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.


Adam said...

Haha - great post man. It's encouraging to know someone else has these types of tendencies as well. You don't like anything about the conveyor belt though? What about the little divider stick/seperator thing? I kinda like that - it's so decisive, it's like fencing in a yard, you're own piece of real estate right there in the midst of chaos, candy bars and gossip magazines.

Robey said...

If I ever see you lick your lips seven times, I'm going to run!

Robey said...

My problem with the conveyor belt is that even if I stand about ten feet away, I still feel like at any second the belt is going to drag my fingers through that tiny crack and my whole arm is going to get stuck. Oddly enough I never feel like that on an escalator. Do those freak you out at, dude?

And Adam, I agree about the divider. To the point where after I divide my food from someone else's, I give them a confident knowing nod as if my food is now in an impregnable fortress. My food is safe, my fingers... still in danger of the conveyor belt.

Danny Boy said...

You are all very weird... which is probably why you are my friends.

I'm afraid of wood chippers.

Ryan B said...

hahaha... You guys are hilarious.
Adam, I do share your appreciation for the stick seperator thing; it might just be the only redeeming factor of the grocery checkout process.
Robey, I know you don't see me, but I'm licking my lips seven times for you right now... run...
Dan, I love two things about your entry: it was completely random (wood chipper???) and it was a solid five days late. Two things I love most about you.

Thanks for your comments; you made my night.