Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Longing for a Little OCD around Here

I have written all too often about my ongoing wrestling matches with STUFF. I know I am hardly unique in the quest for order. We live in a time of plenty, excess really. It doesn't come without a price that sometimes exceeds the retail one.

My boys do not understand my longing for order. Granted, these are same boys who wonder whether combing their hair really needs to be accomplished on a daily basis and who inform me that it's okay to skip brushing their teeth today if they did an extra thorough job the night before.

My older boys accuse me of being OCD. Further, they inform me that their friends comment on how neat and tidy our house is. I counter that if I'm OCD, I'm really bad at it and suggest that their friends are long overdue for eye exams.

To be sure, things are not horrible around here. And I certainly do not lay the blame for all our household woes on the kids. My declining ability to keep it all together is a bit alarming.

A month or two ago my American Express card went missing. This is not a shocking event; Ainsley loves to get in my purse. Were I truly OCD, I would have ONE place for my purse, one place far out of Ainsley's reach.

Such is not the case. I waltz in the house, plop my purse on the table, and later find Ainsley rifling through my receipts and depositing credit cards down vents.

In the fullness of time, things usually have a way of reappearing, but the Amex card didn't turn up. The crux of the problem is that the fine folks at American Express will not believe that this card is lost in my own home. Maybe they're OCD and can't imagine a card could float around a person's home for six weeks unspottted. They haven't seen my laundry nook or our vast collection of books or the endless array of toys. So if I call to say "My card is missing but not stolen," they just won't buy it. Add to this the fact that Dave and I have a joint account. Amex inevitably wants to cancel the whole kit and kaboodle which adds up to one big hassle.

Anyway . . .  At the top of today's To Do List was to make the inevitable call to American Express to procure a new card. Well, I was cleaning and straightening this morning and -- lo and behold -- there was my American Express card!

I get to cross one dreary item off my To Do List without doing a thing! No cancellations, just another abject apology to my precious daughter who did not slip the card into a pocket, fold my clothes neatly, and place them on the top shelf of the closet.

Sorry, Boo! Slandered and maligned once again. I wrote virtually the same story not too long ago.

Last week it was a missing lid. After a packed day fraught with logistical challenges that would have befuddled air traffic control at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, we were scurrying around getting ready for potluck. (Don't you know that potluck with one parent and two toddlers at the end of a hectic day is just what the doctor ordered!) Dehydrated from a scorching soccer match, I decided the beverage of choice would be ice water. I found a pitcher, scrounged up a lid, filled it, and set it all aside. As we were walking out the door, I noticed the lid was missing. I searched. Tim searched. John searched. Ainsley stood around looking guilty, or so I thought.

"Check the bathub," I told Tim. "Look under the couch."

No luck. I went off to potluck grumbling because I sometimes feel that nothing! nothing! nothing! can just stay where I put it.

The following morning I reached for the frozen waffles and found the lid to the pitcher. Needless to say, even with a boost, Miss Ainsey Boo cannot get into the freezer. I am a little frightened to think of the mindless things I do when overly pre-occupied.

Putting lids in the freezer? I think I could use a mild case of OCD.

1 comment:

christinelaennec said...

Oh I have been there! I'm so glad it showed up. We always blame the Borrowers at our house. And it is a rule of Nature that the moment you have done some organising / tidying, the very thing you are looking for is mysteriously gone - even though in theory it ought to be easier to find because you've done some filing. So even OCD isn't a cure-all!