Thursday, October 6, 2011

Germies and dog hair

Show of hands please, who has seen at least one episode of Monk?  Good.  Now that you've got a mental image let me say I have moderate OCD.  No, I don't walk around demanding wipes.  I read the labels.  Wipes merely apply perfume to germies.  Who needs good smelling germies?

The first medical professional to evaluate me said I didn't have OCD because I'm not hung up on even numbers.  Personally I like a clear defined center, anything else is out-of-balance and lopsided.  Therefore it is annoying and makes me fidget.  In an odd way, it actually feels dangerous. 

Most of the time I am aware I'm becoming obsessed with something and can take measures to control it.  Then there are other days.

Waiting for an order at a butcher shop I stood to the side and thought I was minding my own business until one of the cashiers made an announcement. "Whoever is processing Debi's order please hurry up or send Bob to keep her out of the produce."  She was looking right at me as she spoke.  I'm like, what's going on?  She pointed to the tiers of bottled beverages nearby. "You've already sorted every shelf and faced all labels forward.  Then you threatened to slap another customer's hand when he put a bottle back in the wrong slot.  We know you.  Stay out of the produce." 

Mean lady; the world would be tidy and well-organized if more of us practised a few OCD traits.

Do you love gardening but cannot stand getting your hands dirty?  Double glove!  First, pull on a pair of latex exam gloves and then gardening or work gloves.  For house plants - latex gloves followed by those yellow kitchen gloves so you can feel what you're doing.  See, now you can pull off the dirty outer gloves with touching them.  I suggest double gloving for other chores too like sorting recycling.

I hate touching [public] door knobs.  Yeah, this gets tricky.  Sometimes waiting for someone else to open the door isn't possible.  Often I'll resort to using either a sleeve or hem of t-shirt to grasp door handle.  The latter is guaranteed to get me weird looks.  For the record, cops tend to get highly suspicious should I don a pair of latex gloves before entering a courthouse.  Cops more than anyone know what kind of people frequent courthouses, and what might be brought in on their person.  (We're talking germies and bugs.)  Therefore the first order of business is to locate the nearest bathroom to exit so hands can be washed prior to leaving.

Yes, I wash my hands as soon as possible upon leaving grocery stores too.  Let me reiterate - wipes don't cut it with me.  I need to flush germies down the drain with hot water and soap.

On those bad days when I can't control the compulsion, when certain stressors over-ride logic, no one is safe.  I've taken on an auditorium filled with prospective jurors, made them straighten rows of chairs, tuck in clothing tags and comb their hair.  If I'm at home I'll happily feed the paper shredder or delete things off the computer and then set up new files.  Must be organized, no clutter.  Days like these I must be restrained from cleaning, specifically from cleaning my truck. 

While you're thinking this could be a good thing, imagine spending all day vacuuming and brushing dog hair from seats and carpet.  Now picture: it's well after dark and you're armed with flashlight and tweezers removing strands of hair.  I will admit that it's taken years but I've successfully reached a tolerance level to Holly's shedding.  I love her.  She sheds.  Shaving her isn't an option. 

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