“If You Have OCD, Please Read This…Repeatedly” or “Anything You Can Do, I Will Straighten That Shit Out”


Anyone that knows me also knows I am a “neat freak” and a tad bit on the OCD side. Hell, I have a box in my closet labeled “Boxes”. And I remember someone visiting once and commenting “Kiki, you are the only person I know that has a box labeled ‘String’ — how much string do you have that you need an entire box for this?”

But I am improving. As a young woman, I ironed sheets and pillowcases and hung my “dainties” on hangers. But then I gave birth and I was miraculously cured of this nonsense. Now I organize my underwear by color, cut, clothing silhouette and occasion (doesn’t everyone?) and they are folded with military precision in my lingerie drawer. Like I said, I’ve made major strides. However, I will report, however, that “String” has been combined with “Bungee Cords” and “Twist Ties”, so there is no apparent improvement in that particular category (now referred to as “Fasteners”). Did I mention that my labeling is done with calligraphy pens?

Silverware is lined up in my drawer like little soldiers — with chalk outlines — like little crime scenes. I have removed the “Police Line–Do Not Cross” tape, however, as it made my day nonproductive and was scaring my mother.

And as my “squeeze” J.B. will also attest to, the making of our bed is a family activity and definitely a relationship-building exercise — as I smooth and adjust the side that he just smoothed and adjusted. Oh, and there IS the placement of the decorative pillows to consider…hours of “fun” there. I have a map for this, of course, drawn to scale (former Interior Designer here).

I immediately know when I walk into any given room if a knick-knack (I instinctively want to say “paddy-whack” but am resisting the urge) has been moved 2 inches to the left or right. And you can betcha that there is an inquisition of all present household members (AKA “suspects”) that is befitting of any police interrogation room — complete with glaring lamp and if they won’t fess up…waterboarding.

There are those mornings when J.B. and I will be sipping coffee harmoniously and “celebrating the moments of our lives” at the kitchen table and my eyes are blazing a hole through that afghan that is NOT draped in an attractive fashion across the back of the leather sofa. J.B. never misses an opportunity to catch this gaze of disgust and comment “That afghan is bugging the shit out of you, isn’t it?” He “gets” me.

Oh, and regarding my J.B. — he is subject to inspection at any given time and there are impromptu “shake-downs” and trimmings of various offending errant facial hairs, or the request for a last minute wardrobe swap due to that pin-sized hole that is taunting me to tears in the armpit region. Did I mention that J.B. is a saint?

I am not entirely to blame for this affliction. My father (RIP) was an Engineer. I remember one particular past time that he enjoyed that will be forever burned in the recesses of my childhood memory (of which I’ve also labeled, filed, and correlated according to life experience). Let me preface this by stating that we always had a crawling baby free-ranging it in our home. Some didn’t even belong to us. Now, it only stands to reason that due to my mother’s supreme fertility, we had an ample supply of baby food jars. So, Dad would nail the lids of these jars to the ceiling of the hall closet, then fill empty jars with various objects. These would be labeled appropriately with titles like “Brad Nails”, “Washers”, “Finishing Nails”, “Nuts”, “Paper Clips”…you get the idea. It was a thing of beauty and greatly impacted me during my formative years.

Oh, and there was that large square he cut into the wall and stuck the television in there as a nifty space saver. The man was a genius and I’m still hoping for some posthumous recognition from Mr. Nobel with a Peace Prize for “World Organization”. Hasn’t happened to date, but I’m hopin’.

Thus, I am armed and ready to face whatever this day presents. And I don’t mind saying…I have a lint brush and I’m NOT afraid to use it!




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