I am a clutter bug. I make piles of stuff around the house. I have stacks of bills, papers from the kids’ schools, my craft stuff, receipts, paper clips, pencils, blah blah blah. You name it and I have a pile of it somewhere in the house.
“Everywhere in the house!” my sweet husband shouts at me from behind his laptop.
Ok. I try really hard to keep a nice clean, peaceful house, but I am SO not good at it. There is just too much in my life to distract me. I try to focus, but… oh, look! Something shiny!
See what just happened there? ^^^
Anyhoo. I am not known for my Better Homes and Gardens cover page of a living room. At any given moment my sink will be stacked with dishes, the floor should be swept, and there is something really smelly somewhere that no one can find. It bothers me, sure, but overall my messy house is just a messy house. I’d love it to be nicer and neater and I’m sure I’d feel more relaxed if I kept it up better, but most of the time I’m like, meh. Whatever.
What’s my point?
I have selective OCD. Now, I’m aware that OCD is a real and painful disorder for many people and I’m not trying to make light of their struggles. I’m just making light of my own because I drive those around me crazy with my eccentricities. Can you relate? I can’t be the only person who struggles with this.
I have a couple of prominent OCD “things” that occur for me every day:
The tag on the blankets must be at the bottom of the bed. If there is a tag at the bottom of the blanket or sheet it must be at the foot of the bed. It doesn’t matter if the blanket or comforter is a perfect square. I can’t sleep if the tag is in the wrong place. If the tag is on the side of the blanket (you can tell because you can see where the top should be based on the wider hem or border), then the tag should be on the side of the bed. The sheet or blanket also has to be finished side up, meaning the stitching faces down and the wider border must be towards the head of the bed and the slimmer border or hem towards the foot of the bed. If there is an image on the blanket, Iron Man on my son’s comforter for instance, it must be laid out so that if I am looking at it from the foot of the bed I can see the image right side up as it should be viewed. Flowers should be stems down with the blossoms reaching toward the head of the bed and so on. If the sheets have stripes they must be vertical, head to foot of the bed, unless the tag placement indicates otherwise. It has been suggested by well meaning loved ones that I should just remove all of the tags and therefore remove my anxiety, however I would still know where the tags were so that really doesn’t help anything at all.
Now, all of that is no big deal because it is just my own personal freak out happening inside my own head, right? Not so much. There are many reasons why this idiosyncrasy of mine is an issue for my entire family. Case in point: my husband likes to help out. I stayed up late working on some card making one night and he had made the bed before I came up. By “late” I mean I went up to bed at 3am. I checked the tag on the king size comforter. It was NOT at the foot of the bed. I knew he’d also changed the sheets because I had washed them that morning. As gently and quietly as I could, I pulled back the blankets and shined my cell phone light on the freshly washed sheets. I was horrified to find the stripes were HORIZONTAL!!! This is a king size bed, people. It is practically freaking square. It doesn’t really matter how you put the sheets on. It all fits pretty much the same. That is what I kept repeating to myself while I hyperventilated in the bathroom. I spent 15 minutes trying to talk myself out of waking up my dear, helpful husband at 3AM to remake a perfectly fine bed. It ended up going something like this:
Nutso Wife whispers in sound asleep, hard working man’s ear, “Honey. Sweetheart. Wake up.”
Perfectly Normal Unsuspecting Man mumbles, “Snarfguladhkdkajf??”
Psycho Woman continues, “Baby, can you wake up for just a little minute? Please?” (She’s almost crying in panic by now.)
Reasonable Spouse hears the distress in her voice and bolts up, “WHAT?! What happened?! Are the kids ok?!”
Soon-to-be-Divorced Mom of Four reassures in a whisper, “It’s ok. The kids are sleeping. I, um, I need to fix the sheets.”
Understandably Disgruntled Tired Man looks at his wife like the weirdo she is, “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!”
He did not throw me out of the house. He did, in fact, get out of the offensively made bed and let me fix it. He even helped to make the process move along faster.
The kids aren’t safe from me, either. Remember Iron Man? My nine year old likes to put his blankets on upside down just to screw with me. Little brat doesn’t think it’s so funny when Mom rips the covers off to fix them two hours after bedtime, now does he?!
I have to pee DIRECTLY before I go to bed at night. Our bedroom is upstairs and we have a conveniently located bathroom right next door. I take care of my nightly chores, head upstairs, have a bathroom break, and go to bed. Easy right? No. I have four kids and three cats. If, for ANY reason, I have to go back downstairs for something, I have to visit the bathroom again before I can go to bed. Even if I…
Don’t. Need. To. Pee.
I know it’s weird, but I can’t help it. I’ve even experimented with this and tried to throw myself off. I use the bathroom downstairs. Try to go to bed. Nope. Can’t sleep. Have to use the bathroom UPstairs. One night I had to go back downstairs four times because I forgot something, someone wanted a drink, yada, yada. Oh my gosh! By the time that was over I was just sitting on the toilet for no apparent reason!!!
My purpose in telling you all of this is to find others like me. There must be more out there. Aren’t there more people who can leave everything else in their home a wreck, but if a picture is hanging crooked there will be no sleep for ANYONE? Someone else who alphabetizes their DVDs, but leaves blankets and pillows scattered around the living room for days? Someone else who has to face all the presidents the same direction before she hands the money to the cashier, even though her wallet is stuffed with random useless receipts from 1997? Please? No? Just me, then?