This one goes back all the way to 1982. It is hilarious, helpful and accurate. I dare you to read this book and not find a decent length list of things you do or have yourself, just like the neurotic. (For example, I too have a scented sachet in my underwear drawer. A former co-worker brought one for everyone in the office from her trip to Greece and I didn’t know where else it would be appropriate to put.) This book is the proverbial mirror (that you’re supposed to hold up for yourself.)
The book goes through various descriptions of the neurotic
- The Seven Ages of the Neurotic
- The Private Lives of Neurotics
- The Neurotic at Home
- Health and Health Care for the Neurotic
- The Neurotic Looks for Love
- The World View
- The Neurotic Hall of Fame
Here’s an excerpt from the Winter section, where the Neurotic is considering throwing an New Year’s Eve party:
“The alternatives, of course, are even more chilling. To spend the night by yourself is unthinkable and perhaps even suicidal. To spend it among strangers at a lounge or a night club with a manic emcee at the helm is desperate and expensive. The only way of getting around the problem is to be madly in love, a prospect that is chancy to say the least“.
If you get to page 88 and you still aren’t sure if you fit the category of “neurotic”, there are 3 lists of points referring to the neurotic’s house, apartment and car. If your behaviours match up with these, you are, for sure, neurotic.
If, in the end, you are too frazzled from reading about all of these signs of neuroses, it’s best to go to back to the beginning, which begins like this:
“It was no so long ago that most people were normal. They tilled the fields or worked hard in factories, they ate regular food that was hot and plentiful and served on thick crockery, they went to sleep shortly after it got dark, they prayed (all the time, not just when they were in trouble) and they engaged in sex under the covers with the lights out…“