Some years ago I first learned about synesthesia. This is a phenomenon that some people experience where sensory wires are crossed in the brain, so to speak, such that a seven might be associated with the color blue, or a smell, or piece of music.
I don’t experience that kind of interconnection of my senses, but reading about synesthesia over the years, I came across a further aspect of it which did sound like me: the idea that letters and numbers are perceived to have personality or gender. I came across a blog article where someone talked about their perception of the alphabet and numbers, and dozens of people responded in the comments with their own. I had found people who thought like me!
I remember as a child often sitting in my room alone to play and just thinking about things. I even tape recorded myself sometimes. I decided the seasons didn’t really start and end on logical dates, and talked about what they should be. All kinds of other random things.
But what I was reminded of recently was my ideas about which numbers and letters were boys or girls. I think I even debated with friends about ones we disagreed on.
To the best of my memory, here is what I came up with:
1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 9 are male. 3, 6, and 7 are female. I think 10 is too, but when I get into the double digits I have less of a perception of that.
A, G, K, L, O, Q, R, S, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z are female. B, C, D, E, F, H, I, J, M, N, P, T are male.
The months of the year and the days of the week also have gender in my mind. January, March, July, October, November are male. February, April, May, June, August, September, and December are female. Sunday, Wednesday, and Saturday are female. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are male.
Why? I really don’t know! I’m not sure why this idea captured my imagination as a child, but it apparently stuck with me.
Another oddity of perception that I experience is certain sounds triggering a physical sensation in the top of my head, which is popularly known on YouTube and around the web as ASMR. It’s thought that ASMR may relate to synesthesia.
Perhaps in a future entry I’ll talk about ASMR and some of my favorite ASMRtists, i.e., YouTube content creators who make ASMR-triggering videos.