Coexisting with someone can be frustrating at times. Living with your girlfriend/boyfriend or husband/wife can be quite the challenge as well; depending on both parties. There are so many things we learn about our partners once you both move in together. Things you had no clue about while you were courting them.
There is always one party who is more anal retentive than the other. Take for instance, “me”… OCD Deb has to have everything ‘just so’.
“Honey, can you remember to put the anti-bacterial blue soap in the shower, and the soft vitamin E Aloe soap near the sink?”
The antibacterial soap is still by the sink. My skin is drier than the desert right now, because I simply forget to do it myself once I am in there in the morning, cake in eye and all. I have this horrible habit of using new products, before the old ones are empty. I’ll explain…We both use the same hairspray. Madelene stocks them up in threes in our huge closet full of toiletries much like a supermarket does. She lines them up; the first one has been used, almost empty, the second and third one—full. I have this thing where I need to use the second one, because the one that is almost empty, could die out on me. Don’t ask. Anal! The next morning, the empty one is right in front again. “AHHHH!” Not good for my OCD. Maybe I should check if the door is locked downstairs...did I shut the stove off when I was done cooking?
The battle between the conflict of, should the ‘liquid hand soap’ be on the left side of the sink, or the right dilemma. My opinion? Left. Most people are right handed, turning on the faucet with their right hand. Left hand can pump the soap. I don’t want soap all over the right side due to the fact our toothbrushes are there. Which leaves me to another trauma---my toothbrush cannot touch hers. For the love of God—we kiss—we swap spit! How can I be cautious about that? Doesn’t make sense, I know. It’s all in my head though. While growing up, I would never, ever drink or sip something out of someone else’s glass. I still have that issue today. Madelene will ask if she can taste my wine. I cringe. Madelene asks for a kiss, I’m excited! Do the math.
“She’ll kiss da’ cat, but she don’t wanna drink outa’ ma-cup!” My father says in his Brooklyn accent. He always knew about my weird manias.
“Oh, try this, it’s a Cuban cigar, it’s supposed to be the cleanest tobacco…”
As long as I’m the first one to light that sucker up, bring it on. I’ll try anything once…I’d be a bad candidate for sharing a joint, that’s for sure. Thank God I don’t have a love for marijuana. I’d want my own joint! "Don’t touch mine!!!” Can you just imagine? Passing a peace pipe around me would be a very challenging thing, also very exhausting.
If someone happened to take a sip out of my drink, I would simply turn the glass ‘just so’ that it was opposite to where I was now sipping. Sometimes, if my ‘issues’ were bad enough with this person, I would even apply lipstick to make this more evident. Sick? Yes. Need help? Don’t want any.
“Wanna bite Deb?” Mad asks as she is eating a sandwich.
She knows the reply she is going to get. I mean, it has nothing to do with anything other than issues I have had since growing up. Germs. I tell you one thing, I have the cleanest hands going in my town! I used to wear my nails really long, get them painted and whip out that feminine card. Now? After my sister Cathy had her first baby, and Cathy being a registered nurse at a hospital, she has educated me on things of interest. Cleanliness. Yes, I am blaming my sister Cathy for my cleanliness. She explained to me that she is not permitted to wear her nails a certain length, because she can literally get another baby sick, or possibly even worse case scenario, die from whatever germs are under her nails. Acrylics—forget it. I keep my nails nice and short, but manicured still. Another reason I keep my nails short is because I play guitar. I'd rather my guitar over my nails any day! So it works out well...
Cathy also taught me the ‘drill’ before any operation or any protocol to start a procedure. The hand washing technique. This is good for anyone to do-regardless of OCD or not.
1. Never touch the toilet lever. Use your foot.
2. When approaching the sink, you *first* pull down the paper towel.
3. Wash hands thoroughly with a lot of soap and water for at least twenty seconds.
4. While water is still running, grab for that paper towel, dry hands completely.
5. Turn faucet off with the same towel, keep that towel so you can open the door with it—then throw it out.
Do you know I haven’t had a cold in the longest time? I even hold anti-bacterial gel in my purse, just in case you go into one of those public bathrooms where the soap is empty and all you have is a faucet and a dream. This local bar has a BAR of soap. That’s like me seeing the Chainsaw Massacre himself! I can already hear the dramatic music in the background as I enter this bathroom and see it there—with all its soap scum bubbles; waiting for me to pick it up and lather myself with all its germs it has to offer. Ugh!!!!!
“Want some?” Madelene asks as she slides the bowl of pretzels down the bar to me.
“Hell no Mad! Are you crazy? Do you know how many hands went in there?” I say to her as if the world was coming to an end.
Mad says to me, “Lo que no mata engorda” Which means, “What won’t kill you, will make you fat.”
Geez! Please do not wish that upon me since I have been putting on a few pounds. She says it every time I disagree with her eating something that other people have been touching prior to her. Even if a fly were to dive into my wine, she would say the same thing! “Lo que no mata engorda!”
She has literally said that so many times, that I gained weight from it!
“Stop saying that!!!!" I say to her while my pants are feeling quite snug.
Another nightmare of my issues is the floor. We have hard-wooden floors, which are very easy to clean, oppose to a carpet. The thought of guests, family, even Madelene and myself walking around barefoot or even with shoes, my process of thinking immediately switches to clean-mode. The itching feeling of grabbing that swifter has become a constant, nagging instinct.
“Oh taste this drink---it’s soooo good!” A friend will say as she just tried the wackiest martini they had on their list of drinks.
“Ah, thank you—I’m good though, it doesn’t miss well with my wine…” I reply.
Is this something I should get treated for? Do you think I have OCD? I haven’t been professionally diagnosed by a doctor, but I feel in some cases, why can’t I just relax and be like everyone else--take sips from other people’s experimental martinis, take a bite out of my partner’s sandwich, or simply, letting someone sip out of my own glass?
Is cleanliness close to holiness? I think not. I think it’s close to craziness...