I am the youngest of 7 children. I have two older sisters and 4 older brothers, we have all married and have anywhere from four to seven children each. So there is a great number of nieces and nephews thrown in the pot as well. We are all a bit quirky in our own way. The other day there was a quite a bit of discussion about our quirkiness amongst our family email list.
The discussion centered on who might have been the most Obsessive Compulsive. It went something like this:
Sister Silver: “Doc says I have sleep apnea, so I’m sleep deprived OCD. He wondered how I manage to function at times.”
Nephew Joe: “There’s nothing wrong with OCD, I function quite well. My bed is rarely made, but God help the one who messes up my movies, cd’s or music. Or refolds my washcloths or bath towels!”
Brother CLC: “My wife says I’m OCD because I organize the dishwasher when loading it. But it is not compulsive; I do it because the dishes get cleaner if they are in just the right place. I can stop any time I want. No, really I can.”
Nephew Lee: He has a compulsive obsession with disorder. (Psst… he’s just a messy, but don’t tell him I said that.)
Sister Silver, (again): “I have to say that I also organize the dishwasher and I redo how other people put stuff in it—but only because it works better having all the plates lined up at the back and all the bowls in the front and all the glasses on the right of the top shelf and all the knives handle up in the first basket and the forks and spoons handle down in the middle basket and all the serving utensils biggest end up in the third basket.
And I don’t fold the towels in fifths anymore, (this is in reference to how Mother has folded the towels for 50 years)—as of last year I am able to fold the towels in fourths, however you must fold the towel in half lengthwise first and then in half crosswise and when you put them on the shelf the folded side has to be out and all the towels have to stack the same direction—and all the green ones in one pile and the blue ones in another.. But that’s not OCD—that’s just organized.
Nephew Joe, (again): “I have to fold my bath towel the same way, so that the tag is in the same spot every time while it's hanging up. No matter how late I am. It must be done this way. My washcloth too. The tag must be in a certain spot. I've been late to work a couple of times because of it. But that’s not OCD…”
Mother’s turn: “Okay, I guess it's my turn. When Dad and I lived in a trailer house from 1949 to 1954 we adopted the axiom of "A place for everything and everything in its place." We only had 20 foot by 8 foot and that included the tongue on the trailer. So for us to have any semblance of order in our lives, we had to eliminate the excess, throw out the junk and keep everything put where it belonged. We could not afford extra "things" and we had no room for extra "things" so we didn't collect any of those extras.
Living more simply certainly has its benefits…And this, it seems, is the time for confessions. I am the guilty one, because I began folding towels in five because they fit the drawers that way. My drawers in the bathroom were small and I had to fold the towels to fit. So, my recommendation is that you adapt to your own needs and whether it’s the dish washer or the towel drawers or hanging your clothes in the closet or whatever, I feel the important thing is keeping your priorities in order. And those "things" that do not have celestial consequences are closer to the bottom of the priority list in my book. But, remember that "mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord." And you don't have to be OCD to keep your house clean and to have your life orderly and under control. So, am I OCD?”
My towel folding technique has changed in this latest house we live in. They fit the drawers, they are in sixths. But they must all face the same way, the colors stacked together, and the folded side always out. But that's not OCD, that's just visually calming. Right?
Brother G: “You people are all crazy.” (whispered: He’s in denial…he’s related, he’s got it, I’m sure!)
Brother CLC: In defense of his dishwasher loading technique: “One day I noticed 2 spoons that were kind of stuck together in the dishwasher because they were both side by side in the same basket. Neither spoon got completely clean because the water did not get between them. Rather than take my chances and risk not having a clean spoon, I now distribute the spoons, forks and knives across all the baskets, and when two have to be together, I try to scatter them so they don't touch. I maintain that is not OCD it is efficiency. My wife and daughters claim it is OCD because, they say, a non-OCD person wouldn't have noticed there was a cause for the dirty spoon.” (He’s an engineer, there is always a cause and effect.)
Me: “Well, I don’t have OCD, at all. I have CDO. Because it’s alphabetical. The way it should be.”
Please tell me I'm not alone in all of this madness!!