… and I love it.
I am not Obsessive-Compulsive. I think that term is way overused. I just like some things to be a certain way and see absolutely no reason to deviate from that way. (I said I’m not O-C; I didn’t say I’m not a little kookie.)
Take, for instance, my pantry. Okay … so right now my pantry looks pretty much like any normal pantry. In the past few months when I was off my game, my kids took on many chores without being asked, including putting away groceries, and while I do like things a certain way, I also know not to look a gift horse in the mouth. When a teenager offers to stock your pantry, you smile, nod, and suppress the shudder that runs your spine when you see breakfast cereal and pasta on the same shelf. Before that though … my pantry could easily have been used in any grocery chain training video. Perfectly straight lines, all labels facing, perfect categories. It’s a little sickening. I know. But I like it, and when I’m the one putting the groceries away, I do it my way.
In the past, my own closet was a another kookie sticking point. From time to time I’d arrange my clothes in categories (short sleeves, long sleeves, jeans, skirts, etc), but that never stuck. Once I even color coded my clothes. That was a horrible mess. One habit that stuck through the years though was facing my clothes. When I hang my clothes they all face the left. My theory is that, as a right-handed person, I grab with my right hand and so if the clothes face left I can see the front of each piece. (Does that make sense at all? In my head it’s crystal clear …) It works for me, and I have ALWAYS hung my clothes that way.
Then I moved in with Josh, my love, my heart … my lefty. He hangs clothes the way any lefty would … facing the right. Which makes perfect sense … for him. But for me it means everything he washes and hangs is freaking BACKWARDS!
For years I hated it. I tried to hold it in. (Not my strong point.) I tried explaining my right-handed closet reasoning. (He didn’t get it.) I tried to “teach” him. (He quit doing laundry for a while.) Fail, fail, fail.
Then one time while he was deployed and I was doing all my own laundry, I came across a shirt I hadn’t worn in a while. A long while … like since he was home and still doing laundry and still hanging it backwards. My first reaction was annoyance, but then as I had one those “Oprah Winfrey Ah-ha moments.”
And then I cried. In a closet. At a backwards hung blouse.
(Sounds a little crazy, I know. Picture it. It gets worse. Or better. Depends on your outlook.)
I cried because I knew that he was the last person to touch that blouse, and I missed him so much that just the idea of something he touched reduced me tears. I cried because he’s a good man who does help me with the laundry and the dishes and the kids and the everything else when he can, and I cried because somehow he puts up with all my crazy, sometimes capitulating but mostly ignoring and moving on (which, for the record, is usually for the best anyways).
I never again gave him grief about the laundry. In fact, I love it. I love that he washes and folds better and more efficiently than I do. I love that he always puts clothes away immediately, and I love that he never procrastinates tackling the sock basket.
And I love love love those moments during patrol when I run across a right facing, lefty-hung, I-love-you-this-much blouse.
It’s like a little love note just for me, and it always makes me smile.
But the pantry? Please please please stay away from that, babe! I can only take so much!
Linking up again this week with …