Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crazy About You. Or Just Plain Crazy.


I feel lucky to be married to my husband Fred.

I do. I've known him for seven years and he's my best friend. Though that sounds cliche, I find it remarkable. We are this perfectly odd match. And by odd, I mean I find it odd that I found someone who suits me this well. I mean, how did that happen? What kind of strange cosmic bartender shook the world hard enough to pour out two equally matched oddballs like the two of us?

I didn't think I'd ever find anyone this smart, funny, inappropriate, handsome, good in bed, talented, kind, thoughtful, strange, quirky, witty, surprising and did I mention good in bed? (That second good in bed was for his benefit. Also: sorry mom and dad.) And we're both highly neurotic in strangely similar yet conflicting ways, which adds to the excitement in our relationship.

I joke that we both have OCD-lite. And by "lite" I mean that although we are both compulsive, we're not obsessive. So really, we're just annoying, not life-threatening with our issues. We each definitely have a sense of what's "right" as far as the placement of the household objects go. I mean, it's great that we're both compulsively picking things up around the house, right? I mean, it's not like one of us is a slob and the other is neat. We're both neat. We like to do a daily chant of: "YAY! TEAM NEAT FOR THE WIN!" And then we high-five each other.

We're both quick to grab the Windex® and go at the counters, table and floor. If someone feeds the baby, you never have to worry that they didn't clean the high chair. I've had people comment on our daughter's high chair. It looks like new. She's two. Yes, that's how compulsive we both are. And yes, I've Windexed that thing from top to bottom, including under the seat cushions. We're not animals.

It's funny, though, sometimes our innate sense of what's "right" contradicts. And by "contradicts" I mean, Fred is wrong. To me, it makes the most sense to leave the removable high chair tray resting vertically on a dish towel on the counter top, yet tilted against the wall so it can drip dry. The second Fred sees the tray on the counter, he has to move it back to the high chair where it will lay horizontally. Wet. This is where our neuroses conflict. I mean, really, who puts a wet tray on a high chair? It's madness.

Objects constantly move back and forth around our house. You probably would never notice this subtle dance. Perhaps I move the coffee grinder next to the stove, so it can be near the kettle. Perhaps he moves it next to the sink, so it's not in the center of the kitchen. Less obtrusive. Perhaps the coffee grinder will do a dance, left to right, right to left, like a kitchen accessory tango over the course of a few weeks, each of us surprised to see it has moved since we last replaced it.

Things can also happen to items on the mantle. I like the Buddhas tilted so they're looking at an angle, facing the couch. Fred tilts the Buddhas back so they're parallel to the wall, facing the chair. I put the Xbox controllers behind the TV. Fred puts them in the drawer. I keep a neat stack of books on my nightstand. Fred puts his books in a drawer. There is nothing on the floor next to my side of the bed. Fred's side is covered with wires to his various electronic devices. I roll socks into a ball. He folds them in half. Fred puts the kids' clothes away in the closets. I rearrange where he put them. And maybe even how he folded them. Who's to say? You can't prove it either way. I put my hair brush in the bathroom. Fred puts it in the closet. Fred puts the toilet paper on the floor, I put it on top of the water tank. Back and forth, up and down, the objects in our house move from one place to the next in a subtle dance of compulsion.

When we first got married we drove each other nuts. I think we were both shocked that we were married to someone who actually put things away. I mean, it was nice. It was great! Two neat people in one house. We are Team Super Clean, yay! But then it was like, "Hey, who moved my Buddha? Stop touching my stuff! My placement of household objects is perfect! How dare you question my judgment of the arrangement of stuff. I practically have a PhD in my very own school of Feng Shui that no one else can quite decipher." Whatever. My way is obviously the best way ever.

I'm not sure if we're both crazy, or just crazy about each other. I suspect it's both. And I wouldn't have it any other way.







52 comments:

  1. I'm going to need you to move into my house, these are all problems I'd like to have rather than who moved my keys under that pile of mail from a week ago...

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    1. Fred's your man for filing paper. I'll Windex all the flat surfaces in your house.

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  2. Love it! Fred sounds like a a terrific guy. I used to love to read his blogs about you and then when Grace was born.

    So happy for you both OCD-Lite and all.

    Peace

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    1. I love his blogs too. Maybe when he's not so busy with work he'll write one for us.

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  3. I love this - it's funny and perfect and true. It's awesome when you find that person who isn't perfect, but perfect for you.

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  4. We have that issue about where dirty dishes should go when carried into the kitchen from the living room. Otherwise, my husband is content with piles of everything, and I am not.

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    1. Ha. I've heard couples discuss how to correctly load a dishwasher. Apparently I'm doing it wrong. I think Fred secretly rearranges it after I leave. Ha. I should have added that one.

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  5. I am the classic perfectionist -- the really bad kind that gets overwhelmed when shit doesn't stay in alphabetical order and gives up because complete chaos is better than almost perfect, but not quite. I'd like to sign up for OCD-Lite classes please.

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    1. Also, I really freaking hope the misspelling of tingling on that pic is ironic.

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    2. I wondered about that too...

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  6. Oh goodness, I am glad two clean people have slight issues too. my husband and I are two not so clean people, as in, I like my favorite spices cluttering the kitchen counter, and he can't stand it, yet he is so unorganized that he NEVER puts something away in the same place twice, which is kinda why i like my spices on the counter as apposed to me opening every single cabinet door in the kitchen until I find my favorite, fancy garlic salt. So I guess that makes me right too :)

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    Replies
    1. Learning how to live with someone is a process. Or an exciting adventure. However you choose to interpret it.

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  7. And here I thought this was all a blog about flattering Fred to gain sex... or shoes.

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    1. I'm a woman. I don't have to flatter a man in order to "gain sex." Sex just happens.

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    2. I laughed outloud at this exchange...

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  8. Flat, wet tray? He probably doesn't even flatten or put his dollar bills all up and facing the same direction before they go into his wallet. Let's be honest, you're settling, girl.

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    1. Ha! You just made my fingers twitch when you mentioned the dollar bills not facing the right way.

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    2. Oooh! Yes please! Straighten up your money! (Mine faces all the same way too). As a checkout chook, there is nothing worse than being paid with crumpled up notes that are stuffed into purses or wallets any-old-how. They just don't magically flatten in the till, you know.

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  9. I'm the same way about having preferred places for things and ways of doing things.

    One of the most cruel things I ever did as revenge was to go through this girl's entire apartment angling and turning things and making pictures crooked because I knew she was the same way. It felt so good to psychologically screw with someone like that.

    I think that makes me certifiably evil. I'm going to hell.

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  10. I love it. There's something about getting married after you've been on your own for awhile - you just KNOW that your placement/way/thinking is RIGHT.

    Pretty much every time Mr. W loads the dishwasher, I rearrange it before I run it.

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    Replies
    1. I have heard this from so many people now. It slays me!

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  11. I dated a guy that was OCD - I loved it! Whenever I would go over to his house, I loved that it was so neat and organized! Never looked messy! However, I wasn't OCD enough or even OCD light. I am neat, however, not to the degree he was and I'm really beginning to wonder if that was part of the demise of our relationship.

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    1. If someone is too perfect, it can be intimidating and/or a turn off to me. Fortunately we have plenty of other flaws....heh.

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  12. I concur on missing the Fred blogs. And I sure wish I could have an hour alone in your house (boy does that sound creepy). I would LOVE to mess with you guys by moving things around a la the Eva comment.

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    1. It really wouldn't mess with us. We would just move everything back. I think we enjoy moving things around. Very soothing. I think it has replaced smoking.

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  13. Good Stuff. The only neatness compulsion I've EVER had was really more of a safety thing(As a father, I feel one of my primary duties is 'safety officer' of the home). Before our first child was born, I read that you should put forks and knives into the dishwasher tines/pointy end down in case a child (or anyone really) should fall while the washer was open. I still check this and correct it to this day. I have to maintain this constant vigilance because my Mother in law is not trainable in this regard and frequently loads the dishwasher incorrectly. Wow, who knew the dishwasher was the center of such controversy?

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    1. We put ours tines down but the problem I have with that is it destroys the bottom of the basket. So inconvenient. Now we have holes in the bottom of the basket and the forks and knives fall through.

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    2. Doesn't your basket have holes in it already to let water drain?
      If not, ewww.

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  14. Aw. Just... aw. Closest thing for me is having a roommate who does dishes. It's still novel- unless he doesn't polish the glass pan lids, then it's just bitter chaos.

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    1. Polish. Polish glass lids? Dare I ask? I may add it to my repetoire if I do...

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  15. You put your toilet paper on the FLOOR?
    My OCD lite button is lighting up -- big time.

    In my house I make the rules, no questions. TP goes on the rack behind the toilet in my ensuite, in the main it goes on the TP stand extra's arm which is made specifically for extras, and TP stock stays hidden away in the closet closest to the main.

    Also, the paper always comes from under (never over) the roll; I have been known to rectify this mistake in other people's homes.
    I know, this makes me a terrible, controlling person.

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    1. Now you're making me want one of those toilet paper rack thingies.

      But you and I will just have to agree to disagree on the over vs under thing. You're obviously completely insane.

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  16. The other day someone caught me straightening the vodka bottles at the liquor store. Yep.



    (and you two sound adorable together--the dance of the buddhas)

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  17. wellllllll, i am glad you two found each other. and that you are making it work! things could be worse -- you could be living with a hoarder! welllll, no you couldn't. that would make you explode!

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    1. No. That would be a deal breaker, my friend.

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  18. I am neurotic about the floors. My husband is neurotic about the counter and walls. We both hate clutter. He can never leave me.

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  19. The high chair tray? I could never leave it to drip dry, nor could I put it back wet. I would let it drip a little, then dry it and put it back on the high chair. And my highchair too, was cleaned from top to bottom after each use. When I didn't need it in between babies I lent it to a friend and cried when I finally got it back grubby. I spent a whole day chipping crusted foods off it, then I scrubbed it down with bleach and hosed it off in the yard. I'm a "lite" OCD too, a place for everything and everything in its place. Just don't look at my dining/reading/computer table.

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  20. I'm torn between being very happy for you and being incredibly jealous!

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  21. After you high-five each other, who whips out the anti-bac first?

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  23. This post reminds me of an episode of Monk when he was forced to sit in his psychiatrist's waiting room along with another OCD patient. They ended up having a huge fight over how to arrange the magazines. It was hilarious. Having said that, I like you. I don't mean it in a mean way. You're lucky to be married to someone who puts things away. I'm married to someone who borrows my tools and I never see them again. Then she gets mad when I buy new tools.

    "We already have that!"

    "Yes but WHERE IS IT??"

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  24. Hi Mandy,
    Awesome post...and in my world...My oldest
    Grand Daughter went into Labor 10 hours
    ago, the delivery room one hour ago
    ...waiting on twins...will know if the little
    ones are sisters, brothers or
    brother and sister.
    This is her first.
    My best to you and your family.
    Sincerely,
    Richard O

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  25. Sisters.........................
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    Katherine June and Elizabeth Rose

    Kathy is 6 lbs and Liz about 4 lbs & 8 ozs.

    November 2, 2012

    one happy Great Grandfather. :)

    ReplyDelete
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