I don’t think it’s a big deal that I always put on my right shoe on first. Or that I always floss starting at the upper right back. Or that I always insert my left contact before my right. I’d call those habits, not examples of obsessive compulsive disorder.
But I exhibit a few behaviors that might raise eyebrows in the psychiatrist’s office….
When I buy eggs, I don’t just pick up a dozen and plop them in the cart. I pick up a carton from the back, where it’s nice and cold, and also check to make sure I’m getting the most distant expiration date available. And then I open the carton and eyeball each egg. But even then, I’m not satisfied. I have to touch EACH EGG to make sure it wiggles in the carton. Why? Because some time in the distant past I got home and discovered an egg that looked fine but was actually cracked on the bottom and, due to the dried leaking yolk, glued into its little compartment. How much time have I spent over the years making sure THAT never happened again?!?
My three-month supply of Copaxone medication arrives in three boxes, each secure in its own plastic bag. I open each bag, remove the box, and open the box. One might think that seeing all the syringes lined up would be sufficient. But no, it would be possible–would it not?–that underneath that top row of syringes I might find–I don’t know–string cheese. So I dig down to the bottom of the box to verify all the shots are present and accounted for.
On more than one occasion I’ve been known to retrace my steps halfway across a parking lot. While I pretend I need to get something out of the car that I’ve forgotten, in actuality I am checking to see if I’ve remembered to lock the car doors. (My auto-clicker has long since died. Actually that would be my automatic-automobile-clicker. An auto-auto-clicker.) And I don’t just check the driver’s door and leave it at that, I also check the back seat driver’s side and maybe even the trunk. But no, I don’t walk around and yank on the passenger side doors also, though I’m tempted. I trust my eyes. If the door looks locked, it must be locked.
I am an aficionado of all things paper, and so with my various card stock, newsprint, posterboard, and stationery projects, I spend a fair amount of time with an X-acto knife. I never studied the experts’ advice on how to sharpen one using a sharpening stone, so I developed my own technique. First eight times on each side of the blade, the four times, then two, then one. To vary from this proven technique would surely be courting disaster.
You be the judge. Normal, if slightly eccentric, behavior? Or is it time to call in the professionals?