pb: Number Three

I’m not even sure how to write this, how to explain this, so I guess I should just come out and say it. I often think of the world in terms of threes. I don’t think it’s an OCD thing, I don’t need to knock on the door three times ala Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. Actually, I’m not compelled to do anything that I would chalk up to OCD. That’s a good thing in my estimation because from what I understand that disorder can be a nightmare!

Oh, the tangled web of circular infinity!

Back to threes

What I mean by “often think of the world in terms of threes,” is that I tend to visually group things into sets of three, and they fit well, and I find that reassuring. I know it’s silly, but it is what it is. I remember when I was first shown the benefits of counting in threes instead of twos. I worked as a packer at a comic distribution warehouse in upstate New York. Packers box everything up, but we have to count everything the pickers put in the bins to make sure the order is complete. The person training me whipped through counting several dozen comics really fast. “How did you do that so quickly?” I asked.

“I count in threes, it goes so much faster and still works well for grouping in dozens.”

BOOM. Lightbulb moment. Cue the music and feel the drop!

4 passes to get to 12 instead of 6=faster.

12 passes to get to 36 instead of 18=faster.

Even counting to 10 is faster using this method; in my head, it’s essentially 3,3,4 or 3,3,3+1. Three passes instead of five.

Since that day, I have loved the number three. Nerdy thing? Sure. Here’s the kicker. I’m horrible at math. I do better at math when you tell me the numbers are currency. Currency doesn’t work well with threes. Oh, the tangled web of circular infinity!

Cube counting

I don’t know what to actually call it, but I also tend to see cubes of threes when I look at the world. In other words, I see boxes of twenty-sevens. I count items in boxes three-dimensionally.

3 passes to get to 27 instead of 9=faster.

9 passes to get to 81 instead of how do you not count in threes?!=faster.

I can’t do it all the time, my brain isn’t that cooperative. Some days it doesn’t even want to count at all, even when I have to count things.

I don’t count things for fun or randomly out of compulsion. I do it when I need to know how many of something there are. Or distance. or volume. Ok, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes I do count things for fun, just to know how many of something there are when I’m looking at them.

No, I can’t count spilled matchsticks.

Yes, I’m single.

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