Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Me, Myself and OCD

Driving home tonight I had to hit the brakes sharply to avoid hitting a cat on highway 55. The daredevil cat made across all 4 lanes of traffic and no Detroit steel was harmed in the saving of the feline. However, during the short-stop something rolled out from under my seat and smacked me in the foot. When I pulled into the grocery store parking lot a few miles farther down the road I took a look beneath the brake pedal to see what it was.

Any guesses?
A nice big red spanish onion.

Apparently I bought Mr. onion whenever I last shopped, loaded him and the rest of his grocery gang into the back seat of my car and he rolled out, and I somehow, never missed him. I guess I should just be glad it happened, it would have been just awful if it had started to rot under my seat..bleh.

So, I started thinking about the things in my life that I'll let go, and the things that have to be a certain way. For example, and, no, I really can't believe I'm saying this out loud, but every week night I have to set up my coffee pot for the next day morning and not just the pot, coffee, and filter part but the cup, the spoon, a paper towel and the correct number of splenda packets must be laid out on the counter. If whatever I'm cooking for dinner can be left, the dog and I go out and get the mail together, and we play fetch in the front yard exactly 4 times; 2 on the way down to the street; 2 on the way back. I can't leave dirty dishes in the kitchen sink all night. I've tried and it always ends up with me laying in bed thinking about my dirty dishes. I have to turn on the dishwasher just before I go to bed. When I turn on the dishwasher, the light over the stove must go on. This is a light bulb I have extras of at all times. In the morning, I'll have to empty the dishwasher while the coffee is brewing and yes, as a matter of fact, it is very upsetting if the coffee finishes before me.

Somehow though, making sure my perishable, paid for groceries make it from the car into my home, eh, not so important. And people, I'm a list maker, I don't walk into a grocery store, ever, and wing it. I make lists, I cross things off as I put them in my basket. Why wouldn't I notice a missing onion? An onion crossed off my list, no doubt.

I'd love to say this is the only time that something like this has happened, but I can't. A few months ago, I drove to a work-luncheon thing and my boss kindly pointed out a full yogurt wedged firmly under the passenger seat. Just a few weeks ago, I had lunch with bloggers, Tiff, Kenju, and Renn, and I somehow left half of a very good turkey wrap thingie, that's right, under my car seat. This evening, upon further investigation, I also found roughly 25 multivitamins completely adhered to the carpet under the passenger seat (this one is a real mystery as I have no idea how they got there); one flip flop and in the passenger seat pocket, I found CD's I either didn't know I owned or that I don't own, (but to whom they should be returned I have no earthly idea); six ballpoint pens, four sharpies, and a tube of toothpaste. I have zero recollection of actually putting these items here, nor at any time during the unloading did I think "I'm so glad I put that there, I'm such a very smart girl." No, most of the time I thought "what the hell? where did this come from?"

I also count my steps, pretty much everywhere I go, I can tell you exactly how many steps it is from my bedroom to my garage door, or my front door to my back door, or my garage door to my mailbox, or from my office to the bathrooms. My brain has somehow determined this crap to be important information, but also it doesn't trust itself, because we have to do it every time.

I'm feeling a little nuts tonight. I'm also feeling like maybe I understand why some of those relationships didn't work out so well. It wasn't that I didn't listen to what they were saying to me, I just couldn't hear them over all the incessant counting.

Shut up. You people are weird too. I know it.


rennratt said...

At Casa de Chachi y Renn, the stove light must be OFF prior to retiring. Otherwise, the light hits Momma in the eyes, and that makes her grumpy. In fact, ALL lights in the house must be off.

I have found cleaning products and old fast food in my car, but never an onion.

Anonymous said...

I have to check the lock on the front door at night at least three times. Then, if my wife says, "Did you check the lock on the front door?" I have to get up and check it again. But I've never found an onion in my car.

Ever. I'm not sure what to make of that.

utenzi said...

I've only had my car for a bit over 6 months so there's no accumulations yet. No doubt there will be eventually--I keep vehicles for 6 years or longer so this one is just getting broken in now.

As for the habits thing, Cravey--I'm somewhat obsessive but not compulsive at all so many things freak me out but I have few habitual behaviors.

roo said...

please don't touch my feet or put your feet on me
that'd be great

tiff said...

I count my steps in groups of 8. I blame this on marching band.

I count the stairs when I go up and down, presumably to make sure they're all still there.

Also, it makes me extrememly happy indeed when my kitchen counters are cleared off and there is NOTHING in the sinks. However, I don't HAVE HAVE TO have them 100% shipshape at all times. There are simply too many people who are not me in my house for that.

kenju said...

I count steps too, and I am the same as Tiff with my kitchen counters. I have to have the hangers in the closet all facing the same way, and I like for certain things to sit in a certain way on mantels, shelves, and such, but I'm not compulsive about it.

I imagine that wrap sandwich was really getting ripe, huh? Maybe you should do what I do. I have a small rubbermaid tub in the car to hold things that otherwise might roll out of sight.

Kim said...

I also count stairs when I go up and down. It was great when Jason was a baby because then I could say the numbers out loud, for him, you know, to learn his numbers.

I get really upset when the side of my bread with mayonnaise on it does not touch my tomato slice. Mayo and tomato were just born to be together, side by side. With a dusting of black pepper.

Sometimes I pretend to type (on my lap or on the table) when people are talking, like I'm a court stenographer or something. I just love to touch type. The one class I took in high school that has actually been of great use to me.

caroline said...

"...not just the pot, coffee, and filter part but the cup, the spoon, a paper towel and the correct number of splenda packets must be laid out on the counter...

" fetch in the front yard exactly 4 times..."

"...I also count my steps, pretty much everywhere I go ... we have to do it every time..."

OMG! Welcome to the world of OCD! Can you say "Monk"?

Having been raised by the queen of Anal Retentive OCD, I rebelled. It took awhile, but I did it.

PK (pre-kids), my house was clean, my dishes were washed and put away, my clothes were in their proper places (dirties in the hamper, clean ones put away). Very little was ever out of place. Surprise guests? No problem ... come right on in! Now? Call before you come so I can clear a spot off the living room chairs and sofa (that's usually where clean laundry and school backpacks live). Most days, the kitchen is fairly clean, with the exception of the kids' breakfast dishes ... those usually get left on the table or in the sink until that night.

Do I like it like this? Nope. But the way I look at it, the kids won't always want to spend time with me, go places with me, and want me to be a constant presence in their lives, but the mess will always be there. When the kids want to spread their wings a little, I'll clean up. :o)

The one place I am still completely anal retentive and OCD is the bathroom......

kenju said...


Kenju is moving. Come and see where, and please tell Tiff and Wordnerd for me. THANKS!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Tiff -- I count my steps, and I have to have an even number of steps between two lines -- damned marching band! I cannot get into an unmade bed, and I cannot leave the kitchen dirty.

I got a million of 'em... :?)

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of setting up the coffee pot the night before. I sometimes screw up the coffee in the morning when I am half asleep. Now I only have to hit one button.

trinamick said...

My sister is completely OCD, but not to the institutionalization point. But she has to check every appliance in the house before she leaves to make sure everything is off/unplugged.

Space said...

i came back here, just for the red onion story, jenny-lou. i remembered it and had to read it again.

you and mananda are so Efficient.