Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Just So

Hello! I miss you guys. You should see how clean this house is! The Pussies for Peace say hello and please send help. They're tired of helping me rework a couple of plot twists in my time shift novel. Maybe I'll make a video of one of our sessions. They get so out of hand.

Wait. No. No, no, nononononononono. I'm writing. And editing. And setting priorities. Like clean sheets for everyone! And homemade dishwasher detergent. And banana bread. Because we couldn't let those bananas go to waste, right?

So here's an edit for you - it's a blog post originally run on PoliTits back in 1947. Maybe 1948. I hope you enjoy it. Also, thanks to those of you who've made donations or, as Drydiggins put it, paid me for writing. You guys complete me.

Finally, if you hear anything about an incident at a CVS in northwest Georgia involving a silver haired beauty and some Dove chocolate, I swear it wasn't me. Well, at least, I didn't start it.

I joke about being obsessive/compulsive. I've never been diagnosed so I really shouldn't joke about it. Were I diagnosed, perhaps I wouldn't find it such an easy thing to joke about.

MathMan didn't realize the extent to which I may be OCD until I mentioned to him that sometimes I count things. He was surprised to hear this. I don't mean that I count lightpoles or the number of times I touch my face before I leave my house, but I count. If I'm not distracted by the television or by talking to someone, I count when I'm jogging or walking for exercise. I prefer to eat my M&Ms in a certain color order. Speaking of color, my clothing is hung in color order. I stack my folded clothes in color stacks.

I'm not licking light switches or plucking out my eyelashes, but the OCD has kicked into high gear again. A neat freak on a regular day, I'm dealing with a specific need to have things just so. Having the living room tidied before I go to bed isn't enough - the remotes have to be in the wooden bowl on the coffee table, the sofa cushions are realigned and I must adjust the blinds so that they are exactly even.  All the beds must be made each morning. Laundry does not pile up. I sweep and vacuum the garage.

The vacuum cleaner is like another appendage. My knuckles are cracking from scrubbing sinks.

I know what's at the bottom of the just so binge. I'm feeling like so many things are out of control that I'm doing nutty stuff to control what I can. It's what I do. That and hold my breath. That's another thing the family just learned about me in the last few months. I. Hold. My. Breath. And then I sigh. And they think that it's pissed off sighing when I'm really just catching my breath - breathe, damn you! - sighing.

I'm not the only freak in the house, though. I suppose it's okay to spill my own secrets, but telling the other occupants' secrets is out of bounds. That's a shame really. But I will tell you that someone in the house eats his food in stages. If there's more than one thing on the plate, say carrots, meat and bread, he will eat all the bread first, then all the carrots, then the meat.

Another person won't eat using metal utensils. Plastic only. And she drinks from glass only. No plastic. She's that particular about some things, but in the morning, she thinks nothing of plucking the chewed gum from her bookshelf where she's let it rest for the night.

Yet another possesses a bionic nose. This one can smell Strawberry Fuze (it's a drink) on a teammate's breath at 3:30 p.m. The teammate drank said Fuse at 9:30a.m. These uber olfactory powers are a blessing and curse, I assure you. He gets the gifts from his mother.

And then there's the one who refuses to wear pants. Well, except for right now and she's blogging it

But so far, no one is licking light switches.

It's sharing time! What makes you special? Tics? Habits? Predilections? 


  1. And then there's the one who refuses to wear pants.
    So, going commando again???

  2. glad to know no one is licking light switches. i get really up tight about clutter, but we have no place to put stuff, so it just adds to the stress. i move things, might only be 1/4 of an inch, but i still do it. more when i am upset. i enjoy reading your posts, and just getting caught up after a hectic couple-a-weeks. take care~

  3. Oh Lisa, my cleaning OCD is always bad. I am forever incessantly dusting, scrubbing, organizing, putting things in their 'proper place' - I swear sometimes I lose WHOLE DAYS to cleaning.

  4. Housework is a wonderful thing to do when the out of control nature of the world is scrambling one's brain. Personally, I enjoy the meditative action of doing the task. In times of anxiety and confusion (or anger, or whatever kind of stress) a sinkful of dishes in hot soapy water does wonders for helping me center and organize my thoughts.

  5. Dear Fellow Counter,

    I sometimes count. I don't lick the light-switch either, but I do count. When I'm having trouble falling asleep, I count to 8 and pretend I'm watching the elevator numbers tick by 1-2-3-4 (pause) 5-6-7-8. When I jog, I count my breaths, 1-2-3 in, 1-2-3-4 out. When nervous, I just start fucking counting and see where it goes.

    I count. Therefore I am.

    P.S. Are the yellow cleaning mitts resting on bottles of wine?

  6. I'm 61 now and have been eating food in order for as long as I can remember. I can't for the life of me figure out why this bothers other people it certainly never bothered me. It did however drive my mother crazy. Now I have to go eat some cake. Get all the cake out first leaving all the icing behind for as long as possible then finish with all the icing. Perfectly normal an really scrumptious.

  7. I need a perfect last bite. It has to have a bit of everything in it, or it's the crunchy part, or the part with lots of frosting, like Dave's. If someone swipes my last bite, I get very cranky.

  8. Hmmm. Where shall I start?

    I have to check the dryer and stove before leaving the house - even if I haven't used them all day. I double check to make sure that the toilets are flushed, too.

    If Chachi's with me, he will grin and say "I'll double check to make sure that I really locked the back door when I was locking it TEN MINUTES AGO".

  9. i need some of those bottles of wine!

  10. I count too. And eat food in order. Hey, it doesn't hurt anyone else. Techinically, I don't think it's OCD. I tend to call it my touch of Asperger's. OCD-lite? Ok, it's something.

  11. You are perfect to read first thing in the morning!

    For a while I was getting better but about week ago I started up again biting my tongue. The pain shoots through me like a root canal. There's something about it I love. WTF????

  12. Son #2 told me my favorite overused expression is, "Aarghhh!"

    Yesterday he also told me I'm losing it because I insist he didn't tell me things he's certain he did. He then proceeded to pull up all kinds of proof, in the way of forgotten emails and text messages.


  13. After years and years I finally broke myself of the habit of compulsive housecleaning. Although I still make sure the dishes are washed, the bed is made, and the bathroom is clean I find I can ignore dust on the shelves for days at a time. Sometimes I may even stop to draw a picture in it.

    I do like touching certain items for the purpose of sending thoughts to particular people. Before I get into bed my new favorite thing is to run my fingers a little above my dressing gown to watch the sparks fly. Part of the fun of radiant floor heating appears to be static electricity :-)

  14. my husband would be so very happy if i had a cleaning OCD thing; alas, my OCD includes:
    -thinking of what words, mostly names, would sound like spelled backward.
    -when i think no one's looking i still blink my eyes and scrunch my nose like i did when i was five (i have, however, stopped obsessively shaking my head as if i was saying no)

  15. Ah yes.
    I have the door locked thing. I wake up at night thinking about it.
    "Did you lock the door?"
    "Are you sure?"

    One time, upset for having been woken up, he sarcastically said no. I broke out into a sweat, heart beating in my chest. I ran downstairs, then finding the door locked proceeded tto attempt to convince myself, that it was not locked by the person who had walked right in and was hiding somewhere. Full on panic attack.
    At some point, he woke up and joined me in searching every corner of our house, me shaking, barely able to breathe.
    He never did that again, and always takes the question seriously no matter the time.
    Have crazy, will travel.

  16. I hang my washing out all the same colours together and have to use all one colour of pegs before going on to the next

  17. Odd lots and conflicts. Organized chaos. Irrational attachments. Practical, functional anarchy.

    I live in a semi-finished house. Resigned to it only being finished when offered to its eventual new owner or when it is no longer shared space and I can do as I please.

    Broken things and replacement parts are my life. I keep things functional and contained. Presentable public space and "personalized" private space.

    No room for pretense or judgment.

    Life by the trivet wisdom of my mother's kitchen.
    "Clean enough to be healthy. Dirty enough to be happy."

    Genetic "Essential Tremor" makes me a "bobble-head" that flares noticeably when agitated or focused.

    Licking light switches?? Never even consider it. Until now.


And then you say....

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