30 September 2008

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Now I don’t wish to make light of this affliction but I think I suffer from it. Well maybe a mild form of it – others can tell and form their own opinion. 

Today I was sitting having an afternoon aperitif or two with Ashley and Martine who was visiting from England. I noticed that as I put my wine glass down it had to be absolutely in the middle of three slats of our terrace table. Not just anywhere on the table top but precisely in the middle of three slats. When I put my glass down I did everything possible to put it down any old where, but no, within a second or two I was moving it so that it was in the middle of the three slats. This worried me. My garage is a work of art with tools on boards on the walls with all their shapes marked on the board so nobody is any doubt as to where they fit. My car is immaculate. My wardrobe is similar. My ties are all folded and I’ve even catalogued (most) of my DVDs. I iron my boxer shorts and wear my shirts in a strict order so that none of them feel left out.

J is always going on at me for being obsessively tidy and I admit I am. There is a place for everything and everything should be in its place. Without order there is disorder – chaos actually and I have never lived or worked in chaos in my life. O.k, I am anal, whatever, but if I wanted to live in a squat I’d have stayed in London or Glasgow. I just like tidiness......and order. 

Quite a few years back, and the name of the picture will give the decade, if not the year away, I went to the cinema with Julie and her eldest sister, Cindy. We went into Slough cause the fancy cinema at Maidenhead hadn’t opened then and whilst Slough was the pits, it was the nearest picture hall. Despite the fact that we always headed for a curry house as soon as the picture was over (and there was plenty of choice in Slough) I couldn’t stand the fact that the whole cinema was full of people eating take away curries. It wasn’t the curries they slurped and the pungent smell of onions and chutney so much as the popadums they kept cracking. It was excruciatingly annoying. Anyway, I digress slightly. 

The theme of the picture, Sleeping with the Enemy, for those who don’t know it was that Julia Roberts (gorgeous) was married to an OCD ‘sufferer’ (Patrick Bergin) who ruled her life. The towels in the bathroom had to be perfectly aligned (just like me), the glasses in the cocktail cabinet had to be placed to within a millimetre of each other (I don’t care – they’re used too often) and the cans in the pantry had to be placed in rows according to what they were, e.g. carrots in one line, peas in another and so forth, which is what I used to do (it’s sooo much easier when you’re drunk – I mean you don’t want canned carrots with a burger do you ?) Anyway, after years of this psycological and physical abuse she eventually faked her death and escaped his clutches, ran away and formed a new life. Eventually however, he tracked her down and she only knew this when she opened her pantry one night and found all the cans lined up neatly –just like her husband used to do - aaaaagh!   

Well, we returned from the cinema after our curry and later on that evening after watching that pretty intense film I went into the pantry to get some crisps or whatever and there, there in front of my very own eyes was ………………..a complete mess! All my rows of cans had been completely messed up. The carrots were mixed up with the peas. There were cans of beans intermingled with the corn niblets. It was utter chaos. After I murdered J and her sister (joke) I stayed up till midnight rearranging all my cans back into their rightful order. True ! 

Now one last thing about the film and one of the best lines ever in movie history was when Patrick Bergin, having tracked his wife down,  surprised her in her house after she'd discovered the neat lines of tins in the pantry. After a bit of a scuffle when he smacked her about a bit, she managed to floor him and then get hold of her gun (all American women have guns – believe me, I know). As he dragged himself back to his feet, being held at gunpoint, she called the police and said, ‘I’ve just killed a burglar’ ………and the rest (which I wont divulge but I'm sure you've guessed) is a great ending to a great but worrying film. 

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