It’s not always the earth-shattering germophobe violations that make having OCD a challenge. The little things can build upon one another until they seem monumental. Even something as tiny as a fly can contribute to the mountain that starts as a molehill.
Most of the time when I am grocery shopping, my biggest concern is the shopping cart or the checkout line. So many things can go wrong. Take the day this week that I chose a shopping cart and noticed some green spots on it. It’s not unusual to see all the colors of the rainbow on shopping cart handles, so I wasn’t overly concerned at first. I got out my alcohol spray bottle, and gave it a thorough spritzing. Moments later, as I was already pushing the cart along, I saw the piece of used green chewing gum that someone had squeezed between the wires next to the handle. Filled with disgust, I turned around and grabbed another cart. Why must people spread their filth to the rest of us?
But again, the offender in that case was rather large, I imagine. At another store, my enemy was a fly. Walking down the aisle, it buzzed by my ear. I didn’t think much of it at first, but it came back. I knew I was in for a battle. Once in a while, I get bombarded by a fly that seems determined to land on my head. I’ve had this happen while in line before, and the clerk said that they are attracted to the scent of hairspray and shampoo. I tried my best to dodge the dive-bomber, and I took off down the aisle trying to get out of its territory. There was a moment when I thought I had succeeded, but you can’t outrun a fly. I felt the dratted creature land on the crown of my head. I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t that bad, but I ended up taking a super-shower that night.
As if that wasn’t enough, when I got out to my car, it seemed I kept contaminating my hands. I am always fiddling with my hair without thinking about it, and I couldn’t seem to stop doing it, which meant I had to clean my hands. I took the back way out of the parking lot, behind the building, and drove out to the road. It was a quiet spot, because most people leave out the front. So, I thought I could take a minute to wipe my hands with some wet wipes. I did check the rearview mirror a time or two, but next thing I knew, someone was honking at me. Can’t a germophobe get a break even for one moment? I had to stop what I was doing and find another spot to complete my OCD routine.
At home, things weren’t any better. That evening, I needed to vacuum the floor. I have never liked the vacuum cleaner cord. It drags on the floor, so it’s dirty. As far back as my teen years, I saw a friend vacuuming, and she threw the slack of the cord over her shoulder! I was appalled, but naturally I couldn’t say anything. That night, I wanted to do a quick vacuum while I had on a pair of gloves, but as I hadn’t intended to vacuum before I put the gloves on, I hadn’t wrapped my arms with plastic wrap. I knew I was taking a chance, but I would have to be extra careful. It went smoothly until I was done vacuuming and started to wrap up the cord. It swung out and hit my arm. It’s always a mistake not to protect my arms with plastic wrap. Extensive arm cleaning ensued. The little things added up to a mountain. What an exhausting day!