Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sometimes different is good... sometimes it's not...

Since I still feel like we are in the get to know you stage of my blog, today I thought I’d tell you about a little problem I have… some call it obsessive compulsive… others call it anal retentive… some just call it weird.  But it’s me.  J
Here are a few examples of my quirks… or what my friends call my “rules…”
… I eat one thing at a time, starting with my least favorite.  I also turn my plate as I go so that whatever I am eating at the time is right in front of my face.  This has more to do with the fact that I have rarely completed a meal without wearing some part of it then it does my OCD, but many find it funny nonetheless.  My favorite response ever to this… Once during my first dinner outing with a new friend, he watched me do what I don’t even think about and stared in disbelief.  When I finally asked what was wrong, his response was, “I’ve heard about your kind, but I’ve never actually met one.”  J  Because I value the idea of a happy plate, I have used this method since childhood as a way to make sure I eat everything I take.  If I save the things I like best for the end, I am more likely to eat them.  The problem with this is simple… when eating dinner with someone who doesn’t know the rules, there’s always a chance they will think you are avoiding something on your plate because you don’t like it rather than because you’re saving the best for last.  It really stinks when your dinner date sees that last delicious item on your plate and reaches over, snatches it up and eats it before you get to it.  So devastating.  Once, the remains of a taco… you know that little bit that falls out each time you take a bite… my favorite part… I had just finished carefully pushing it into a little pile with the taco shell as I went to get a fork to enjoy it when someone else picked it up with their hand and gobbled it up… nearly ended a friendship.  J 
… I also don’t touch my food if I can at all help it.  I prefer to eat everything with a utensil, or if it’s a sandwich or something, I will wrap a napkin around the part I have to touch.  This has nothing to do with not wanting to transfer germs from my hands to my food… it’s really just because I don’t like to get food on my hands… or my face.  I prefer to make spaghetti with bowtie or penne pasta instead of actual spaghetti because I don’t like when the noodles flop and hit me in the face.  Yuck.  However, rest assured, I am not one to be disrespectful.  When eating at someone else’s house or at a nice restaurant with friends, I always eat whatever is presented in a way that does not attract any unnecessary attention… then I immediately go wash my hands and face.  J 
… I like to eat things in pairs... french fries, vegetables, candy… if whatever I’m eating is small enough to go in two at a time without touching my face, it will.  I don’t hate odd numbers, and I have no logical reason for eating things in pairs.  I just like the balance of chewing one on each side of my mouth at the same time.  If it comes down to the end and there’s only one left, I will usually offer it to someone else or cut it in half to eat it.
… When eating candy (which I do on a daily basis) I am even more entertaining to watch.  Not only do I eat them in pairs, but I organize them.  For example, if I have a bag of jelly beans, I will dump the entire bag out onto a napkin, sort them by color and then eat them two at a time in order of least favorite color to most favorite color.  If I have an odd number of one I will pair the extra with an extra of a similar color.  If I have an odd number all together, I always give one away.  I often try to keep this quirk hidden by doing it inside a desk drawer, or making sure no one is around, but it has got me strange looks on more than one occasion.  Once while doing this at a former job, I was quietly sitting at my desk working and sorting at the same time.  About half way through my bag of peanut butter M&Ms (my favorite) I looked up and realized I had five coworkers leaning over my cubicle watching.  They teased me for a long time afterward.  But it gives me a bit of organization in my otherwise chaotic life, so I’m okay with that.  J 
Okay… enough about my crazy eating habits… here are some other quirks…
… I am an obsessive deleter… emails, text messages, even pictures I’ve taken on my phone and already saved to my computer.  I never keep things I don’t need.  And if I need it, I save it to where it belongs and delete the original source.  Just this morning I actually went through and cleaned out the photo album and text message log on my iPhone.  Both are now empty.  I have eight email addresses and only my work email inbox has more than ten emails saved in it. 
… I also compulsively throw things away.  If I haven’t used something I own in at least six months, I clearly don’t need it.  And so I don’t keep it.  I never get emotionally attached to anything I own, unless someone special gave it to me (the Bible I received from my mother for my 18th birthday), I ended up with it because I threw a fit about it that I now feel terrible about (the Ray Bans a friend ordered all the way from Italy after I dropped my first pair in the lake and I had a temper tantrum because he wouldn’t dive down and save them) or my life has been  threatened if I lose it (the Jesus plate that used to belong to my great grandmother).  There are very few things that fall into one of these three categories… in fact, off the top of my head, I can think of about eight in my entire house.  Everything else is fair game.  I once had a boyfriend’s mom ask me, “If you and my son get married are you going to throw away all my stuff when I die?”  I’m not a good liar, so that didn’t go well.  J 
… The only thing I will keep forever is a picture.  Pending the picture is appropriately filed.  J  I have a super organized photo filing system that pictures are filed into usually within 48 hours of being taken.  Most people have a “My Pictures” folder on their computer.  I have a “My Pictures” flash drive (that I of course keep two backups of in case I ever lose one or one quits working).  On this flash drive I have a folder for each year (it goes all the way back to 2001).  Inside each year there is a folder for each month.  And inside each month there are individual folders for each event at which I took pictures.  Sometimes there are even subfolders within the event folder.  Being the group photographer at almost every lake weekend, sporting event or birthday get together with friends, this makes it really easy to find a picture when someone says, “Hey Cass, can you email that picture you took of us on the porch at the lake house last weekend?”  I simply plug the old flash drive in, open 2011>July>Fourth Weekend>Fireworks Show and ta-da!  There it is!   
… My closet also has its own filing system.  All of my clothes go in a certain place.  To the far left, I have belts and scarves followed by strapless shirts, spaghetti strap shirts and tank tops.  Behind those I have short sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts with buttons, short sleeve shirts with collars, short sleeve shirts with hoods, ¾ length sleeve shirts, ¾ length sleeve shirts with buttons, ¾ length sleeves with collars… okay you get the idea.  This idea continues with pants that start with pajama pants and end with dress pants as well as dresses which start with swimsuit cover-ups and end with formals.  My shoes are also sorted from flip flops to boots.  This makes getting dressed every day about a 30-second process because I always know right where everything is.  Someday I will post a picture of the inside of my closet for you.  J 
… At the risk of this blog being too long for you to stick with because I’m such a… um… unique… yeah, that’s it… creature, I will sum the last few “rules” up for you in one point.  I HATE it when people leave the shower curtain open after they shower.  No one wants to see inside your shower, much like no one wants to see inside your toilet.  Pull the stupid thing shut.  I also hate it when someone sits on the bed after it’s just been made.  Hello, that’s what chairs are for… keep your butt prints off the comforter.  It bothers me immensely when someone burps and doesn’t say excuse me.  I mean I understand it’s a natural thing so I would never get annoyed at you for doing it.  But please understand that however natural, it’s still disgusting… it’s two little works… excuse me… problem solved.  And finally, always use your safety restraint.  I don’t care if we are in your car or mine.  If I’m there, it’s click it or get griped at about it.  J

There are a whole list of other rules I try to hold myself and the people I care about accountable to... like standing up for what's right, never compromising your morals for the sake of popular opinion, giving others more then you keep for yourself, being compassionate to those who need it and protecting the ones you love... but those are all for another post...


  1. What exactly are "strapless shits"...? haha. Just kidding :) I eat M&Ms the same way, but I eat them in order of the colors of the rainbow. I also alphabetize my DVDs. And though I don't hang up my pajama pants (more for lack of space really), my closet has a very similar set up. In fact, I've actually posted it on my blog before :) I had deleted my blog for a while, and just undeleted it a day or two I haven't posted anything in forever. Maybe I should get back into it...hmm, we'll see :)

  2. Dear Big and Sister Big:
    I have realized after reading this post that we are ridiculously similar when it comes to our OCD habits. I'm glad to know that there is others out there who share my love for making lists, organizing colored candies, and eating things in pairs.