Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Being Particular

I do not have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If I had OCD I would need to brush my teeth in a counterclockwise motion on the outside, and an up and down motion on the inside, for at least 2 minutes for fear that someone I love’s life would be in danger. That’s just silly. I still have to do these things, but no one is going to die if I don’t.

I am particular.

I have to make my bed in the morning with the black pillowcase openings pointing outward and the pink pillowcase openings facing inward.

I have to put mascara on twice.

I need to wash my hands after; driving, riding the subway, eating, sneezing, cooking, typing, using my mouse, cleaning, using the bathroom (but that one goes without saying) being outside, being inside, being asleep, being awake. Let’s just say I wash my hands frequently, but not because I have some sort of germ phobia. I wash my hands repeatedly because when my hands feel dirty, my face feels dirty. I wash my hands to have a clean face. Of course.

I have a serious deficiency in the quantity of hangers I posses for all of my clothes. I need to buy more so that I can stop pretending my shirts are dirty solely because I don’t have a hanger to put them away on. But the hangers have to match. Currently I have blue metal hangars and white plastic ones. (Now, before you tell that these don’t match, it’s because I need the metal ones for a certain type of fabric and the plastic ones for another. Of course) I cannot find hangers in the store that match the ones I have, so that means I will have to get rid of my current supply and buy a completely new collection. I can’t bring myself to be so wasteful (both of the hangers I currently have and my money) so I will continue to live with my inadequate closet.

I have to sleep on the side of the bed furthest from the door because I feel like my room looks weird if my nightstand is on the same side of the room as the door.

I can’t get manicures because they file my nails in the wrong shape.

I have a sock thing. Once a year I buy a new set of multi-colored, no-show socks from Famous Footwear. Always Famous, always two packs (because they’re buy one get the second half off) then I throw my old socks away leaving only my fresh new socks. But that’s not even weird. I then throw them all into my sock box willy nilly… Knowing how particular I am you’d think they’d have to be folded properly, but that would ruin the next part. I always have to wear my socks mismatched. If I reach in and accidentally grab a matching pair I will put one back and redraw. You’d think I was a 14 year old.

Don't ask

But I know I’m not alone… How are the rest of you particular? Can anyone top my “wash my hands to have a clean face” nonsense?


Celestie said...

A) I COULD beat that if I felt like divulging such information about myself. 2) What are you holding up in the picture? D) This explains so much.....

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I know you say you aren't OCD, but your whole post had OCD written all over it. I think you have it wrong when you stated, "If I had OCD I would need to brush my teeth in a counterclockwise motion on the outside, and an up and down motion on the inside, for at least 2 minutes for fear that someone I love’s life would be in danger." Most OCD people aren't like this, only the more severe cases. Your OCD is masquerading as "Being Particular".

I'm OCD, as well as my grandmother, uncle, mother and my daughter.
My grandmother wasn't fastidious but was a major packrat. You couldn't find anywhere to sit in her house back in the 80's and it is even worse now. She also has spent the better part of her day religiously doing things (like you listed above) but add to that a obsession to label and archive, note, jot down about everything. Back in the 80's she was recording all of her daytime soaps, labeling them and also writing them all down in her notebooks. FFWD 25 years and her house is packed almost 30 years of videotaped soaps that are carefully labeled and archived.

My uncle was more in line with your comment though I don't know that he did it to prevent some tragedy. He was the kind that constantly checked locks and washed hands, and as an adult he isn't easy to be around because of how particular he is. He isn't a packrat like his mother or sister (my mother) and is very fastidious.

My mother is basically the same as my grandmother but she doesn't have the same obsession for archiving things. Yet I don't want to eat out with her because she is overly "particular" with her order and waitstaff. This is something that has gotten worse over the years.

I am less of a packrat like that of my mother or grandmother. I have the obsession to archive stuff. I am more particular to cleanliness like that of my uncle. I hated doing clay projects in school or anything that would make my hands feel sticky, dirty, scratchy, etc. I like the taste of, but avoid totally foods like barbecue chicken, corn on the cob, ribs, etc if they have a tendency to get stuck in teeth, make face sticky, or make hands sticky. I used to avoid stuff like pancakes as a kid because of the stickiness factor, but as I became a teenager and older, I became better about eating pancakes without getting sticky. All the others still apply.

My daughter: At the age of 1 - 4 she would not draw on paper like other kids... she would fill a page with OOOOO all next to each other from top to bottom as if it were a xerox copy of chainmail (a type of armor). When playing with cars on the floor she wouldn't roll them across the floor or crash them together or just play with one... she would line them up like they were going on the ark and would orderly caravan them across the room. Also when we would be putting her socks on her, she would flip out and have a tantrum if the seam of one of her socks was straight across her toes. She is now 15 and is very particular though I am trying to teach her to dial it back and learn to overcome these obsessions.

I had agoraphobia when I was 17 and I hardly ever would exit my house to even check the mail. I learned how to overcome this and since that time my ocd is dialed way down... though I still am a slight packrat with books only, and I still have an archivist bent.

I have told you all of this to show you that even in the same family (all blood related) there is a diversity of subtypes all under the umbrella of OCD. And having OCD, I have had a real interest in studying it and reading about it.

And I am sorry to say, that what you describe about your "being particular" bespeaks OCD.

Sorry for this hit and run comment... I actually found this blog page of yours by doing a google search on "being particular".