Do You See What I See?


Would you get out of your chair just to fix what’s off in this picture? I often do. Did you even notice that the stacked chests aren’t straight with the floor lines?

I get teased a lot about my straightening habit, so curiosity had me Google OCD. Out of ten listed symptoms, I brush the edges of a few, but the article states that is common.

One example they gave is have you ever worried that you left something on at home or you forgot to lock the door behind you? We all have, right? Most times we can put it out of our mind knowing deep down we did the tasks, and we rarely go back to check. An OCD sufferer will most likely always go back.

Other things I’m teased about is our pantry items are arranged with labels visible, and contents in our fridge have specific spots. Why wouldn’t anyone want to see at a glance what’s in a can or box? I joke that the fridge thing is because I might need to find something in the dark. Shh, I know there’s a light inside. Smiley Face. If I wake up blind one day, with no warning and I need breakfast, at least I’ll know where everything is. Okay, so my reasoning is lame, but I like organization.

After doing this research, I have a new understanding and sympathy for anyone diagnosed, OCD. As for myself, I’m not concerned enough to seek medical advice. I’ve self diagnosed myself with OSD, Obsessive Straightening Disorder.

At times I drive Mister and the kids crazy. They think I move items they’ve placed, or re-do say folding a shirt, because I disapprove of their job. That’s not at all the case.

It’s difficult to explain, but it has nothing to do with them or their technique. It is all because of what I see, and a feeling it provokes. In case you are wondering, I also correct jobs I do.

Sometimes this gets me called a perfectionist which also couldn’t be farther from the truth. Yes, details are important when I do a project, and I like to do my best, but I make and don’t dwell on mistakes.

If I’m sewing and a seam doesn’t end up exact, I don’t redo it unless it’ll effect the projects functionality. But having said that, I try to make my lines straight and stick to pattern requirements.

Does this make me a perfectionist? I don’t think so because I’d have gone crazy a long time ago with all the mistakes I make.

When, how, or why, straightening hanging pictures, anything like the chests alignment, stacks of messy papers or magazines became important is a lost fact. I don’t remember not doing it.

Knowing how this bothers some people, I work hard and have gotten better over the years at controlling this reflex, but it’s still a daily effort. Don’t worry, I’ll never straighten your pictures or papers when I’m visiting you.

Do I consider this habit a character flaw? No, not a flaw, it’s part of who I am.

There’s a building project Mister and I did years ago, and after completion we discovered a mistake. It remains that way today because it doesn’t effect its functionality, plus it would take days of work to correct.

Am I able to forget about it? No, but I don’t obsess about it either.

Will it remain this way forever? That depends if I’m ever bored enough and can convince Mister or someone to help me fix it because it’s not a one person job.

Next time someone does something like straightens the pile of books you just made don’t take it personally. As long as they quietly do it with no verbal nastiness perhaps they are nagged by the same demon I am. If so they mean no harm.

Do you notice and like things straight?

Do things in your cupboards or fridge have a certain place and are labels facing forwards?

35 thoughts on “Do You See What I See?

  1. My husband does this to me, says I’m OCD! This ticks me off because open a cupboard and you will know I’m not. I hate that just because I like things to look nice and neat that we have OCD. Like I said, just look at my closets. I thinks he does it so he can be a slob and think it’s normal….hahahaha

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  2. I have a coworker with OCD. If a pencil is out of place on the counter she will “fix” it. I mopped the floor in her area today as a help for her but made sure to let her know that I had done so and that I might not have replaced the chair, rolling table, floor mat etc EXACTLY the way they were before. She thanked me and said she’d put things straight! She will go so far as to line up the paper towels “just so” and heaven help you if you use one and “mess up” the pile!!

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  3. I don’t think you’re a perfectionist! I also like things neatly organized, for the simple reason that it makes it so much easier for me to find what I want. (I also keep labels pointed to the front, and I alphabetize my spices on the spice rack. My books are grouped by author on my bookshelves, too.) Nothing annoys me more than spending lots of time looking for something and not being able to find it! Some of us are just that way, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

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  4. We are in the middle of a project — reworking a tall TV cabinet — because my husband didn’t do it the way I wanted it the first time around. We lived with it for 12 years but we made another change in the room so I encouraged him to redo. I’ve worked to let go of some things but some things I don’t. My husband does the dishes (yes, it’s wonderful). However, he doesn’t first clean the counter so he can set clean dishes there. He has no problem drying a dish and putting it on a sticky counter (yuk!). I typically jump up and offer to “give him a hand” cleaning the counters while he washes the dishes. Initially when we got first together there were bad feelings about my correction but now I just compensate. Some other things don’t bother me at all. Perhaps I’m only half OCD! 🙂

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  5. “No, not a flaw, it’s part of who I am.” That’s the best part of this post!

    I don’t care about straight, but I care about other things that most people would find meaningless, and the other way round. I notice flaws in furniture I have made, that others might not notice, but those flaws survived because there was nothing that could be done. I’m not concerned about things being prefect and I can learn to ignore the flaws over time.

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  6. Spices in alphabetical order is my chore. My husband does most of the cooking, but when I need a certain flavor enhancer I don’t want to go through three tiers of a lazy Susan to find the one I want.

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  7. I have some ocd tendencies, but if I were actually diagnosed I’m guessing I would not be ocd. I’m just a nut about organization. It’s fine as long as it doesn’t consume your life

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  8. I guess I’m OSD about some things… not so much about others. I’d probably straighten the chest, I always straighten pictures, but if you saw my desk you’d understand that I’m not overly neat and tidy. I worked with someone who always had everything on his desk just so. I loved moving stuff around just to mess with him 🙂

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  9. Yes, that’s the way you are and nothing wrong with it!
    As for myself, nope I am not at all! My husband probably wishes I was a little more, LOL! I have to ask when you play cards do the cards in your hand have to be just right, like not a upside down 9, etc.
    My husband’s Aunt has to have them exactly right and will correct them if you lay them on the table wrong. 🙂 With Skipbo the Skipbo logo has to be showing the right way. 🙂

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  10. You are talking to a girl who has the spices alphabetized in the cabinet. No two clothes hangers cross each other in the closet. I can put my hands on anything in my home, blindfolded. (pretty much.) So yes, when you mentioned it, it didn’t take but a second to notice that the trunks needed a touch up. I, too, am a quilter. I will take a seam out six times if they don’t match precisely. That said, I’m trying to move from the “land of perfection” to the “land of good enough.” ~ Lynn

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