Sunday, June 17, 2007

OCD? More like O So Fun!

I am afflicted, mildly, with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and a dash of paranoia. I'm not like Monk on television. I don't feel the need to wash my hands all the time. I sometimes go days, weeks even, without washing my hands (just kidding...shake on it?). Sometimes I actually wish I had it worse than I do. I think the socially crippling aspects of having the disorder would be counterbalanced by how orderly and efficient I would be. But for me, it seems to be kind of selective. I'm not OCD about everything, just certain button-pushing things. But, oh, when those buttons get pushed, look out! For example, here's how Saturday's trip to the grocery store went:
  • IN THE PARKING LOT: After getting out of my car, I put my keys in my right front pants pocket.
  • I then locked the car doors and felt my pocket to verify the keys were there.
  • They were.
  • I then looked at all four car doors to verify they were locked.
  • I then took my keys out of my pocket, held them in my hand and looked at them before actually closing the locked door.
  • I then looked at the keys again before putting them in my pocket and going inside.
  • INSIDE THE STORE: Nothing happened.
  • BACK IN THE PARKING LOT: I loaded my groceries in the trunk and underwent the above ritual with the keys before closing it.
  • I noticed a plastic ringed six-pack holder that someone had thrown on the ground.
  • I picked it up and put in my pocket and took it home with me to cut all the rings so there would be no loops.
  • Why? Because I have been told that these six-pack holders often find their way into waterways where birds, turtles and other animals get tangled up in them, strangle themselves and die.
  • Could I have just taken the stupid thing and just put it in the trash? Of course I could have. But here's where the paranoia kicks in. What guarantee is there that whatever trash I drop it into actually gets disposed of properly? Maybe it snags on something when they're emptying it; maybe somebody going through the trash looking for items they can use to steal someone's (my) identity tosses it back on the ground. At any rate, the odds of me being there when (not if) that happens to do something about it are pretty I must destroy it so it's relatively harmless when (not if) it ends up in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • I do so, and then throw it away in my garbage, which I always make sure to double-knot (again, there are no guarantees, but this feels good enough).

Now, do you think cutting that thing up and thereby possibly saving some poor animal from an untimely death made me feel superior to the careless slobs who threw it on the ground without thought to the ramifications of their actions? Nope. This just allowed me to not hate myself as much because I would be able to go to sleep later knowing I had not done anything that day to directly cause the inadvertent and unnecessary deaths of any sea creatures. See, the fact that it was litter in the first place wouldn't have caused any problems; me leaving it laying there would have. Got it?

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