Tag Archives: OCD
Or at least they’ve found me out.
You know my obsession with clean trash cans? (No? Read about it here. It’s ok. We’ll wait.)
Well, apparently, people are still finding my blog when they search for: random acts of kindness (A number of posts on this topic as it is near and dear to my heart), burka (Just one post on this topic, I promise), traffic signals, josef albers, joy suckers (Hey! That’s just mean!), wrinkled boobs (Even meaner!), hornyteens (Written just like that, all one word — and I’ll say it again. Ewwwwww!) and now……..
Wait for it……
wait for it…..
OCD About Trash Cans.
Wait! I can explain.
It’s just that we recently had another incident. And this time, it was my husband’s fault.
You see, I’ve turned #1son into an OCDer. Fingers crossed that he’s come by it honestly. He’s my son through adoption so I’m hoping it’s nature, not nurture. Because I know how debilitating OCD can be. And I shudder to think that I’m the cause. And I don’t want to see him on Dr. Phil in 20 years, shouting to the world that it’s all my fault. But I digress….
We, meaning my #1son and I, had just cleaned the trash cans last week. He was helping me pull them to the house and he said, ever so sweetly, “Mom? These cans are stinky. Maybe we should clean them out?”
Ahhhh. He warms the cockles of my heart.
So, we got to it. Spraying. Lysoling. Spraying some more. Air drying. It was heaven.
Sparkling clean trash and recycling cans tucked safely away in the garage.
This week, I went to the curb and grabbed the trash can handle.
Something bit me.
I look down and the handle, the ridge of the can and inside the can is covered with red ants. Upon further discovery, the bottom of the can is swimming with sweet, sticky liquid. Could it be……beer?
I don’t drink beer. My kids don’t drink beer. My husband. He drinks beer. And he broke rule # 173: Do not put loose trash in the trash can and rule #92: Put recyclables in the recycling bin. (Duh!)
So, two weeks in a row, I’m outside, cleaning the trash bin. And my neighbors saw me.
And the very next morning, in my WordPress Site Stats, I find that someone has found my blog by searching: OCD about trash cans.
Oh. I am so busted.
I come by it honestly. My OCD.
When I was just 16 and coming home from a date, my mother was outside scrubbing the front curb. Embarrassed, I mumbled a quick “thank you” and “bye!” Poor guy. Probably thought I had a terrible time at the baseball game. But then I remembered that he, too, had noticed my mother out there, scrubbing away.
After he pulled out of the driveway and was safely around the corner, I went back outside.
“Mom!” I said, “What are you doing?”
“I’m scrubbing the curb,” she said matter-of-factly.
“I can see that. But why?” I insisted.
“Because it was dirty,” she said, now looking at me like I’m the one from outer space.
“But that’s what the street cleaners are for,” I explained.
“Well, they don’t do a good enough job!” she replied and went back to her scrubbing.
Our home always looked like a Better Homes and Gardens picture spread. Everything always in its place. Impeccably decorated.
And now, I’m carrying on the tradition. With our trash cans.
We have a convenient concrete pad next to our mailbox. It is where we always put our garbage cans to rest until the garbage men come to empty them. Four years they have occupied that spot.
And then? Our new neighbors moved in. They decided to share our space, next to our mailbox.
I’m a bit finicky about my garbage cans. When they get smelly, I rinse them out with Pine-sol. This can be tricky during drought restriction summers. I’ve been known to sneak out, at night, to clean them in the cover of darkness. (Oh, please don’t rat me out!) But last summer, it seemed they were smellier than usual.
Every week I was having to clean out our cans. Much more than usual. Stinky. Smelly. Attracting flies. I’d remind my daughter to tie the bags tightly. I’d accuse my husband of tossing loose trash (mostly half empty fast food wrappers and cups) into the can without being securely hidden in a tightly tied plastic bag. But every week, when I’d collect our can from the curb, there would be ooey, gooey, sticky, smelly drippings and droppings on the bottom or coating the sides. It was gross.
But not as gross as the maggots.
I still shudder when I remember the maggots. Imagine my surprise when I brought the can up from the street and open my can and saw maggots. Not one. Not two. Hundreds. Coating the bottom of the can. The bottom. I’m all of 5’6″. My arms didn’t reach to the bottom. A broom (I tried) couldn’t get them all. I had to put the can on its side and crawl into the can armed only with a scrub brush and a spray bottle of Lysol disinfectant. (Had to, you ask? Yes. Had to. I’m OCD, remember?)
And then I remembered. We had been on vacation the previous week. There was hardly any trash in the can to begin with. In fact, there were no perishables in the can. How in the world did we have maggots?
It was then that I realized that we (and by we, I mean I) had been cleaning out our neighbor’s trash can all summer long.
So I did what any other self-respecting OCDer would do. I drew our initial, in Sharpie, by the handle of the can so we’d know whose is whose.
And they, in retaliation I suppose, drew their house numbers even bigger by the handle of their can. (They’d show us!)
But even that didn’t work. So when I went to pick up our sparkling clean recycling bin – because we (and by we, I mean I) rinse out everything that goes into our bin – only to find their recycling bin coated with layers of dried, sticky and stinky soda, milk and beer dribblings? I left it at the curb. I had proof that bin wasn’t ours. Not only were their house numbers written on the side, my husband was on his latest “I’m giving up coffee/soda/beer – take your pick” binge. No way was that bin ours. We hadn’t tossed a soda or beer can in weeks.
Yes. I pulled the can over to their side and left it at the curb. When they finally noticed, they pulled our sparkling clean can out of their garage and left it in front of our garage door. The following week they decided not to share the concrete pad next to our mailbox. They put their cans on the other side of their driveway, sitting on the grass in defiance.
They showed us.
And I don’t care.
At least I have my sweet-smelling garbage cans back.
And that’s all that matters to little Miss OCD.
So, I’ve told you my mom is crazy, right? Well, guess what? I’m crazy, too. (Some of you already knew that – at least after reading yesterday’s post you now know.)
I’m mostly OCD with a little bit of plain ol’ crazy mixed in to keep things interesting.
How am I crazy? Ahhhh…let me count the ways.
10. I check to see if the car doors are, indeed, locked more than is necessary. And I involve my kids in the practice. Ever helpful #1son is often volunteering to run back to the car and check for me. And I let him.
9. Whenever I hear a child cry in a public place I must get up and locate the distressed little soul and make sure that a parent is taking adequate care of the situation. My husband calls this crazy. I call it “It Takes A Village.”
8. I boycotted shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch because of an ad they ran in 1992 that offended me. No one else. Just me. They hit a nerve with something personal I was going through. So I refused to shop there ever again. And I haven’t. Eighteen years later and I held true to my boycott – until last week. When my daughter got a job at one of their stores. Darn this economy and having to take what you can get.
7. I’m obsessive about a clean kitchen or bathroom. You could eat off the floor in either area. But do not, I repeat, DO NOT look under my bed. Or eat anything there. Yuck.
6. Give me a choice between a trip to Hawaii and a trip to Disney World? Disney wins every time. An all expenses paid trip around the world and a trip to Disney World? Sadly, yes. I’d pick Disney. An engraved invitation to a State Dinner at the White House (take that, Salahis!) and a trip to Disney World? Well, maybe I’d go to the State Dinner just to sashay past the Salahis but after dessert can I still go to Disney? (My daughter doesn’t call me Disney Dork for nothin’.)
5. I remember skating around everyone, and I mean literally sliding and skating past everyone in my socks on our hardwood floors, getting ready for a holiday party and thinking how nuts this must look. It felt like my family was moving in slow motion, without a care in the world that we had 100 guests about to show up and the house was still a wreck and food still needed to be put out. I was a raving lunatic. Not a proud moment, but a defining one. I’d like to say I’m no longer crazy in that regard. Dear sweet hubby? Can you please confirm that one for me?
4. I’ve been known to lock the door behind me, take two steps and go back to make sure that the door is truly locked. Doesn’t matter that I heard the click. Doesn’t matter that I pulled the door firmly. Doesn’t even matter that I checked it as soon as I locked it. What is it with me and locked doors?
3. For as long as I’ve entertained guests in my own home, it took me almost 20 years to buy a butter dish. Twenty years. Why? Because this saucer will do and besides, they’re too expensive. (Yes, I actually said too expensive.) I finally bought one. $3.99 at Williams Sonoma Outlet. Yep. I put the cheap in cheap-skate.
2. It drives my kids crazy that I smile (or so they say) while I’m “yelling” (I don’t yell. I raise my voice) at them. Apparently, my facial expressions do not match the intensity of my words. But according to my daughter, that’s just weird, not necessarily crazy.
And the number one reason I’m crazy…
1. I admitted to Kitch last week that, while I feel overwhelmed and unable to keep up with my self-imposed 4-posts-a-week assignment, I can’t seem to skip it. No matter how hard I try. Why? Because I like how my little calendar looks (go ahead and peek, it’s over there to the right) with it’s pretty little M, T, T, and F columns all highlighted just so. There’s something in me that can’t disrupt the pattern. Just the thought of a “wrong” day being highlighted (or not) makes me all uncomfortable. I’m not kidding about this.
Now that’s crazy!
(What’s your crazy?)
Sometimes it’s the simple !!! that warms my soul. And this past week was no exception!
There is nothing. No thing. Like a freshly made bed.
Or, making Rocky Road Fudge and there is no one around to lick the bowl but ME!
I always smile when I find evidence of my son’s inherited OCD when it comes to eating candy. He sorts just about everything he gets his hands on. And I eat my candy by color, too!
Who can resist this handsome scooter dude getting ready for the neighborhood 4th of July parade? Not me!!!