?) is too insane to waste time arguing phonetics.

So where were we?  Ah, yes. I’m not the least bit insane. But I do have this one thing. And the thing is this:

I try to keep my world even. As in numbers. As in balance. Specifically, I prefer everything to be paired up Two by Two.

Like Noah with perhaps a bit less rain.

Let’s start with food. I eat evenly, or at least attempt to. When enjoying chips of the tortilla or the potato or the corn variety (which happens daily not every two days so don’t get smart), I grab one handful, and then another when the first handful is gone. If I have a third handful, I’m not content until I’ve gone back for a fourth. And so on.

(I can tell you are now nodding as this surely makes a lot of sense.)

If my husband offers me a bite of his cheesecake (which is something of a miracle given his love of dessert) he knows I will require a second bite. When there isn’t enough cheesecake left for two bites, he holds the spoon (or phork) while I suck off half the cheesecake, take a breath, and come back for the rest. What. You don’t do this? I’m so sorry.

When I’ve admitted this behavior to others, some people (who think they’re smart but who are actually not smart) smirk, “Oh. So you eat two entire pizzas?”  Of course not. That would be insane. I would, however, keep track of my slices and eat two. Or four. Or six. Maybe eight during my two pregnancies. I simply feel more comfortable that way.

Eating evenly, I mean. Not being pregnant.

But moving on to elements arguably more important than food:

I have two children, two dogs and two cars. My ears are double pierced and I am writing my second novel. True, I ran three marathons; but I also ran three half-marathons. In my brain, this adds up to six big races and evens the score. It just does. Don’t argue. This is my thing.


I’ll admit I have only one husband and one house so don’t get smart. But I’m relieved to report we have moved twice and perhaps one day we’ll renew our vows. It could happen. With two weddings under my belt I’ll breathe more easily. Maybe I’ll serve two cheesecakes. Which would be smart because cheesecake is delicious.

Before you start making any suggestions, let me assure you I am certain my need for evenness has nothing to do with being a control phreak. Or OCD. Or anal (which is not delicious). I haven’t gone to therapy, but I’m positive any mental health professional worth two pinches of salt would say the following:

“You are perfectly normal, Julie. Don’t go changing to try and please me.”

(See how I have now effortlessly slipped Billy Joel into two posts? Also of note: In his song “Italian Restaurant,” Mr. Joel offers his girlfriend “a bottle of red AND a bottle of white,” which besides being smart also equals two bottles of wine. Which makes me smile.)

So, yes. I’ve decided. In my next life, I will for sure be Noah.

Except I’ll spell it Knoah, and pronounce the K. Because.

Last Modified on April 21, 2018
This entry was posted in Life
Bookmark this article Even.

72 thoughts on “Even.

  1. Ohhh – you’re going to get a lot of good, smart ass comments on this one, but I’m not clever enough to think of any! I’ll just share that, when getting my brows waxed, I always have to sneeze twice at some point. Did I make you smile?

  2. Love that Billy Joel song! Love Billy Joel.

    Hmmm….I wonder if you would have had one child, and then the second pregnancy brought forth twins….what would you have done?

    This all does make sense to me. It gives life order and I agree with your imaginary mental health professional that it’s all good.

  3. Deb

    Aw …

    2x = Julie where x = everything. Mr. Holden would be so proud!

  4. Lori Dyan – I was secretly hoping people would share all their weirdness so I’d feel more secure in my self-assessment of normalcy. And the sneezing twice thing? Definitely makes sense to me.

    Amanda – I love Billy Joel, too. And I have had this discussion with my sister-in-law because for a while I REALLY wanted a third child (okay, still do…but I’m 42 and my kids are in middle school, so…) She argued that I’d HAVE to have a fourth. I said that’s insane. But she’s probably right. Still. It might be like the pizza thing. Two pizzas in one sitting? A little too much.

    Deb – I took geometry twice. Seriously. And I had to take pre-algebra AND algebra so I think that counts as two algebra classes. Then I tried to quit math forever. (would you come balance my checkbook please?)

  5. Hehe. Okay, here’s my weirdness.
    I can’t STAND touching wooden spoons, especially if they’re wet. Something about the texture makes me all squeegie. They’re worse than nails on a chalk board AND a bucket full of spiders. Yuck!

  6. That’s too much counting for me. You know what, I think you’re a little crazy. But, who am I to judge? Also, Knute is an awesome family name. Congratulations on THAT. I had a Great Uncle Tac, but I think it was an abbreviation for something.

  7. I have an even obsession as well. My dad used to mess with me by giving me odd amounts of cookies, so I would either leave one or break the last one in two.

    I have way too many eccentricities to name. Suffice it to say that I understand yours – you are not alone!!!

  8. ChristineM

    Here you go: you’re not the only one who feels this way. Things ARE better in pairs! I also do the eating thing in even numbers. 2, 4, (6!) cookies. I love even numbers. I even ‘prefer’ to have the volume on my tv on an even number. There, now I’m a bigger freak than you! Wait, there’s more. We have 3 kids. I want to make it 4. My husband doesn’t know if we can handle 4, but I don’t know if I could ‘only’ have 3. The funny thing is he actually has OCD. He’s always telling me I ‘prefer’ wieder things than he does, but he’s the one that actually has a clinical reason to. We make quite a pair. Lol!

  9. I’m not so much a numbers person. In fact numbers mostly make me want to run and hide in dark corners, so I can’t say that I am that particular with food. I prefer to eat with wild abandon and then gawk in amazement at the numbers staring back at me on the scale. That said I do get your obsession with even numbers. I’m like that when I get gas. It has to be an even number of dollars and cents. The rounder the better. I just kneed it to be like that!!
    (Your phonetics bit was hilarious!)

  10. Sixteen paragraphs. Divisible by two. Well done. 🙂

  11. Hilarious! Love this one.
    I’ve run 5 marathons, but one half, 2 half ironmans, and i’m on my 4th novel. We were separated at birth, sister.
    Seriously, funny stuff.

  12. Jocelyn – NEVER thought of wet wooden spoons that way, but now that you mention it, yuck. Another reason not to do dishes. YAY!

    Joann – Knute is awesome. My grandmother is Renis. They are quite a fabulous pair. Tac? Sounds cool to me. But TaQUE would have been awesomer.

    Laura – Oh I so would do the “break the last cookie in half to be even” thing. Without a doubt. I will share Oreos with you any time, lady.

    Christine – Wow. I do feel better now. When you busted the “Wait, there’s more,” I got a little crush on you. Thanks. A lot.

    Angie – I hate math more than anything. Perhaps the “even” issue is because it saves me having to worry about division. Or normalcy.

  13. KLZ

    I don’t like words that have an uneven number of letters and yet I cannot stop using them.

  14. I can totally relate to this. I like twos and fours and eights— not sixes, they tell me that’s a devil thing and I believe them. The only odd number I allow myself to use in any sort of number combination for anything is 1. Otherwise it would be very easy for anybody to steal my money, buy things under my amazon account and change my email password.

  15. I like things in fives. Which is good, because five cookies are more than four. And ten are more than eight. I majored in math and it shows.

    Hilarious confession, I raise a glass (or two or five) to you! (A glass of milk, that is, because I just wolfed down ten cookies.)

  16. Ryne – Naturally. 😉

    Pamela – I totally want to do an Ironman. Except for the swimming. And the biking. (You do those for me and I’ll run. Maybe.)

    KLZ – I still can’t get over how cute Alex looked sitting in that yellow taxi. I really want to make Jack sit in one for his next haircut but he’ll be almost 14. Not sure I can get away with it.

    Ilana – You are wise to be so careful. Very wise. You clearly still have all your money. We can be friends.

    Mrs. Buttram – Can I use your first name if I know it? I am unaware of the etiquette of blogging. Must I maintain anonymity here? I’m asking because if you truly majored in math I’m a little scared of you and do not want to make you angry. (p.s. 10 cookies = perfection.)

  17. Thank goodness you don’t have 2 husbands. That would be a lot to handle. I would be demanding another honeymoon though so that you have 2 of those.

  18. Um, you are hilarious. You can call me whatever. You can go the friends-route and go straight to the J, Jess, Jessie…you can have fun with it and drop the JButt. I’m cool with it. And yes, I majored in math because I nearly flunked Biology. Boo.

  19. Di

    …and yesterday we had two glasses of wine…both red! Loved it, as usual!

  20. Can I tell you how much i am in LOVE with the fact that I just had TWO different comments from TWO different lovelies names Jessica?

    My life? Perfect right now.

    Jessie T: I didn’t have a honeymoon. So DAMN if I’m not already even on that one!

    JButt – How could I not go with that one? Two t’s after all… Congratulations on your ability to survive being a math major. AND you’re a brilliant writer. Kind of not fair. But you’re cute so I’ll let it go. this time.

    Di – You KNOW I wasn’t going to say “No” to that second glass. Ever.

  21. Awesome. That is all.

  22. I understand this condition entirely too well. And two pinches of salt? Yes, surely two pinches. Or four.
    Hilarious post.

  23. evolk

    I have so many weird things that it would be impossible to try to list them so that I would come out with a number divisible by two. And that would be unfair to you because then this wouldn’t be perfect. So, just for you, Julie, I will only list two:

    1. Soggy bread. Ewww. Tiramisu is a mystery to me.
    2. I have recently become obsessed with the fact that even though we were taught in typing class to put two spaces at the end of a sentence, now it is improper to do so when you are typing on a computer. I am trying, not well, to retrain myself, which isn’t going well. And I’m not sure why this even matters. Or why I care enough to pay attention to it. (As I carefully space back after the two spaces to make sure it is just one.)

    Loved this post – maybe the funniest one yet. I mean you have two funniest. But this is definitely one of them.

  24. Mmmmmmm, chips by the handful.

    Sorry, you lost me there.

    Surely, you plan to run additional marathons and half-marathons? Work in progress toward a nice round 10?

    Wonderful working in of Billy Joel.

  25. Missy – Thank you. Thank you. (Get it. I thanked you twice. Yep.) So glad to see you here and I like the new Twitter handle, lady.

    TFChalupa – So glad you can relate. And also? I’m so sorry. Very. (Plus, your post today was fabulous. Who needs fame? I run away from it. Obviously.

    Evolk – WHAT??? I did not know you were only supposed to space once after a period when on a computer. Seriously? Was this your way of gently letting me know? I do not think I can make this adjustment. Nope. I know I can’t.

    John – I definitely see ten long races in my future. Because how else can I justify all the chips? Oh yeah, right. They’re delicious. Chips require no justification.

  26. Good Lord you make me giggle.

    Also, I would eat two pizzas. Because why knot?

  27. Cheryl –

    Exactly. Why not?

    I only pretended I thought that was insane because I didn’t want to frighten anyone else with my capacity to eat…it is a bit scary.

    Note to self: When you meet Cheryl IRL, you will require two pizzas and two bottles of wine. (to start.)

  28. Julie – All this food talk has made me hungry. Never become a designer. In design, it always works better if there are odd numbers of things. Annoying. I loved this post (as always).

    HOWEVER, I can’t get out of bed when the clock reveals an odd number for the last digit. Example? 6:37. NO, must close eyes until 6:38 or 6:40 *sigh* (In my world zero is never odd.) Of course my husband tells me this problem makes me odd rather than even. Pfft.

  29. Kari Marie –

    Now THAT’S what I’m talking about. Love that detail. I will forever stay in bed an extra minute and attribute that joy to you.

    (p.s. I know about the design thing. I watch HGTV like a lunatic. But I’m not insane. Remember.)

  30. I like this idea quite a bit. . I mean, what kind of idiot would eat only one piece of pizza? Seriously? And by the way, you can totally have my scanner. I would LOVE to give you my scanner.

  31. cousin Heidi

    Ok. So I (well, Dave and I) thought that there was NO ONE ELSE on the planet crazy like me who has to have EVERYTHING symmetrical. In balance. Not just TWO’s, but perfect symmetry. It could be two’s, or three’s or four’s…if he gets 3 pieces of pizza, I get three. If one gets 4 oz. of wine, we both get 4. Not just food…everything. 2 cars. Not one dog; not three dogs; four dogs. Because one can’t be without another one (although we do have an uneven number of cats, and THAT will remain as such because we are NOT acquiring any more). 4 or 8 or 10 goldfish. 2 blacks, 4 gold, or whatever. One dies, I get another one. 4 bikes. And if it doesn’t work out that way, I fly into orbit. Symmetry and balance is what keeps me sane. Halves. Equals. Two’s. Fours. Sixes. Even Steven. Call it what you will. I totally get it.

  32. Paula –

    Good luck with your move. And the chocolate cupcakes for breakfast (definitely muffin-like). And the Toy Story 3 Barrel of Monkeys rewind (absolutely worth the shrieking). And the cup of water poured on your head at bath time. (dear god, when’s the actual move? you need a break.)

    I feel bad taking your scanner. But. Popcorn and fake ID’s. Can’t turn that down.

  33. Heidi –

    I KNEW we were related for a reason (and it isn’t blood). Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.

    Because pairs are MUCH better. As you know. Two hugs to David. (or four or eight…) And for you, too. The same amount. Exactly.

  34. My Rainman senses have been activated. Do you want to borrow my twins for two weeks? They’re six (which is 2 + 2 + 2). Perhaps you should always have 2 drinks on the go? And I’m going to post this message twice just for you, my friend!


    My Rainman senses have been activated. Do you want to borrow my twins for two weeks? They’re six (which is 2 + 2 + 2). Perhaps you should always have 2 drinks on the go? And I’m going to post this message twice just for you, my friend!


  35. Oh, my Leanne.

    You just made my day. Double awesomeness.

    When my sister and I were young, people used to think my sister and I were twins…I used to tell everyone that the Wrigley’s DoubleMint Gum advertisers wanted us to be in their commercials. And I kind of thought it was true.

    But I also might have made that up.

    Still. I love twins. And Things 1 and 2 are RIGHT up my alley. Anytime. Anytime.

  36. I love you. That is all. 🙂

    You wouldn’t be funny if you weren’t quirky, so the way i see it, this obsession with evenness is serving to further your writing career.

    And I don’t know who jocelyn adams is above, but please tell her that I, too, am COMpLETELY heebed out by wooden utensils when they are wet.

    What is THAT all about?

  37. Gigi –

    Back at you in the biggest way – perhaps double, even! Thank you for recognizing the potential in my quirks.

    Because I’m pretty much stuck with them anyway. Might as well make two pitchers of lemonade. (and add vodka? anyone?)

  38. Love it! And not just because it’s funny, but because Hubby does something very similar when he walks. – If he walks over a crack with one foot, the other must also go over a crack. I used to do the same thing, but have since literally forced myself to stop. It was becoming a bit too time-consuming. (And I will try to make 2 comments on your blog tonight, just in honor of this post.) 😉

  39. Oh, Lois –

    LOVE that you threw out a quirk from the husband. I knew I liked that man just from reading your blog posts.

    And I totally get the desire to keep your crack-stepping even.

    But the best is that this behavior was actually time-consuming for you = LOVE.

  40. Courtney

    My first thought was how funny it is that I like 3’s — always have — 2 cookies is just wimpy, but 3? I can stop at 3. Maybe. However, 10 really is better all around. Thus, the three kids… But Heidi totally nailed it for me — it is all about symmetry. Although the word scares me a bit because it makes me think of math.

    For me, I guess it is about equality in some form, although I can’t quite put my finger on this quirk…

    And the DoubleMint twins had kids who went to school with mine! But I am pretty sure they are older than us. (They must be, right?)

    Perhaps you, Heidi and I need to drink some wine. But we could bring our husbands to satisfy your need for 2s and the symmetry for Heidi and me.

  41. Courtney –

    I’m there! As long as you are. With or without the symmetry, there’s no one I’d rather be off balance with.

    I’ve been asymmetrical with you in the past plenty of times.

    We’re good at it by now…


  42. I love your quirks! I love your writing! And now I also love that you love Billy Joel. I saw him in concert and it was amazing!

    I came up for some bloggy air and it felt great, now I am going back into my work cave for another week. I have big plans to resurface… finger crossed!

  43. Paige-

    Thanks for fitting me into your gasping on the surface and good luck submerging back into the work cave.

    How many days until Easter? (don’t act like you’re not counting – ha!)

    Try listening to some Billy Joel. (But avoid “Only the Good Die Young.” Because you’re being so good during lent. Don’t want to wreck it with old school lyrics…)

  44. I can relate! I have to eat my M&Ms by two of the same color. If there are certain colors with only one, I eat them first and then move on to the pairs.

    I LOVE Mr. Joel.

  45. Lisa –

    Hooray for same-color M&M’s a Billy Joel. And being the tiniest bit OCD. After all ~ it’s Friday!

  46. the best thing about things like that, is that YOU make up the rules. 😀 it’s all about control in a chaotic world, and i like your style. 😉

  47. Hey, Ms Nobody –

    Glad to meet you and to be following you on Twitter (where we also make our own rules, right?). Looking forward to checking out your blog.

    Cheers to chaotic worlds. And Fridays.

  48. I have this thing where I reduce digital clock readings like they’re fractions. So if it’s 3:15, you can reduce that to 1:05. 6:27 is 2:09. And 8:13? Well, that’s my birthday time time. August 13th. I get to celebrate it twice a day! And it’s always a good omen if I look at the clock at my birthday time when I’m trying to make a decision.
    You are totally normal:) You are totally normal:)
    Visiting your blog has been fun. I’m glad I did. PamelotH tweeted you some luv so I had to check you out!

  49. From now on I will leave two posts to make you happier.

  50. This is the second one. I wasn’t kidding, but clearly this is the only time I’ll ever remember!

  51. Joey –

    You crack me up. TWICE!

    Thanks for the smile on a Friday night – perfection times two.

  52. I love this! You are not (that) crazy! Here is mine – setting timers. If it’s 1 minute I have to do 66 seconds. 2 minutes is 111 seconds, 3 minutes is 321, 4 is 444 (and I reduce the power a lil), it goes on and on. Microwaving is always a chance to flex my OCD. And I eat double fistfuls of cornchips too! But only because I’m gross. xo

  53. kim

    Julie-you crack me up…I am going to do you a favor…I will stop at 2 boys 🙂

  54. I like things in threes.

    Now don’t freak out. Stay with me.

    It’s a design rule. Things on display should be displayed in threes or fives.

    That said, I need symmetry… so it’s kind of like your 3 marathons and 3 half-marathons thing. It adds up to something even. Symmetrical. And I require balance. And isn’t that what everyone tells us all the time? If you eat cheesecake, or course you should have pizza. If you have tortilla chips, of course you should have wine. You shouldn’t have wine for every meal. That wouldn’t be balanced. THAT would be excessive.

    Oh, and by the way: Don’t go changin’ to try and please me.

    See how I slipped that in there?


    I knew you’d like that. 😉

  55. Yea I have to match up everything….only opposites. yin/yang black/white hot/cold old/young. I have no idea why either. My home decorating skills run along the same (opposite) lines. Kind of creepy, one of my friends once mentioned. No longer my friend. I prefer to call it unique.

  56. liz

    Craig has an even number thing when dates are involved. His favorite number is 4, and thank goodness, all our important dates are more even than odd. Our anniv is 8/4, Kate was born on 12/14, Maddie was born in an odd month, but on an even day and year.

    As long as 2 out of the 3 parts of a date are even, he can deal.

  57. Renee – I know I’m completely out of the design loop with all of my symmetry. I’m willing to risk it. I am not fashionable in any way. I am, if you will, DOUBLY unfashionable.

    Terri – I love the word “unique.” The best adjective ever. (besides “even” of course.)

  58. Liz –

    I love that Craig is okay if two of the three numbers are even. Fabulous detail.

    I had no idea so many people out there were as nuts as I am. I mean as “even” and “balanced.” Right.

  59. I like this whole “only in twos” thing. I think you should contemplate getting a second husband though (don’t worry you can keep the first too). Just imagine things would get done faster around the house, another income…oh wait…also more pressure for sex, another person not putting down the toilet seat, leaving dirty socks around…nevermind…just renew the vows!

  60. Tonya –


    p.s. adhocmom.com is seriously the best find. My sincere thanks to the Empress for directing me there. LOVE.

  61. Kimmy Kim –

    For some reason, I didn’t see your comment until now. You have my permission to stop at two boys since you made me two such perfect nephews.

    It’s all about me, right?

    Love them. Love you. Even.

  62. I too NEED evens, though my preferred number is 4.

    We are fine. Not crazy. Fine.

  63. You even numbered people are so …just so…

    Things don’t look good unless they’re set up in 3’s.

  64. Annabelle – In a way, it’s almost like we’ve found our calling. Right?
    And four is awesome. Two times two. It rocks.

    Alexandra – I know. I am so hopelessly undesigny. I know that’s not a word but if the dictionary knew me, they’d make it one. I’m trying. But change is hard.

    Especially when two’s are soooooo easy.

  65. Ah, yes, evenness and numbers.

    I get very antsy when I number things and they don’t end up being the right number. That varies – I’m not as adamant about being even as you, but I totally get it.

  66. Suniverse –

    Truthfully, I’m not quite as adamant as my post makes it sound. If I actually admitted to how wishy-washy I am about all aspects of my life, people would put me on meds.

    But I actually do the two-bites thing. With the cheesecake, among other desserts.

    Weird. I know.

  67. Ah, Julie, it’s so good that we’re getting to know each other electronically first since I’m perpetually late and have little to no order or grace left in my day. The only thing I do in pairs is apply concealer under both eyes…

    I LOVE that your hubby loves dessert. A rare quality in a man.

  68. kim

    Love you!xoxo

  69. Erin – Please. You have three children. One of which is what – four months old? You have a free pass to be late to everything. Frankly, it’s a wonder you get out of bed at all. You’re my hero.

    Kim – Love you, too – hugs to your sweet boys. XOXO

  70. I’m sending two virtual high fives for this awesome post! Plus two times a thousand wishes that all your dreams come true this year since its a special day that I’m responding to this. And how genius are you that you’ve reposted this today? Hope your day is awesome!

  71. I love that I live in a world populated by people with peccadilloes. It makes things much more fun. I always have to blow into plastic bottles of soda before I take a sip. You know, to get the extra air out…

  72. Diane

    Except…now you have three dogs! Is this your way of telling us there will be a fourth?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *