Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Pet Peeve #2
And now for my second installment of "Quirks, Jerks, and Everyday Irks."
2. The conveyor belt at Publix.
I realize that very few will be able to sympathize with my irritation here, so I would definitely put this under the "quirks" category. But I'm slightly OCD, so when I place my groceries on the belt at checkout, it's not a random scattering of items for me, it's an art. Heaviest items up front, softest items in back, and all like-items together in a nice, neat, orderly system. And what's really weird (as if that's not weird enough), is that I literally have to take slow, deep breaths in order to fight off a panic attack when the conveyor belt starts to move because it messes up my system (no, I'm not kidding). The belt starts moving, and now instead of an orderly group, there's four feet of space between each of my groceries; instead of the 2 boxes of frozen peas standing neatly next to each other, there's a box of peas, then four feet... then a jar of tomato sauce, then four feet... then a loaf of bread, then four feet... and then the second box of peas... And few things in this world take me closer to being institutionalized.
On a side note: as much as I "suffer," I can't imagine how difficult life would be as a truly OCD person. I would say I have obsessive compulsive tendencies, but not full-blown disorder. I actually consulted a psychologist friend of mine about this issue when I was in college. I was concerned because I count my steps everywhere I go, I count my bites when I chew food, I do everything from scratching an itch to licking my lips in sets of seven, and certain things (like the conveyor belt at Publix) take me dangerously close to panic attacks. But as crazy as that sounds, I know people who literally suffer from the disorder- and it isn't even slightly funny what they go through. The difference is this, my psychologist friend informed me: "When you count your steps in sets of sevens from the car to the front door of your house, can you still go inside and relax if your last step isn't number seven in a series? Or would it mess you up so bad that you would have to go back to the car and try again? Those with the disorder would have to go back and literally try over and over again to make their steps count up to the right number before they can move on to any other activity."
Thankfully, I can go on if the steps don't add up and I can laugh at myself for being such a weirdo, which is why I've listed "the conveyor belt at Publix" as my Pet Peeve #2.