Posts Tagged ‘OCD’
Even when I was little,
I led a double life.
At my Grandma’s,
I was all princess.
However, at home,
I guess I was
what you’d call a
It’s not that I CHOSE to be a tomboy; it’s just that there were only two other girls who lived in my neighborhood. One was a total whack-job who lived with her blind, deaf and deformed aunt/uncle/guardian-parents (up ‘ere beside ‘The Raccoons’ who came out only at night, but that’s another story entirely). The other GAVE total whack-jobs, blow-jobs and rim-jobs while in the 6th grade. So, my friend choice was somewhat limited.
If I WANTED to play,
I had to play with the neighborhood BOYS.
It turned out that I fit in with the boys quite easily. I could run fast, throw a mean crabapple, climb the highest trees, help to build the tree house fort, take a hard tackle, and probably best of all — SPIT— almost as far as they could.
To them, I wasn’t really ‘a girl’; I was just a buddy, and that suited me just fine. Who’d wanna play with dumb old dolls anyway when there were caves to be explored or slag piles to be climbed or birdies to be knocked from their nests or car bumpers on which to hitch a skateboard or sled ride?!
Oh, I HAD dolls at my house, but I left them in dirt pile out back or down on ‘Big Rock’ the instant the gang showed up, lookin’ for a good game of rundown or our specialized version of ‘Dodge’em’ (aka ‘throw-rocks-at-your-brother-on his bike-as-he-tries-to-dodge’em’).
My younger brother, ‘Nibby’,
— nearly four years my junior –
had one helluva
as a little guy.
At three or four, Nibby learned to shove off the toilet lid the stack of the heaviest texts my mother could find to keep it closed: Webster’s Dictionary, the PDR, the Kama Sutra and one, colossal Bible (on the SHITTER – SACRILEGE!). He would then bend over, take hold of the ceramic, and dunk the top of his head in the water. From there, he would reach up and FLUSH the toilet, taking great (albeit SICK) delight in the water swirling about his hair. Without fail, whence the water drained, he would FLIP his head up, whipping his ‘SWIRLY’ into a curlicue twist, the likes of which the folks of Dairy Queen would envy. Tiny rivulets of rank would wend their way down his chubby, little happy-cheeks, and yeah, unavoidably, even sneak into his eyes and mouth, as Nibby grinned and gurgled with rapture.
Eager to share his zen-like nirvana, Nibby SOMEHOW convinced my favorite baby doll, Ingrid, to partake of his bizarre potty ritual (in retrospect, he probably used the language barrier to his benefit; I tried to teach that stupid Swede some English, but she would have none of it, staring back at me with those vacant eyes). I can say this for her; though Ingrid did lack muscular shape and tone, she had lovely long, silky, spun-gold hair. (That is, PRE-SWIRL.)
When our mother discovered Nibby had swirled Ingrid, did she put the doll in the bathtub with my brother? No. She tossed’er in the washer – and from there straight into the dryer – on HIGH. I waited for HOURS for my Ingrid to emerge from the Maytag, pacing about the laundry room, plotting and scheming to exact my revenge on Teddy, Nibby’s omnipresent brown bear. (Don’t think for a minute I had overlooked the fact that if his little Eljer baptism was SUCH a moment of spiritual enlightenment that he would’ve converted his VERY OWN STUFFED BUDDY over Ingrid. Nope; Teddy was TOAST.)
Now, I’m not sayin’ Ingrid didn’t undergo a spiritual conversion at the hands of my toilet-twisted sibling; maybe sí, maybe no. I CAN, however, attest to the fact that that poor girl was PHYSICALLY TRANSFORMED.
Poor, dumb, Euro-trash Ingrid! My sad friend appeared to have been the victim of the business-end of a shovel as the left side of her molded plastic skull was bashed in, never to ‘pop-out’ again. Her left eyeball had receded and retreated to wasteland of said molded plastic skull, leaving but a gaping black HOLE where it had once been. When shaken severely, Ingrid’s eyeball could be heard and FELT to be rattling and rolling around inside the vacuum of her head. But the WORST part of all was that Ingrid’s lush, golden mane had metamorphosed into a clownish blonde afro (well, it WAS the 70’s; perhaps Ingrid was a bit more ‘with it’ than I thought…). No matter how much Love’s Baby Soft I dumped on her, that melted-plastic stench would never leave her.
Oh! How I lamented the loss of my original Ingrid! And, for awhile, I was content to play nursemaid to my damaged friend. I fashioned a mini-eyepatch from black felt, wrapped her dented face with ACE bandages and pretended that her bobbling eyeball was a traveling tumor. It wasn’t long, however, until I tired of caring for an invalid; I mean, if she wasn’t able to pick up even a little English before ‘THE SWIRL’, there really wasn’t much chance of her recovering from severe brain damage.
Ingrid was headed to the
It was about that time
that I discovered
the wonderful world of
Now, HERE was one, hip chick! Not only did she have partial genitalia, my girl was young, rich, carefree and stylish! She had great clothes, great shoes with matching handbags, jewel-encrusted accessories, and she had a hottie boyfriend, too!
Oh, I fell hard for everything Barbie: the swimming pool, the van, the Dream House, the camper, the corvette; you name it, I had it!
I had Barbies of every hair-hue! I had Kelley, Cara and Ginger, a few Skippers and and a couple ‘a Kens. My Barbies had more clothing than I did! I even had a cute pink wardrobe trunk for storing all of my Barbie paraphernalia (EVERY gown and outfit was hung on a tiny pink hanger). I recall losing only a few shoes, ever – devastating.
I remember changing their attire frequently, usually opting for casual summer frocks or eveningwear to forego grunting and tugging and eventually RIPPING slacks and glittery hot pants over the dolls’ sticky rubber legs and freakishly-jointed baby-bearin’ hips. (Years later would I learn that baby powder would have gone a long way in easing my dolls into their campy-trampy duds.)
In the beginning, the imaginary world I created for my dolls was sweet and innocent…benign. I would stage fashion shows, trips to the grocery store, tea parties, sleepovers and even hold school for them.
When my personality split, and my dark side emerged, Barbie’s world was somewhat less than idyllic. What accessories I needed but couldn’t purchase, like an emergency room – for when Babs botched an inward on the diving board which ripped her arms from their sockets with a ‘THWOCK’ (okay, and a pair of pliers), or the absolute MUST for every pool party – the pitcher of martinis – I would mold out of PlayDoh and improvise. I could play with my Barbies for hours on end, much to the delight of my parents who were relieved I was too preoccupied to torture Teddy.
I kept most of Barbie’s homes and vehicles at my grandma’s house because I spent nearly every weekend there, being pampered to the hilt. The dolls themselves and the wardrobe, however, I would tote back and forth to and from home.
Except for that ONE weekend – that one weekend wherein I got to Grandma’s and realized I’d forgotten all my Barbie shit at HOME. (And NO FRICKIN’ WAY would either of my parents CONSIDER making the 3-mile trek back to Grandma’s to deliver my forgotten dolls.) I was sad at first, but when Grandma told me I could go upstairs and dig around in her attic, look for untold treasures, try on all of her ‘good’ spectator pumps in every color – never saw her wear’em even ONCE – (I guess she bit it before ‘GOOD’ ever came along), dress-up in the fancy dresses of her youth and play with her old pocketbooks, my big-boobied Barbies faded fast in my memory.
I have no idea
just how long it took me
to realize that I came home
to the scariest collection of Barbies
young girls of the world
had ever seen.
When I opened the pink wardrobe, I was utterly horrified to find that, while still stylishly dressed, wearing travel-appropriate footwear (for the trip to Grandma’s that never happened for THEM), my Barbies had fallen victim to a band of cannibal headhunters!
HEADLESS, THE LOT OF THEM!
The savages had viciously POPPED off my dolls’ heads and made off with them for nary a noggin was to be found within the wardrobe. My dolls were nothing but a collection of knobby bodies with knobby necks.
As I looked at my pathetic doll-pals, I could actually HEAR the POP of each doll’s head coming off; it was a sound with which I was familiar as I would often put Skipper’s HEAD to Barbie’s BODY – I had always pitied the flat younger sister, and I enjoyed ‘treating’ her to some time wearin’ Barbie’s rack.
When I ran to my numb mother to report the heinous crime, I was both shocked and relieved to learn that savage head-hunters were not culpable and still lurking under my bed; rather, the culprit was none other than my little brother.
Apparently, during my absence,
Nibby had acquired some new toilet tricks.
Having been dissatisfied with the family’s overall reaction to what became known as ‘The Conversion of Ingrid’, apparently Nibby deigned my beautiful Barbies to be worthy, easily-manipulated converts. If only he had been satisfied with ‘conversion by swirl’….
The ‘official’ story I got was that Nibby ripped off the Barbies’ heads and FLUSHED them down the crapper! At some point, a glut of heads clogged the toilet, and my dad was forced to plunge.
Did my folks THINK to run out to buy even ONE new Babs to replace my headless dolls? Nope; evidently, they operated under the assumption that the next time I opened my trunk, I wouldn’t even notice my friends had no frickin’ heads. Hell, they even may have PRETENDED to actually SEE heads on my dolls should I bring it up, hoping that labeling me ‘DELUSIONAL’ may save’em $50 in replacement babes in the end.
To add insult to injury,
the little fucker
didn’t even get in trouble
for his little foray into religion.
he’s too little
to know any better…
he’s just very creative,
and he was just
Oh, yeah? How come THAT EXCUSE didn’t work for me when I performed major surgery on STRETCH ARMSTRONG, hoping to prove once and for all that there was, indeed, MAPLE SYRUP inside of him? (and, though my hypothesis was woefully wrong, I DID LEARN that if it don’t SMELL like MAPLE SYRUP, girlfriend, it SURE AS SHIT ain’t gonna TASTE like it.)
After all that, Barbie no longer held the magic for me that she once had. I didn’t even have the will, the heart, to craft Playdoh heads for the ‘knobbed ones’. Their lovely heads gone, for me, they’d lost their luster.
My damn dumb-doll days were over.
I came to DESPISE all things Barbie, telling myself that they were ‘dumb blondes’ anyway, and that the shallow bitches deserved what they got in the end. I decided that the BOYS had all the fun in the world, and that they rarely got in trouble for anything they ever did, their parents chalking up pranks and even arson to ‘boys being boys’. I committed to tomboyhood, once and for all.
Sadly, my hatred for Barbie has continued through adulthood, and much to the chagrin of my daughters, into my motherhood. I absolutely REFUSE to purchase Barbie and/or any of her BIMBO galpals for my children.
I see absolutely NO VALUE WHATSOEVER in having young girls play and fantasize about the DREAM-HOUSE and the DREAM-LIFE and the DREAM-METROSEXUAL-HUSBAND-KEN.
To what avail?
No, I want my girls to learn what REAL LIFE’s all about.
The earlier they learn that LIFE AIN’T NO DREAM-WORLD, the better.
When Mattel starts makin’ HOME-IN-FORECLOSURE-CAUSE-YOUR-BALD-FAT-GOOD-FOR-NOTHIN’-BEER-CHUGGIN’-HUBBY-DONE-BLEW-RENT-ON-DOGFIGHTS-AND-NASCAR BARBIE, I might take notice and buy’em for my kids.
Now that I think about it,
there ARE some Barbies
that I would run out
snag for my girls:
Stripper Barbie – Barbie’s done got a boob job! Now a trip-D, this doll is ‘dressed’ in tassle pasties, genuine rhinestone thong and ‘Miss Pole Dance Australia’ sparkling sash. Stripper Barbie’s appendages are Gumby-bendable to facilitate this bombshell’s technically intricate and sensual dance tricks. Pole, rope Mallakhamb, strobe lights, jar of Vaseline and miniature paper currency in $20, $50 and $100 denominations included. *Stripper Skipper also available at pedophilepatdat.com
Bad Hair Day Barbie – Oh, wait! That’s the REGULAR Barbie. Forget it.
HOA Rep Barbie – comes with clipboard containing the low-down on each neighborhood resident, binoculars, Canon Powershot camera with mega-zoom lens and time-lapse capabilities, VIOLATION stickers, comfortable walking shoes and removable stick up her ass.
Stay-At-Home Barbie – Barbie has packed on 50+ extra pounds. Comes with laundry basket, six kids (one in middle, one in elementary and four under 4 years old), enough crafting supplies for completing all of her kids’ school projects, Costco card, smokes and a TV Guide.
Debby Downer Barbie – The antithesis to Barbie’s perky personality. Debby has a pull-string, but come to think of it, it’s really not necessary; she’ll BITCH INCESSANTLY about any- and everything. Batteries NOT INCLUDED; the only way to get her to shut the fuck up is by bludgeoning her repeatedly with a sledge hammer (included). If THAT doesn’t work, set the bitch afire (matches also included).
PTO Barbie – This chick does not stop! Wearing the latest trends and styles, hopped up on her kid’s ADHD meds, PTO Babs drives the kids to school in her own bus (included), and spends the day volunteering in the cafeteria, the classroom, the main office and with PE (because the teacher is ‘smokin’ HOT’). PTO Babs USED to assist the school nurse, but she was asked to refrain when it was discovered that the clinic’s Ritalin supply had dwindled. PTO Barbie does not drive the students home in her bus, however, as she remains at school to tidy the teachers’ rooms and to gather as much information and dirt on these educators as possible, committing each detail to her eidetic memory for future blackmail plots. PTO Barbie hangs out in the office chumming with admin until she presides over the the meeting at 7 pm. When the meeting ends at 10 pm, Babs is too tired to drive the bus home, so she sleeps in the extra janitor’s closet she has converted into her own personal office/boudoir.
Single-Working-Mom Barbie – Single-Working-Mom Barbie holds down TWO full-time jobs while ‘having parties’ every Saturday and Sunday as a consultant for Lia Sophia, Mary Kay and Tastefully Simple to supplement her meager income. She comes with her Daytimer, Bluetooth headset, a year’s supply of 800mg Vivarin and a list of 25 friends’ cell phone numbers she may need to call to pick up her three school-age kids when their deadbeat dad is too drunk to pull up his dungarees after bonin’ his trailer court manager’s third wife. Single-Working-Mom-Barbie can whip up dinner for four from the fridge door, and she comes with (3) additional pairs of arms that can be attached to her back (she could always use an extra hand or two).
Bipolar Barbie – This doll’s head can be swiveled front to back to reveal one of two faces, ‘benign’ and ‘possessed’, given Bipolar Barbie’s current mental state. B.B.’s hair is used to camouflage the countenance not currently employed. Quite unlike other Barbies, this doll sports flexible arms to pose, perhaps, in a warm, embracing hug. In addition, the doll’s fully jointed finger digits and opposable thumbs, enable Bipolar Barbie to throw the bird or wield a cleaver should the imaginary need arise. Also included: One year’s supply of Abilify. *Disclaimer: Destroy doll when meds run out.
OCD Barbie – Being a textbook example of the Type A personality, the OCD Barbie must insist that utmost care and precision-cutting be employed in the opening of her product box. Upon opening the product box, the consumer should adhere to the following procedure:
1) Carefully REMOVE doll.
2) Carefully REPLACE doll inside box.
3) REPEAT 1) and 2)
4) REPEAT 1) and 2)
5) Leave doll in box so she’ll stay clean and perfect.
The company strongly recommends that the consumer allow band of plastic shrink wrap about the doll’s hair and the basting threads which keep OCD Barbie’s brilliant-white pin-pleated skirt sharply creased — intact — throughout ownership of the doll. Included with OCD Barbie is her ‘necessary’ carry-all which contains: (2) Tide To-Go Stain Removal Pens (one may dry up), tissues, (1) gallon bottle of moisturizing hand sanitizer, regular-size bottle of antibacterial hand soap, (2) MEGA-rolls Bounty paper towels, (1) box – 100 count – latex-free disposable gloves, (1) travel pack of triple-ply toilet seat covers, (2) rolls triple-ply toilet tissue, (1) plastic container of large flushable wipes, (1) box of triple-zip security plastic Baggies, (1) box assorted bandages, (1) 10x magnifying mirror, diamond-cut precision tweezers in cushioned case, (1) roll each: Scotch tape, masking tape, black electrical tape, duct tape, 20’ tape measure, (3) each – ‘emergency’ keys to her car, home and office, (1) gallon ‘emergency’ container of unleaded gasoline, (25) brown paper lunch sacks for aiding hyperventilation when specific rules and regulations are ignored.
Butch Barbie — This doll sports the ‘s/him’ hairstyle which is perfect for a day on the WPGA Tour or to deter the dreaded ‘trucker hat’ hair when she parks her semi in the McDonald’s parking lot and heads in for a Filet O’ Fish and some fries. Doll comes dressed in Dickies dungarees, Buffalo plaid flannel shirt with sports bra attached and steel-toed workboots. Golf clubs, semi and Honda Accord sold separately.
Bi-Barbie – Bi-Barbie is the Girl-Next-Door. She is a married mother of two. Her ‘best, best, best friend’ is Chach Barbie, and they go everywhere and do everything — together. Every other month they have a ‘Girls Only’ spa weekend. Bi-Barbie’s favorite song (included) is “Best of Both Worlds” by Hanna Montana. Ken doll and Chach Barbie sold separately.
Botox Barbie – (aka Middle-Aged Barbie) may be a tad frightening to your young daughter upon first glance. This doll’s spent her 20s and 30s in the tanning bed, and her leathery, sagging, collagen-deficient skin hangs from her thin frame. Fret not! Though, at first, you may wonder if, mistakenly, you have purchased the Crypt Keeper or E.T. doll, you will be pleasantly surprised whence your daughter injects the live botulinum bacteria into the doll’s folds. Like magic, Botox Barbie pleasantly plumps up, resembling an energized, albeit shocked or surprised, middle-aged bimbo who just came from the doctor. Miniature syringes, botulinum type-A toxin and hand mirror included. *Coming Soon! New Botox Barbie’s Culture-Your-Own-Botulinum kit!
HandiBarbie – (aka Handi-CAPABLE Barbie) – This plucky athlete-phenom comes seated in her proportional-speed breath-operated motorized state-of-the-art wheelchair. She paints! She draws! She ‘rolls’ marathons! She skis! A former flight attendant, HandiBarbie is a mother of four who tours the world, piloting her very own breath-and-eye-operated Cessna. A motivational speaker, HandiBarbie teaches the young women of the world of the many dangers of joining the pilot and the Mile High Club in the cockpit. High-heeled, flats and sneakered prosthetic legs (L and R) included; Cessna and sit-ski sold separately.
PMS Barbie – (aka Homicidal Rampage Babs) — Voice-activated doll unleashes a scathing rash of threats and epithets at the slightest hint of conversation coming her way. Realistic bloating and sore, swollen breasts enhance PMS Barbie’s authenticity. This doll wears a big, comfy sweatshirt, elastic-waist sweatpants and warm, fuzzy slippers. Accessories included: comfy sofa, eye mask, warm, fuzzy blanket, heating pad, (10) ThermoCare adhesive heating pads, (2) lbs. milk chocolate, (1) wild animal saltlick, (10) ‘POUNDER’ bags of Extra-Greasy Potato Chips (ANY brand, MOTHERFUCKER, it doesn’t MATTER!) and (1) gross 800mg Motrin.
When Mattel brings THESE Barbies to market, I’ll bring my credit card. I’ll be the first in line to buy the HALFWAY HOUSE, ABUSED WOMEN AND CHILDREN SHELTER and ABORTION CLINIC, if they make’em.
Hell, I might even spring for a coupl’a extra heads.
OCD is One Crazy Disorder.
True, I have a rather mild case of it when you put me up against Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, but it’s still a major pain in the ass because I don’t get to pick and choose my manifestations. It’s a bizarre affliction, and unfortunately, the older I get, the more wacked-out I become, and the more I resemble my grandmother. (The wiry gray hairs are moving me in that general direction, too.)
My grandmother was a clean-freak. She had a ‘dirty’ sink and a ‘clean’ sink, and God help you if you tried to wash a head of lettuce (NO FEWER than 3 times, mind you) in the ‘dirty’ side, she’d go into an apoplectic fit – and then wrap up the entire head of lettuce, double-bag it, and throw it in the trash.
I remember helping her dry dishes. Because I could never sit still (and because each dish had to scrubbed and rinsed again and again), I had plenty of time in between plates to toss and twirl my tee towel all around the kitchen. I swear the old broad had eyes in the back of her head, or maybe her extreme OCD had provided her with a sixth sense — if even THE FRINGE on the towel glanced the floor or any ‘unclean’ surface, Grandma (still washing – with her back to me) would tell me to get a new towel. I swear — I have used as many as five different towels in one dish-washing session at 310 Cleveland Street.
After a while, testing her nifty little third-eye gift became a game;
she never lost.
How that woman was able to tolerate a little girl’s half-assed dry-job on plates from which she ate, I’ll never know; my best guess is that after I left, she went back and rewashed the whole lot.
Grandma never learned how to drive. My parents had to schlep her all over town for groceries and hair and doctor appointments. Never once did I hear them complain. That’s a wonder considering that taking Grandma ANYWHERE was a time-consuming, patience-testing endeavor.
There WAS no ‘quick trip’ with Grandma.
When we’d arrive at Grandma’s house, my dad, brother and I would sit in the parked car while my mother went in to fetch her mother. We would settle in for a long wait. We knew that inside, Mom was going through ‘the checklist’ with Grandma, checking and rechecking every light, electrical and water source, every major and minor appliance (even those she didn’t even use that day — or that month, for that matter) and every point of entry into the house.
Fifteen to twenty minutes later, Mom and Grandma would emerge, lock up with skeleton keys, and waddle down to the car for the FIRST time.
Mom and Grandma would get in the car, Grandma would kiss and love on us and exchange pleasantries with Dad and start passin’ out the Certs and Sen Sen. Dad would start the car.
On cue, Grandma would say, “Oh, Dixie, I don’t think I checked my oven. Did you check my oven? I don’t know if my oven is still on or not. Denny, I think my oven is still on. I better go check.”
Dad would kill the engine, slump his shoulders, and say, “Well, Alice, maybe you should go check and make sure.”
Now, not that my father was a chauvinist pig for not checking for her; it would have done no good to even offer. And despite Mom’s every reassurance that she did indeed turn off the oven, and that everything on her checklist was hunkey-dorey, Grandma had to be certain. She had to see with her own eyes.
So, up the steps they would go, reopen the house, go through the checklist again, and amble back down to the car 10-15 minutes later.
Mom and Grandma would get back in the car, we’d do the whole Certs routine again, the car would start, and at the start of the engine, as predictable as a Pavlovian dog, Grandma would worry over her back door. Or the iron. Or the washing machine. Or the window in the back bedroom — it might rain.
My mother and grandmother would reenter the house and car no fewer than 3 times.
That 3rd time did seem to be the charm; after that, when Dad started the car, a palpable silence would fall upon us as we held our breath, hoping against all hope, that Grandma’s worry would let us leave — a half hour to an hour after we’d gotten there.
I thank my lucky stars I didn’t get that from Grandma (hell, I’m late enough FOR EVERYTHING as it is; the fuckin’ stove is on its own).
I did, however, inherit her hand-washing, germaphobia and the propensity to spend hours in the mirror in search of pimples that MUST BE PURGED.
Nor did I get Grandma’s cleanliness gene; that poor woman is wringing her hands in Heaven over the layers of dust and piles of clutter in my home. Unfortunately, you do not get to pick your passion with OCD — how I wish I could obsess over my fuzzy shutters; I let them go for so long that I don’t dust them — I chisel.
In my early married (and living-in-sin-oh-my!) days, cleanliness WAS my thing. Not a speck of dust, not an errant hair on the bathroom floor, nor a smudgey window could be found. True, I didn’t have a whole lot TO clean, but cleaning USED to be one of my manifestations. I would gather all of my supplies — one or two of every household cleaning product on the market — and set them out on the bathroom counter — in the order I would use them.
I would don my rubber gloves and then turn on my VHS of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and dash back to the bathroom.
I had my apartment-cleaning perfectly timed and choreographed with the cartoon musical.
I knew at what stage of the process I had to be for every line to every blasted song and bit of dialogue in the film. If, perhaps, I had slipped, fallen and broken my arm while scrubbing the shower, I would have scrubbed through the pain and worked harder to catch back up to the next song.
Bleeding of any manner would have slowed me down considerably, given the fact that I would have had to scrub the surface and disinfect and rinse, but I’d have somehow made up for lost time. NOTHING could slow me down. I was just like Marge Simpson — where the world is blowing up around her, but first, she just needs to finish doing the dishes before she takes cover.
Once the M & Ms came into my life, that cleaning bullshit went out the window. Somehow, my mind went into ultra-protection mode, knowing it could never bear the strain of adhering to its stringent cleaning rituals with two slobbery, messy kids around. My OCD simply manifested in other areas, and now the dust in my home bothers me only a little.
I’m pretty sure it went straight to LAUNDRY, though.
Back when The Dingus and I lived in the Beauty and the Beast apartment, we had to use the on-site communal laundromat. It was great because, in one evening, I could knock out a week’s worth of dirty clothes in one fell swoop. Laundry night was a pleasant, relaxing couple of hours during which I could get in a shitload of reading.
Since the M & Ms have come along, my OCD demon terrorizes me when it comes to laundry.
I have ridiculous, bizarre, strict rituals that must be followed.
The Dingus is not allowed to touch any laundry except to fold HIS items (and he fucks those up, too, but I can tolerate that).
Stained and soiled items must be soaked in OxyClean for at least a day and then scrubbed with Lava and/or Fels Naptha and any one of the many scrub brushes at the ready at my sink. I USE the old washboard hanging in my laundry room.
I channel Lady Macbeth;
ALL STAINS MUST COME OUT!
Because in my current home I have a very tiny closet-laundry room (and because I have my pal Paxil), I can tolerate having only 2 or 3 ‘soaking buckets’ going at one time. In my last house, my laundry room took up a third of my basement. I had a HUGE cement sink and tons of square footage to store my ‘soaking buckets’.
At one point, The Dingus came into the laundry room and said,
“Jesus! You need help; this laundry thing is out of hand….”
I was standing in the middle of 13 ‘soaking buckets’, and I was crying because I had literally scrubbed layers of skin off my hands —
and I had SO MUCH MORE SCRUBBING TO DO.
Shortly after that, my doctor officially diagnosed me, and introduced me to my happy pills— which take some of the evil out of my demon.
Nowadays, I cannot afford to miss a day of soaking or scrubbing or washing a few loads; when I get backed up, it can take MONTHS to get caught up. This is why we all have scads of clothes. My kids are lucky to get to wear a new favorite outfit once in a season; God forbid they stain it, ’cause they may not see said outfit until next season rolls around.
I despise my laundry issues (and ALL of my OCD issues); I hate that I am a SLAVE to my fucked-up mind.
But I can do NOTHING to stop myself from being this way.
I can say that though Paxil is my best friend, but my buddies Nick O’Tine and Trench Mouth get me through the day, too.
I have just finished my summer loads — and I’m quite proud of myself. It’s not even Christmas!
Other wacked-out issues The Viv owns (with much reluctance) follow:
*** Please note that these are “THE BIGGIES“; The Viv has myriad others, but these are those that if not observed and/or followed to the nth degree are GUARANTEED the throw The Viv into a panicked paroxysm. Thereafter, death by anxiety may ensue.
* Rinsing all glasses before drinking from them (even if just removed from the dishwasher) — why, there may be dust and fuzzies on them!
* The drinking of any liquid from a plastic cup is abhorrent and utterly unacceptable. Paper, waxed or otherwise, is acceptable only on a case-by-case-no-other-choice-available basis.
* I have a “No ‘FRINGIES’ rule”: No papers of any kind may be in my presence with those ripped-from-a-spiral-bound-notebook-uneven-and-unnerving-flyaway-‘fringies’ — I have actually gagged and retched IN CLASS when I’ve seen them about to be turned-in by some smart-ass 7th grader trying to fuck with me. Any student I’ve ever had who had any hope of passing my class knows that one must use scissors to evenly trim any errant fringies — as close to the 3 notebook holes as humanly possible — before submitting them.
* Every last possible trace of any product must be coaxed, shaken, scraped and dredged from its container; NO WASTE! If industrial-strength wire cutters and/or jackhammering is required in order to open up a container in order to get to said product is necessary; so be it, it will be done.
* All food and household products must be stored with like products in a linear fashion; product labels must face forward.
* ALL laundry must be completed, from start to finish, by The Viv ONLY. No one else may ‘help’.
* All towels must be folded and properly stored by The VIV’. Towels that are folded and stored by someone other than The Viv, say someone such as The Dingus, perhaps, must be refolded and restored by color, size and style by The Viv. Word to the wise: This is NOT ‘helping’ The Viv.
* ALL skin imperfections must be dealt with in a timely, time-consuming fashion. The evil must come out. Though scabbing and eventual scarring is imminent, all blemishes must be banished. All home-extraction tools and devices must be properly sanitized before, during and after usage. Proper storage of said implements must follow.
* All writing utensils,scissors and sharp objects must be stored point-down.
* Bed pillows must be placed upon made-beds with pillow cases’ open ends facing away from bed-center. The Viv requires one pillow to be placed flat against the headboard during sleep sessions — preventing the occasional spider which may — you never know — climb up from the floor to creep and crawl about the hands and face. It could happen.
* No item of furniture may be angled in any way. The sole exception: the current entertainment center; there is no other possible option — a fact which required more than a month of hand-wringing anxiety and doubling-up on the meds for The Viv to tolerate.
* Rituals and routines (such as hand-washing and bathing, dressing and undressing — beginning with the left-side of the body) must be strictly adhered-to. Any variance, interruption and/or unforeseen circumstance that may prevent strict adherence to routine will result in the reversal and restart of said routine and/or ritual.
* Only ‘TRUE GARBAGE’ may be purged. Any item that may have a future use of any kind must be saved; however, at present, these items require no strict, specific storage regulations.
* Footwear must be worn at all times — exceptions may be made for bathing and swimming in pools only. The soles of The Viv’s feet may not come in contact with dust, grime, crumbs, or under-foot surface of any kind. When exiting tub, shower or pool, footwear must be as close to the point-of-exit as possible. If proximity is not possible; rugs and/or towels may be used as a walking surface. In this case, the traveling path must be planned and executed to ensure the shortest distance to footwear and resultant relief.
MOTHER OF ALL:
*** At no time may there be fewer than 2 rolls of paper towels in The Viv’s permanent domicile and/or temporary residence. If traveling overnight, no fewer than 2 complete rolls must accompany The Viv.
‘Picking some up’ on the way or at destination point is utterly unacceptable.
*** The Viv becomes anxious and edgy when in possession of only 3 rolls of paper towels.
*** Should The Viv possess only 2 full-rolls of paper towels, the purchase of additional rolls must be made right-fuckin’-quick.
This is a dangerous time for The Viv and for anyone in her presence. At this point, an audible ‘hum’ — akin to that warning hum of the electrical-fence-dog-collar should the animal enter the ‘warning zone’ and be zapped with the next forward step — can be heard and felt emanating from The Viv.
*** Should, GOD FORBID, The Viv possess fewer than 2 full rolls, clear, rational thought, speech and actions are not possible at this point. There is a very real danger of The Viv bursting into flame. No living being is safe in her presence at this precipice.
Why, in the name of all that is holy, I have a paper towel problem,
I know not.
Running out of Kleenex (or Wal-Mart’s Great Value Sand Paper Facial Tissues — my brand of choice) or bum-fodder worries me not in the least.
I could have nothing but the cardboard roll with which to wipe my sorry OCD ass, and I would remain thoroughly unconcerned.
Paper towels are my Achille’s Hell.
*** When considering a visit to The Viv’s humble abode, the surest way to guarantee your own safety (and that of your progeny) is to:
a) proffer a Bounty bundle pack after ringing the doorbell, THEN hold your breath and hope for the best;
b) proffer a Bounty bundle pack , ring the doorbell and THEN touch the doorknob; if it is HOT, drop the fuckin’ towels and run like hell.
(it’s not worth it)