OCD is a Defense Mechanism, or, Only the Paranoid Survive

“Did you turn the oven off?” is a cliché, one of hundreds we joke about all the time, like the person with the glasses on their head looking everywhere for them, or geniuses who can’t match their socks to save their lives.  It’s a cliché, like any other dime-a-dozen cliché…. 

Until the first time you come home and realize that you have, in fact, left the oven not merely on, but on and set for “bitumen/anthracite overkill” on the broiler.  For several hours.  The house smells of meat overcooked weeks ago, the HVAC unit is screaming for mercy under the onslaught, and the pets keep checking roll call to make sure they’re all still there in case one of them’s next. 

You’re checking your oven now, aren’t you?  Before you get up, I’m going to take a moment to admonish you to check your smoke and CO detectors, too.  You do have carbon monoxide detectors, right?  We talked about this, right?  OK, go check the stove and the alarms, I’ll wait. 

Back?  OK.  This concludes the PSA portion of today’s post.  And let’s hear it for obsessive compulsive disorder – you might not get much done, but you’re going to live through it. 

Another in the “mother was right” category; not too long ago I was compelled to call my own mother when I did, in fact, cut my damn tongue licking the knife.  I don’t even remember what I was licking off; I just remember the sharp, searing pain of embarrassment – shit, she was right.  I had to call to let her know.  Since then I’ve learned that I can use that as a compelling argument to my own children.  “Don’t do that, because when you hurt yourself you’ll have to come tell me and I’m going to laugh at you!”  (Although my friend B sums it up much more succinctly: “No sympathy for stupid.”)

Do you have a “wow, I never thought I’d really do that” story you’d like to share with the group?  We’re all friends here. 

And yes, the house still has that faint ‘eu de char’ – smells kind of good, actually.  I might be inspired to try another Julia Child recipe…

One Response to “OCD is a Defense Mechanism, or, Only the Paranoid Survive”

  1. i fell off an AMTRAK train once. no lie. WHILE my mother and aunt were watching me board it. mom always said to be careful when walking on wet surfaces; too bad for me, though. i slipped and my leg ended up between the train and the platform. still have the scars, 20 years later, to remind me daily that my mom is generally right about those sorts of things.

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