I needed a little cash. That’s all. A quick trip to the drive-through ATM would take care of that easily. That brief trip to the bank ended up taking fifteen minutes longer than I expected.
As with most of my activities, going to the ATM is not the typical experience that it is for the average person. During the summer, I roll down my window to reach out to the machine with my hand, and I have to try to not let my arm touch the car door. More often than not I fail at that, and after I pull away from the bank, I start in with the process of spraying my arm with rubbing alcohol. When I am wearing long sleeves, it’s not as bad because I can simply throw the garment in with the dirty laundry when I get home, but I still don’t like it. Whenever I pull up to the ATM, I am prepared with a small piece of folded tissue with which I push the buttons. If I make a deposit, I use a baggie to put the envelope into the machine. All of this is captured by the security cameras and undoubtedly brings amusement to someone.
On this recent trip, I didn’t pull the car close enough to the building, and I had to lean out farther than usual. It’s not the first time this has happened, so I didn’t anticipate the problem that this was going to cause. As I leaned out, I felt my leg bump into the steering wheel. I was quite unhappy, but I thought that I could take care of it fairly fast when I was done with the current task. I took my money and card and receipt, and all I had to do was go around the corner to the parking lot and use some wipes to clean the steering wheel. I checked my mirror for any cars that might be trying to drive around me, then I looked over my shoulder, and it appeared to be safe to drive off. I was paranoid, for some reason, that I was going to pull out in front of a car, so I kept checking over my shoulder, and as I drove around the corner into the parking lot, I realized that I wasn’t paying attention to my contaminated steering wheel. I had turned the corner, and the steering wheel had gone around. Did I touch the contaminated part? I wasn’t sure, but it was likely that I had. Now I was upset. I could handle the thought of wiping off the steering wheel, but now I had to clean the hand that I was certain was dirty, too. It was going to take a lot longer, especially as I had only one clean hand to work with. Then I discovered that I had only four wet wipes left, and it would take more than that to get clean. I took each wipe and rubbed it between my hands without allowing my hands to touch; then I would use the wipe to clean the steering wheel. I grabbed my alcohol spray bottle with my clean hand and sprayed my dirty hand and as much of the wheel as I could reach; then I rubbed the sprayed hand around the spots on the steering wheel that had been missed because of the angle. During the process of trying to sanitize everything, I hit the back of my clean hand, which then had to be sprayed four times. I also bumped other parts of the car around the steering wheel, which also had to be sprayed. Yet another example of the germophobe’s snowball.
And there it was: another fifteen minutes of my life lost to OCD. It is enough to drive anyone mad.