I have front-hall closet issues.
So winter involves much coating, booting, hatting, scarfing, etc. Although I’m not saying my family is messy, or that they come home and just fling off their stuff in a closet-like direction, I’m just saying that it would be hard for anyone to contain the amount of items you need to put on to stay warm up here in Winter Wonderland.
So I like to keep the gloves in a basket in the closet. I like to keep the hats in another basket. I like to keep the boots all lined up on the mat. I like to keep each coat/sweater/jacket on their own hook. And by “like” I mean that everyone risks being subjected to a Tasmanian Devil-style meltdown if things aren’t the way I “like”. Yes. I’m boatloads of fun.
I've always thought that maybe I suffer from a tinge of OCD (I'm currently sorting my Cadbury mini-eggs into colours but don’t judge...who doesn’t know that the pink ones taste better?) and it reminds me of an article I read recently that insists you can't be a "little OCD". You either are, or you are not. It also states that OCD sufferers get offended at jokes about this very serious illness...and it invites you to imagine sixty-four thousand unwanted, illogical and sometimes harmful thoughts every minute or so…how would you like that, jokey jokester?
I would not. I empathize with mental illness as I personally know someone who suffers from depression. I know the feeling of being a little bit perturbed when people say, "Ugh!! I gained 4 pounds. That is so depressing!" but I try to let it go. It’s not personal. They don’t know.
For the record (because my blog is heavily monitored) (paranoia is probably a symptom of something I shouldn't make fun of) I will happily acquiesce that what I have is not OCD. Okay? Okay.
When I lick an envelope to seal it, I don't check, check and triple-check to see if my children are trapped inside. I am perfectly fine with odd numbers - I sometimes prefer them. Most of all, I do not have sixty-four thousand thoughts every few minutes. Honestly? I'm lucky if even two or three show up. So, you've got me there, strongly worded article! Although I do have this: when someone moves the keyboard about 3 inches to the left and doesn’t move it back, my brain actually hurts. I feel itchy. So, you be the judge (and I'll be the court stenographer, rapidly documenting how there is "no such thing" as mild OCD).
So, let's give the “thing” that I have a new name. How about this..."prefers things just so"? We could call it "PTJS". It’s accurate, non-offensive, politically correct and kind of a cute acronym. Doesn’t roll off the tongue like OCD, but it'll work.
For me, it's not so much the counting of things or the careful categorizing of things (takes piece of gum from the Dentyne section of gum organizer and chews pensively...) Maybe a little of that? Mostly for me, it's obsessively preparing. I'm sorry, I said "obsessive". It's "preferring preparations in a particular pattern". (evidently, it's alliteration too) For example:
I have to have the sandwiches for school lunches made the day before. Perfectly normal. They don't have to stack up perfectly in the fridge (goes to fridge to turn flip sandwich bag over, all higgly-piggly). I also have to have all the ingredients for supper bought ahead of time, but it's not like I cut them up and set them in the fridge in chronological order of need. Pffft...who does that? (goes to fridge to mess up order of containers)
Here's where it gets dicey because, also...I have to prepare for breakfast ahead too. I won't say how much further ahead, but don't worry...I wait until that day’s current breakfast is over first. The Cinnamon-raisin bagels must be sliced all the way through, instead of just that suggestion of slice thing that they do. The coffee must be measured out. The oats must be in the pot. I hope you’ll cut me some slack - it isn’t like I have portioned out amounts of frozen mashed banana to throw into said oats when they are cooked (goes to freezer to hide the banana sections under frozen peas) (has ominous feeling that people still read the stuff in brackets).
I get my cereal weighed and - what? Yes, I weigh it. The cereal company went to all that trouble to tell me the nutritional info for the certain weight, I need to know what I'm getting. That isn't obsessive either. It's just common sense (an oft repeated refrain of PTJS sufferers...).
My sister is so relaxed. So chill. So glaringly not PTJS that I sometimes muse that one of us was adopted (my Mom’s pantry is arranged by size of product, shape, and frequency of use…so guess who isn’t adopted) (hint: me).
I visit my sister and it's 5pm. We are still at the mall and she is asking what she should make for supper. I don't mention how I would not only have this thought through several days prior, it would already be pre-cooked and I would be mentally calculating warm up times in the microwave based on the number of dishes.
Typical after lunch scenario at her house:
Her: Just stick that leftover mac and cheese in the fridge
Me: There's no room. Like, anywhere.
Her: Just shove it in.
Me: (I move an empty ketchup bottle to make room) Your fridge kills me.
Her: Ha ha.
Me: no, I mean, there is stuff in the back that would literally kill me if I ate it.
Her: Fine, whatever. Put the ketchup back.
Me: You mean this empty ketchup?
Her: There's still some left
Me: For use on one French fry?
Her: Ha ha.
My fridge is so "PTJS" organized that I once got rid of a bottle of steak sauce only because it was too tall for my handy condiment holder. What? We never eat steak! (which makes it perfectly normal, obviously).
Pinterest and Google both assure me I am not alone in my PTJS. Which is a comfort. And should not be. Here are some funny pictures of something resembling PTJS. Unfortunately, they didn’t all read this blog, so some are still using the term "OCD", but I dream of a day when no one will offend anyone (dreams of day)…
Hope I haven't stepped on any toes. (unlikely, because I really watch my steps) (counts steps...)