Sunday, March 05, 2006

OCD vs. Anal-Retentiveness

I witnessed a fascinating display of OCD today in my ghettoid grocery store that I insist on frequenting for its low prices and unused pharmacy sans line. I was perusing the bread aisle, searching for a healthy, but not grody, loaf of bread when I noticed a fellow shopper out of the corner of my eye touching the end of every loaf of bread on the shelves. It was clear that she couldn't help what she was doing and she was trying to curb the urge with me standing there, but her hand kept darting out and touching loaf after loaf. I fought the urge to stare, as I find OCD really interesting, and acted like I didn't notice because she was clearly wishing me to move on. I left her to her bread touching duties; she had a long way to go when I left her back at the white-wheat section.
I think that the term OCD has become really mainstream and is often mixed up with simple anal-retentiveness, which seems to be my disorder of choice. I am ridiculously anal about recycling. It's like a sport at which I must excel. Nothing gets by me. I pick things out of the trash at least once a day that the husband has carelessly discarded. ("That applesauce bowl recycles!") I am irritated that our recycle program does not collect styrofoam or plastic bags. This vexes me everytime I throw one away. At school, I bring home my daily bottle of water under the guise of finishing the last drops, but really, I just have to recycle it. My neighbors torment me by not recycling, just filling up their trashcan with big two liter bottles and cardboard boxes. How do they sleep at night??
So, I maintain that I am simply anal-retentive with a touch of stubbornness, not OCD. It bugs me when people throw OCD around because it's a real and debilitating disorder. I'm not debilitated, just easily annoyed by a lack of caring for the environment when it is SO EASY! That's all I'm going to say about that.

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