Thursday, August 11, 2011

Obsessive Compulsive, but why Disorder?

A pattern is all I ask for!!

Monica (during yet another bout of her signature competitiveness): Look, you knew this about me when you married me! You agreed to take me in sickness and in health. Well, this is my sickness!
Chandler: What about the obsessive cleaning?
Monica: That's just good sense!!

Okay, there are some unexplained and horrendously weird things that I do. Or rather, I love doing. The above excerpt from Friends featuring Monica and Chandler (could there be a more funny guy!!) illustrates the maddening obsession of the wife with cleaning and control, and the husband's bewilderment because he fails to understand why his wife is the way she is. To start with, this is a regular scene at our home. The poor husband is driven to his wits end by my persistent beautification of our place, more so when it hardly needs any. Writing, reading, baking - all good and nerve calming, but just scratch the surface and out pops my crazy Virgo woman avatar. The story of the 'imperfect perfectionist'. Howsoever embarrassing this confession is, I must do it and do it here, out in the open. So here are some insanely stupid obsessions I harbour:

1. After vacuuming, I so much love the soft and dry-cleaned feel of the carpet that I avoid walking flat on it. It feels as if I am trampling on something beautiful, thereby mercilessly destroying a pattern. So, I just tiptoe, at least for a couple of hours till my feet are all twisted and achy, and I realise I might actually be on the threshold of acute mental disturbance. Remember Melvin Udall's funny walk in As Good as it Gets?

2. Everything in the living and dining area, including the kitchen has to be the way it is, that is perfect, before I finally retire to the bedroom at night. The sofa cushions have to be plumped and propped, the coffee table exactly in the center and there should be nothing sitting on the kitchen counter tops. The same applies for the times when we leave home for grocery shopping, or a walk or wherever else it is. So when I enter the apartment, it must resemble a page from Better Homes and Gardens.

3. When I take a shower, I must do the same for the bathtub and the walls. After all, they too need a bath! Ditto with the kitchen sink. After all the pots and pans are done away with, its time to scrub its stainless steel surface till I can see the reflection of my own face on it.
Again, while I cook, there should be no splattering of oil or masala on the spotless white stove surface. If there is (which cannot be avoided with Indian food), there I am with a spoon in one hand and a damp paper towel in another, stirring and wiping away to glory, all at the same time. That's some multitasking, I tell you!

4. I love bed sheets that have flowers on them, with a fresh meadow-like feel. But then there is a pattern in which they are to be spread - the heads of the flowers must face the headboard of the bed with their stalks looking downwards. After all, that is how we all stand, isn't it?! Reverse the pattern and someone would be up all night wondering about upside down flowers, hanging with all their might from their droopy little heads.

5. Straightening the rugs - I could do this all day and still never get it right. There are always angles and edges from where it looks uneven. The same goes for books and DVDs. May be Sam is right. It isn't the angles but my brains that are uneven and therefore run a huge risk of falling out from my head one fine day.

Of course, living up to my own crazy expectations becomes difficult at times. Sometimes this me flusters me to no end when all the days work boils down to arranging and rearranging objects. Believe me dear friends, how much ever I have tried to be indifferent and trudge on making my way through the already clean and organized apartment, I just can't. There's always some straightening and unruffling to do. Always.


  1. Wow, you should get head hunted by a 5 star hotel for their auditing committee. You have some serious talent there.

    As I read your post titled OCD pop into my feed reader, I was just writing a post about my ADD. I thought I'd read here before finishing my post, ironic, isn't it.

    Now I see some other older posts that I missed. Let me get back to them, after I finish my post. :)

  2. Jivtesh!! This has been really long, glad you found your way back. :-)
    Yes, definitely ironic that OCD and ADD were happening side by side, almost like twins! Waiting to read your interesting post...

  3. I couldn't relate more to anything else in the world!! Sam could have the best empathizer in A. :)

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