Some think I have a form of OCD. They notice that I have to do things in a certain way. These things aren’t exactly debilitating to the point of being considered disorders, but they’re big enough for people to give me a teasing now and then.
I have to sleep with the end of the blankets at my feet. My duvet and cover are separate, so the opening is at one end. It bugs the craaaaaaaaap out of me if it’s not at the bottom.
I always carry a few things with me. Lip balm (Labello brand), cell phone, iPod, lens cloth (to clean glasses or camera), in addition to the normal wallet and keys. If I have a bag, this list expands to include a notebook with pen, and a camera. I’m very uneasy without them. I look for pants with appropriately sectioned pockets for this reason.
I wash my hands about 10–12 times over the course of a day. As a result, my hands dry out (which I also can’t stand) so I use Glaxal Base a couple times a day, which is a perfume-free, water-based lotion. It’s so hypoallergenic and absorbent that they use it as a base for topical medication.
I hate having an odd number of eggs in my fridge. This may be due to the fact that I never deviate from eating two eggs in one sitting. If I ever cook an odd number of eggs (maybe when a guest wants one or three), then I’m left with an odd number of eggs that I’ll forever be trying to even out again.
I always walk to the beat of the song I’m listening to. Most songs are in common time (4/4), which can be divided or multiplied by two, so adjusting the walking pace (in essence, two beats) is easy. Something based in 3 (such as Lamb’s album Fear of Fours) is less flexible. The only time I walk at my own pace is during songs with irregular or changing time signatures, like any progressive rock album where I can’t even figure out where the down beat is.
I have to wear slippers on tile or ceramic floors. I don’t know why.
I can’t listen to an album out of order. There may be songs I don’t like in the album, and I’ll have no problem skipping them, but I listen to the rest in order.
I can’t stand things that are unsymmetrical. I know, there’s reason for asymmetry, it’s designed that way, it serves a purpose, but I can’t stand it. I’ll never buy EQ3 Off Centre dinnerware. There were a few seasons when the whole side-zipper was “in” and I couldn’t buy anything from Tristan and America or Banana Republic.
I have to eat portions of food in a certain way. This is only true for big meals with side and main dishes. There’s an order: side dish (mashed potatoes, or toast), side dish (corn, or egg), main dish (turkey, or bacon), rotating between all three, but always saving the main dish for the last bite. I find there’s a better contrast with the food when you switch between dishes. Flavours get lost when too much of the same thing is eaten. This is as opposed to Aaron, who eats his side dishes first, and then saves almost the entirety of his main dish for last.
Those are certainly more quirky habits than obsessive compulsions. About the only one I share is bag contents. Not only do I have to keep certain items in there — phone, notebook and pen, etc — I always have to take it with me wherever I go. I think that latter issue is a confidence thing; I feel protected by it on busy tubes and trains.
The handwashing seems a tad much to me, but the rest is quite … quite… cat-like. You’re a cat guy, right?
You need slippers on those surfaces because they sap the heat out of you. Logical. But does that mean you have shower slippers?
The eggs thing is pretty funny. You can’t eat three?
Some albums warrant being played in order and some don’t.
Your feng shui is logically centered.
And the food thing is just .… happily hedonistic.
To add my own quirk, I once took everything from my bathroom cabinet (I didn’t have any medicines) and covered all the nasty labels with beautiful gold paper. Voila! Peaceful mind every time I opened the door.
My husband was somewhat put out.
@CK — I don’t think we’re alone on carrying a few things with us everywhere. Some girls especially I find I guilty of this; purses are mobile home-bases.
I can see how a notebook brings protection. It’s nice to be able to bury your head in one when feeling anti-social on public transport. My headphones do that job for me though, and I carry my notebook in case I come up with an idea that shouldn’t be forgotten.
@Xibee — I try not to wash my hands so much actually. Hospital workers have the best immune systems because they’re exposed to germs all day. Sometimes I’m afraid that too much washing will lower my immune response, much like an over-use of antibacterial hand soap.
I’m very much a cat person.
Your comment made me realize that when I was young and living in a big house that was hard and expensive to heat, the ceramic floor was painfully cold. Bare feet would literally hurt, and even socked feet weren’t enough to stave it. I probably picked up my slipper habit from that.
Three eggs are too much for me; I think of all the cholesterol I’m gaining. I also end up being too full. It’s like having three slices of toast. One isn’t nearly enough. Two is perfect.
I don’t have the slightest clue about feng shui. Is it normally centered?
I can totally see the gold paper medicine wrappers. Sometimes those labels are like those shocking warning pictures they have on cigarette packs. On the other hand, I can see how your husband is put off. I’m reminded of an episode of Married with Children when Peg paints the bathroom pink. All the guys let Al in front of the line to the public bathroom when they find out.
You probably have a very mild form of OCD. Actually, many people have at least a tiny form of it. It only becomes a “condition” if it begins to interfere with your life or just becomes unmanageable.
That’s probably like ADD. It’s not anything specific, just a bunch of possible symptoms. I hear diagnosis is simply whether you have a certain number of these symptoms.