It’s not just me, admit it

Alarmed, I was, by the reaction to my last post. It may seem odd to you, but it really does seem pretty universal behaviour to me. Or if not universal then certainly identifiable. Take, for example, the cute girl’s very mild obsessive compulsive behaviour no.2: the tidy desk:

Now, I’m not a very tidy person, naturally. My clothes aren’t folded, let alone hung up. They’re randomly stuffed into any wardrobe/drawer space that can take them, as are my socks. Not my socks. His socks. I don’t own any socks. The underneath of the coffee table is a private archive of weekend papers and tissues containing vital DNA samples, in case anyone wants to reproduce ‘me with a cold’ sometime in the future. I’m a bit tidy – I mean, I’m not feral – the flat is beautiful and perfect and livable in, but it’s not anal-retentive-clean.

However, looking at my office desk, you’d probably think I went directly home and cleaned the underside of of the bed slats with an eyebrow brush.

As afflictions go, I’m not sorry about his one – it’s actually pretty useful – but it simply is an inescpable fact that I cannot, cannot leave my desk in the evening without it all being Just So.

All cleared of papers and rubbish; all swept clean of crumbs, should there be any; pens gathered together and tucked into the corner of an intray, all facing the same way; notebook resting on the top of any crap IN the in-tray to make look tidy, glasses in glasses case in front of monitor; phone straightened on desk; keyboard pushed up against monitor stand, small pile of change in proper pile-style on monitor stand behind glasses, next to lip blam, eraser, line of hairpins, pile of minidiscs. monitor straightened, monitor off. And, bar all the things already mentioned, the rest of the desk completely empty.

And it doesn’t matter if I’m late for something. It doesn’t matter if I’ve stayed working hours after my shift has finished, it doesn’t matter if there’s a pint been bought for me and it’s gradually getting warm in the pub across the road, it doesn’t matter if I think might fall off if I spend one more second in the office, the desk has to be *just so*.


I will conceed, there are exceptions to this rule, it’s not an all-gripping, all-freakible obbsession but if it’s wrong, it just grateson me. I mean – we all have that with something, don’t we?

I demand that you tell me your thing – or write about it, somewhere. I don’t care if you don’t write about it here, as long as you leave a link to it in the comment box. Because after an explosion of people saying ‘That’s just WEIRD’ after my previous post, I had a procession of confessional emails and instant messages.

“I have that, except with mugs”, said one. “It drives me to distraction if the mugs on the hooks at work are hung up in the wrong order or – worst case scenario – one is hung up facing in the opposite direction to the rest of them”

“I *will* tell you about my very mild OC tendencies”, said another, “although I will have to make a list of them first. An alphabetical one. An even-numbered alphabetical one, if possible.”

Another person talked about how their partner simply couldn’t understand what the Right Way to stack the dishwasher was, and yes, when I asked, they could explain to me what that right way was, down to the very last detail.

We all have things – I do realise I may have more things, yes yes, move on – but we do all have things. My beloved, for example, goes insane at the sight of a glass too near a table edge. So I do that, just to bait him.

And then I wonder why the t-shirt never changes.

Gosh, I should really have thought of that before.

Anyway. I will carry on with my things, but in order to do that, you have to reassure me that I’m not completely insane. Idiosyncrasies. That’s the word I’m looking for. But ‘bordering on the ridiculous’ ones.

So come on then. It’s one of them show me yours, show you mine situations.