Monday, 21 March 2011


Let me be clear - I do not have OCD.  However, there are some things I do that may be construed as compulsive behaviours and I thought I would share a couple of them with you.

There is often a right way to do something; if you realise that, and are not particularly time-constrained, then why would you do it the wrong way? 

For example, when making a sandwich the fillings should be spread evenly through the bread.  Therefore, I cut the cheese, tomato, cucumber, ham, etc to fit the bread exactly - like a food jigsaw.  Cucumber is a bitch.  Not too long ago I ate at a sandwich bar and when my sandwich arrived I found that the PROFESSIONAL sandwich-maker had put the top slice on in the reverse orientation to the bottom slice - this should be a sacking offence in my opinion.

The picture above annoys me; it was obviously not done by anyone obsessive, or even vaguely observant.  It is neither neatly done, nor consistent in use of lower case / capitals.

When I need to do a shit, I always check there is toilet paper there before I sit down.  In public places, such as in work, the 2-ply toilet paper often has the top ply separated and wrapped around an extra time so that the perforations don't match up - how does this happen and why doesn't anyone else fix it!?  And, of course, folding 2 sheets in half and half again doesn't yield the optimum width, so I either fold 2 sheets into 3, or 3 sheets into 4 (depending on quality).

As you may know, I can be a bit of a grammar nazi and TBH it often interrupts the flow of what I am reading.  Any time I read  a commonly wrong word, such as its/it's or your /you're, I do a double take to check it is right.  Also, as I pointed out to Notme earlier today, it should be !?, not ?! because the question mark is curved like a bracket and therefore the exclamation mark should be contained within it.

As I said, I am not OCD (though maybe I have a dash of Aspie in my comorbid cocktail!), and if I cannot do things the way I would prefer to, for whatever reason, I do not get anxious - I just move on and forget about it.  I think my little quirks are simply related to conscientiousness, an attention to detail, never assuming the traditional way of doing something is the best way, being generally more aware of things around me than most, and a frustration at how other people (imbeciles!) can get the simplest things wrong.

These are all the traits that make me good at my job - I see problems,  potential problems, and how things should be done.  Then I fix them.


Haven said...

I'm gonna turn your cucumber when you're not looking.



Anonymous said...

lmao, it's like an offshoot from your brilliance Res. I bow down before you in absolute humility. Will you forgive me!? <--- Look! :D

ResCogitans said...

haven - was that a metaphor? lol. carving the right curve into a circular cucumber slice so that it fits exactly into its place is strangely satisfying...

notme - i forgive you, and thank you for humouring me, rather than winding me up :)

so c'mon you 2, i've shown you a little of my crazy - you gonna share yours?

Haven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Haven said...

Hah, yeah going for the double entendre there.

Everything about me is pretty crazy but I do have quite a few nuerotic tendencies like:

I have to eat out of bowls or tiny plates, I can only use specific long handled spoons, steak knives, and either tiny pickle forks or one of two forks that I had when I lived with my sister.

I have 4 closets. One is my professional clothing arranged by style and color. One is for all black clothes (tanks, short sleeve, long sleeve, skirts/dresses). One is for my colored clothes arranged in ROYGBV with the same break down of clothing style per color group.

Ketchup and Mustard have to be side by side on the plate so that I can dip my {sandwich} into both for even distribution on every bite.

My bathroom habits are pretty ritualized but I doubt you want to know exactly how I shower, haha.

It drives me crazy when I am trying to align text in columns in Word and I can't get a word to precisely align with the word above it due to differences in character size. Grr. I begin to spreadsheet.

Apples have to be meticulously sliced. I never bite an apple. Ever. Sharp knife, begin slicing from top to bottom essentially peeling the apple all the way around, counterclockwise. Once done peeling I begin slicing thin layers until I reach the core. Quarter turn clockwise, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Eat in order of cutting.

Oh, and I have to put one icecube in every beverage I drink (except wine). Just one.

I got go more, but I'm ridiculous.

ResCogitans said...

thanks for sharing haven. could you also tell me what happens, how you feel, if you can't complete one of these rituals?
e.g. what if you are at a formal wedding reception and someone hands you a bucks fizz with 2 ice cubes and toasts the bride and groom? does it interfere with your life - do you ever eat out? bring your own cutlery?

Haven said...

I used to get really bad anxiety and panic attacks when I couldn’t follow my rituals. I actively worked to break the ones that were really debilitating.

Most of these things apply to when I’m preparing or doing things for myself, not when someone else is taking over the preparations. I don’t have a problem eating out in restaurants anymore. But when I was in high school/early college I wouldn’t eat in front of anyone. I didn’t eat in restaurants for nearly 6 years. I couldn’t deal with being watched, with not knowing exactly what was in my food, someone else not preparing it right. The idea felt shamefully out of my control. (Oh! And chopsticks. I can eat everything with chopsticks. Maybe I just have a preference for strange cutlery) The ice cube thing, if someone else were to give me a glass I’d either fish out the extra ice cube or deal with a very low grade anxiety. It wouldn’t really affect me. If I’m at home, however, and I even try to not put an ice cube in my own glass I’ll actually feel disturbed like something is off. If you were to toss me an apple without a knife I simply wouldn’t eat it. I’d feign not being hungry even if I was starving. An uncut apple almost doesn’t register as food for me.
The only habit that I haven’t been able to break and still sends me into panic is being late. I can not be late for anything important. I have conditioned myself to be less neurotic for social gatherings though my stomach still twists in knots and I feel the need to go. If it’s work, class, an appointment, a meeting I will not be late. Will not. I generally arrive anywhere I need to be at least 15 minutes early, sometimes leaving my apartment an hour before I need to be somewhere just to ensure that I am not late. If I’m late it feels like the sky is falling in on me. I can’t breathe. This I can play off as just being very punctual and people don’t usually notice too much.

It used to stop my world. The fact that something I knew I was doing to feel a sense of control was now working against me, was not acceptable. It took me a long time but I forced myself to stop or learn to tolerate things in a way that allowed me to be functional.

neve said...

lol des, i just checked out your page. you should know better than to lie. for instance, you're not from australia, are you? no, you are from london, england. just north of woking, correct? actually, you're closer to the netherlands than you are to australia. let's see, what're using a static ip, which is good. that made it much easier to block you from my blog. now, a dynamic ip would have been nearly impossible to track down.

ewww, you still have a DIAL-UP connection??? not even wi-fi? wow, not only are you a liar, but you are more than welcome to step into the 21st century.

some people blog about being smart. others just are. :-)

Anonfourtwenty said...

Well now I just want a perfect sandwich.

ResCogitans said...

neve, if you must know i am from the UK, but nowhere near london. i access the internet from a few different computers, using wifi, hardline, and a 3G dongle when on the move - perhaps the dongle connection comes up as dial-up?
"you should know better than to lie" - because?
so in conclusion - DUMB TROLL FAIL! lol.

anonfourtwenty, the secret to many good sandwiches isn't just the geometry, it's a thin layer of honey on the bread instead of butter :)

Haven said...

I am in full support of honey on bread instead of butter. Mmmm.

Anonymous said...

i am a GREAT lover of honey. Thank you bees.

Erika said...

hahaha Oh, I love your writing style. Even though I completely disagree with your "!?" statement. It will ALWAYS be "?!" =]


Haven said...

Personally I think you're both wrong on the "!?" or "?!" debate. It should be "?!?" = symmetric-ish.

Anonymous said...

On second thoughts, i like my way cos ?! doesn't have that awkward space in the middle like !? does. So Res, :P
Plus, two people agree with me already. This chick and Medusa. muhaha. Suck it up buddy.

Anita Johnson said...

Yeah I'm picky about little stuff too.. Check out my new blog, if you haven't already!

ResCogitans said...

feel free to have your own opinion on !? vs ?! so long as you realise any post here risks deletion if it has a ?! in it ;)

Ana said...

been checking your blog out and I find it interesting and funny! thank you! :D