Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Is OCD Creepy?

"Dad, that was creepy."

I've been hearing that sentence more frequently around the house lately, more than either "You're so weird" or "Why are you so weird?" And while it's uttered with more regularity than ever before, it will likely never reach the stratosphere where "Ughh"resides as the reigning champion teenage utterance. (It's not even a word, more of just a hacked out ball of indignation, carbon dioxide and Hot Cheetos.).

But then I reflected on the statement, "Dad, that was creepy." On one hand she didn't say, "Dad, you're creepy," which sounds worse, yet maybe it was time to face some hard truths; maybe I am creepy, at least partially.

Empirical evidence bears this out through my demographic alone. Take your pick. There's a slate of creepy white, middle-aged serial sexual predators and murderers bigger than ApplebeesCake Factory's "Meals That Arrive at Your Table on a Golf Cart " menu: Bundy, Dahmer, BTK (sorry, but it sounds like a delicious hamburger), the Green River Killer. 

For those of us who inhabit the land of middle-aged male whiteness, our obsessions and compulsions over the years aren't exactly dissolving away—in fact, they're flaring up that thing Rush Limbaugh picked up in the Dominican Republic that thrives in humid spaces. 

So yes, for the sociopaths and psychopaths among my tribe, OCD can be creepy. More likely, though, it's simply behavior(s) highly annoying to those around you. 

Here's a big surprise, and I'm sorry for being so cowardly in breaking it to my wife like this: I've got Obsessive Compulsive Disorder—in a big way. I know, I know. Hard to believe, isn't it, dear bride? Oh, hey, can you turn on the fan while you spray your hair? Yeah, thanks. Oh, and you left the closet door open just a little bit. Great, yeah.

Seriously, she probably had me pegged on our first date. Now, after twenty-seven years together, my wife has perfected a "What the hell is your deal?" face that requires no words to express her exasperation. And she claims she's not an artist.

My OCD is like an Everlasting Gobstopper. First I suck on the outer portion that has to make coffee for tomorrow, which then melts into a nice layer of getting my work and gym clothes ready and stacking them by the front door. When I get into the car in the morning, there's a still a little piece of Gobstopper wedged into my back molar. I pry it out and taste the need to pull up my socks before starting the car.

I'll bet I know what you're thinking right now—why has Tim, as odd as he is, written something that points out similarities between him and some of history's worst criminals? How dare he compare a killer with a burger. 

I have three responses to your reasonable curiosity:

1) It's a blog subject.

2) I get called creepy by my 13-year-old so much, it doesn't bother me anymore. She views the world through "Ohmygoggles."

3) My fragile ego finds gratification through any form of self-aggrandizement, however demented.

Feel free to mix and match.

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