I might have OCD

At least the O part. The jury is still out on the C part. I’m too lazy to be compulsive. Obsessive doesn’t seem to require any extra effort from me.

A few days ago, I notice that we have crayons in many different parts of the house. We have our regular vat of crayons on the desk, then some stray boxes of new crayons, then a couple of random bags of crayons that the kids brought home from school at the end of last year when they cleaned out their desks. I know it’s October. I realize the bags of crayons came home in June. I’ve already mentioned that I’m lazy; what more do you want? I need to consolidate these crayons.

Let me pause to say that I can’t see the tops of my living room tables for all the stuff piled on them. I haven’t dusted anything since March. There are more clothes on my bedroom floor than in my closet. Food is starting to vacate my refrigerator of its own accord, out of sheer disgust. But my real problem is with the status of the crayons.

Back to the story. I situate myself in the middle of the kitchen floor and divide the crayons into four categories: new, used but still good, off brand, and broken. I really only need two categories–keep and toss–but morbid curiosity about my personal crayon statistics makes me create four. I start sorting. I notice that at some point in my past, I’ve dated some of the crayons. DATED THEM. As though they might expire. I don’t get this. I did this myself, but I don’t get it. I laugh a little at my previous insanity, as though my current crayon procedure is any less ridiculous.


You're not fooling anyone.

I start getting pissed at the off brand crayons. I didn’t buy them. I will use a generic deodorant, I will buy a Coby television, I will serve store brand tuna, but I’ll be fucked if there is any other acceptable crayon than Crayola. What is this Rose Art shit? What happened is I bought the Crayolas for my kid last year, carefully labeled the box with her name, and the teacher put them all in one storage cabinet and doled them out like the effing coloring lottery. Some bastard kid brought cheap imposter crayons and walks away with the real thing while my kid toils away with a half-assed waxy crayon that provides no coverage. The damned things have “Crayon” written on the side in the same font as “Crayola” and someone hopes no one will notice. I notice. I decide that next year, I’m labeling every single crayon with her full name.

I need to be more careful what Internet sites my kids are looking at.

I need to be more careful what Internet sites my kids are looking at.

I get the crayons sorted. Broken ones in the trash. Who is busting these things up? Some of these crayons appear to have been involved in an IED explosion. My kid starts crying that I’m throwing away her crayons. I’m tossing what amounts to forty crayons out of the 500 or so that have accumulated in our home. She’s screaming she can use them for something. She wants to chop them up and melt them into new crayons like Martha Stewart does. Why? You can buy a new box for a quarter at Wal-Mart in August. She’s losing it over the idea that I’m throwing out the crayon nubs. I deposit the broken crayons into a paper bag to appease her. When she’s not looking I throw them out, an act I’m sure to pay for later when she goes looking for her precious broken crayons.

I’m considering carrying the off brand ones to last year’s teacher and asking her what gives. I imagine she’ll say it doesn’t matter which crayons they get, since they’re all pretty much the same. Okay, Ms. First Grade. Why don’t we just throw all the teacher’s paychecks in a hat and let you pick one at random? It doesn’t matter, it’s all money, dollars and cents you know. I decide I’m too lazy to actually go to the school and hand her the generic crayons so I throw them out. The kids don’t complain about this because they hate the cheap things as much as I do. I’ve raised them to be crayon snobs.

You will be spared, Bittersweet of 10/19/09.

You will be spared, Bittersweet of 10/19/09.

So I’m left with the “used but good” crayons which are dated and the new ones which are not. I know it is going to bug me forever if I don’t date the new crayons and they’re in there touching the dated ones. I also know I can’t make this decision later because it has to be today’s date on them. I can’t go back through and sort them again and just date them for whenever, especially if my kids have used some of them. How will I know which Carnation Pink is the oldest? I might be faced with a do-or-die decision in which I have choose which Bittersweet to keep and I’ll have no basis for my choice. So I date them. About a hundred of them. I might have OCD.


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8 Responses to “I might have OCD”

  1. vickyb Says:

    Can I just say that I ❤ you! No one except another O(possibly C) D person would know my struggle. Just this past Monday had to sort thru my children's playroom bins and justify why I was about to pollute San Diego's landfills with 25 lbs of cheap plastic toys from various fast food chains. It didn't take me long to answer myself with a resounding "because if I come in here again in the middle of the night and step on a f!*$%&g plastic Barbie compact I may have to smack someone". I said this. Out loud. I definitely have OCD.

  2. HeyyyBrother Says:

    I like the way your brain works. What’s odd is that I actually understand dating the crayons, but at the same time I don’t really know why you would do it… I just “get it,” which I find strange. The almost-OCD woman is a complicated beast.

    Better luck keeping those horrible cheap crayons away from your child next year. I grew up hating anything that wasn’t Crayola and still do to this day. I had a beautiful 96-pack in college. Yes, college.

    How is it that I was completely unaware of this blog until just now? I’ve been missing out.

  3. sloopy1975 Says:

    I understand the dating thing… what if you go to use a crayon which you *think* is new, and then the second you apply pressure to the paper with it, it crumbles like a pie crust? Crayons (yes, even the almighty Crayolas) dry out after time passes. Granted the Crayolas last quite a bit longer than the RoseArt ones… but still, I get it, too…

    Post pictures of your Martha Stewart crayon creations when you get a moment 😉

  4. Tasha Says:

    I made those crayon hearts out of the broken and nubby crayons for my kids to give out on Valentines day a few years ago. Then went over well.

    I love your funny comments on the websites I “see” you on and now I have followed you to your blog. ….Im not a stalker. LOL

    • tiffanized Says:

      I think the recycled crayons are a great idea . . . I just know that we’ll never do it, and we’ll have a bag of nubby crayons on our kitchen counter until the apocalypse.

      I encourage stalkers. I am an attention whore. Stalk away!

  5. Pange Says:

    Like you, I tend to be Obsessive without the Compulsive part. Again, like you, I’m just too damn lazy for the C.

    I adore you and your blog. =)

  6. archaica Says:

    unfortunately, i can completely relate here. seemingly small details like this can instantly send me completely in a rather less-than-socially-acceptable state to put it mildly.

    you may actually have OCPD (or CDOP which is the correct alphabetical order to those of us who actually suffer from it, ahem…) which is often mistaken for OCD and incorrectly labled as such by the general public. have a look here | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsessive%E2%80%93compulsive_personality_disorder | for the traits and symptoms.

    this is good reading, by the way. >:}

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