In Defense of Being Uptight

Recently I was discussing some grave breaches of etiquette I’ve been exposed to and was called uptight as a result.

Of course, I found it a bit offensive- we live in a world where people are supposed to be loosey-goosey go with the flow, low stress, all that. It’s seen as weird and control-freak-esque to care and try.

The thing is I used to be very “why make a plan?” In some respects, I still can be. If I’m going on a trip for longer than a month I tend to only plan a week or so in advance. I’m super into walking around and picking a restaurant based on what looks good. Sometimes freedom is good. There’s a bit of a thrill in not knowing what might happen.

There’s also a lot of disappointment in not being able to stay in a town you had your heart set on because all the hotels and hostels are booked out. Or in having to go home and cook a frozen pizza because all the restaurants are fully reserved.

I was always worried I would get left out and not be invited to things so I became the planner in my group. We were all broke students so I found ways to game the system. If I started looking at St. Patrick’s Day events on January 2nd, we could get early bird tickets for $15 instead of $50. Canada Day event scouting started on March 18th. Halloween? July 2nd. New Years Eve? Honestly, September. New Year’s can be a bit of a circus. I got a lot of, “seriously? You’re starting this now?!” followed by the same people going, “man, tickets are so expensive!” after waiting until the week before the event.

One of my friends tried to take over the planning and promptly asked how I haven’t gone insane yet.

Well, it might be because, yeah, I’m uptight. I’m aggressively helpful. I like to have a plan.

I also work for myself, have been on multiple solo trips, moved to a new country, and have the drive, motivation and follow through to learn multiple crafts, languages, and read books that some people find intimidating. I look at a Julia Child’s recipe and know it won’t be a problem. My meal planning means my food waste is super minimal.

Maybe it’s not so bad to be uptight…


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