Friday, January 7, 2011

Neurotics, unite!

My son-in-law walks past my living room couch and says, "That pillow is crooked but I will not give into my OCD and straighten it."  I beam at him and declare fervently, "I love you!!"  I, too, am obsessively compulsive about my daily schedule and I am thrilled to recognize another individual with the same criteria.  The world labels us picky and persnickety and worse yet, anal retentive but I shake it off and continue to live in my overly orderly world knowing where every rubber band and band-aid is located in my house.  I have no junk drawers. Every item is separated from the rest by leftover Velveeta boxes and  margarine cups.  I iron my table clothes and bed sheets. Everything is labeled and dated in my fridge, cupboards, and closet shelves. I don't chastise myself for not having my thousands of photos categorized and dated, because . . .well, they are.
I love storage bins. They feed my need for master subordination amongst my personal possessions. All sizes, some with drawers, some with wheels, and color-coordinated for the holidays.  Brown and orange for Halloween and Thanksgiving, red and green - uh, you get the picture.  My CDs are all arranged by genre and  the order by which I enjoy them.  Thus, the Beatles are in the first section and a band I heard at a river music festival a few years back are located at the very end.  Okay, I had a few too many beers that day but I swear the young lead guitarist was winking at me.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It has a scary, serious sound to it but most psychological disorders do. When I was younger I worried about my neuroses, worried that I would be socially abandoned, ridiculed and made to leave town in the middle of the night.  Like Steve Martin says, they teach you just enough in Psych 101 to keep you scared the rest of your life. But none of these things happened and in my middle-aged years I find not only self-forgiveness for my mental variances but also entertainment as I watch myself go through life enjoying my eccentricities. 
In this town you are labeled eccentric if you refuse to go to Tupperware parties. I find phone conversations tedious and I don't like answering the door or going to parties.  I prefer going to movies by myself and one of my favorite past times is dining out with my book and crossword puzzle. My friends have moved out of Dubuque and they wonder why I have not left. But I truly love the river, the bluffs, my family and I am a bit of an old stodge.  The trips I make every year to visit my friends keep the wanderlust demon in me fed.  But I am glad to return home to my red couch and watch the ancient oak tree outside my window bend and sway with the seasons.

1 comment:

MrDaveyGie said...

I think I'll bicycle to Dyersville and back today in snow, just to show my demons who's boss. :-)