My second oldest son and his lovely girlfriend had Easter dinner with us last Sunday, and we had such a wonderful time. The after-dinner conversation, which is my very favorite part of any meal, got a bit silly (which is actually par for the course around this house: for instance, we've had lengthy and spirited debates more than once about the proper pronunciation of the word "Reese's"). We found ourselves discussing the somewhat comical O.C.D. tendencies of someone near and dear to our hearts (who might suffer from a clinical case, we decided--but then again, there was not one M.D. at the table), and before long we were revealing our own secret and not-so-secret rituals and ridiculous habits.
We came to this conclusion: maybe all of us are just a little bit strange, in our own little ways.
Before you judge us and think "I have no O.C.D. tendencies--what is wrong with those people?", ask yourself this: how do you eat an Oreo? That subject alone kept us talking--and laughing--for about 20 minutes. (I don't have a set routine when it comes to Oreos; sometimes I twist off one of the cookie sides, eat it, and lick off all the cream before I eat the other side; sometimes I just bite through the layers with reckless abandon. My son's set-in-stone Oreo-eating process, on the other hand, would require a user's manual to help a novice get through all the steps.)
Or how about M & M's? Do you eat them by the handful, or do you count the number you take out of the candy dish/bag first? My son's girlfriend admitted that she must always eat them in 3's. (How crazy is that? I hate to tell her this, but she just might have a problem. Because the only way to eat M & M's--obviously!--is in even numbers!)
I felt that as long as we were sharing, I should come clean and admit my secret shame, known only to my husband and myself. It's not really a secret, because all it would take to uncover it is a quick peek inside my closet. But I raised five sons who probably never noticed the paint color on the walls of the bedrooms they slept in the whole time they were growing up in this house, so I doubt they even know where my closet is.
Okay, then, here's my O.C.D. secret: I keep my dressy shoes in plastic shoe boxes that are almost clear, but not clear enough; so I have pictures of the shoes taped to the outside of the boxes, making it easy for me to find the pair I'm looking for. I saw this tip in a women's magazine article about closet organization, and I thought it was genius. But everyone at the table on Easter night (et tu, hubbay?) looked at me as if to say "Now that's crazy."
And aren't there people who actually make a living as closet organizers? Isn't that a booming business these days? If so, I think I may have missed my calling, because I love the challenge of finding ways to store my things neatly. Here's my solution for storing all the beautiful pashminas my husband got for me in Istanbul, back when that was one of his work destinations.
You know, I think the term "O.C.D." is overused these days, just like the term "dysfunctional family." I don't think I have O.C.D.; I think I'm just what back in simpler times was known as a "neatnik."
P.S. I think I have too many pairs of shoes!