Friday, June 10, 2011

A lot of Maybes

I’m not sure I really know what OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) exactly includes. My basic knowledge of OCD comes from two things: the Jack Nicholson movie, As Good as it Gets, and an episode of MTV’s True Life called I have OCD. In the movie, Nicholson’s character washes his hands a bunch and he’s really angry. I don’t think the anger part has anything to do with OCD, so I guess it’s just obsessive hand washing. *One time, I met some friends for happy hour after an SAT class that I taught and I had dry eraser soot all over my hands. I washed my hands about five times in the bathroom to get it out from under my nails, and this drunk guy was apparently standing behind me for the entire time and eventually said, “Ready for surgery, doctor?” Top 10 funniest things someone has ever said to me in a bathroom. On True Life, the people had all sorts of weird rituals, as they call them. One guy laid out 30 pieces of toilet paper before he went number two. That just sounds smart to me. Get everything in order before you take care of business, especially if you plan on making a big mess like he was fixing to do. He also coughed a bunch. Maybe coughing is part of OCD. Also, there was a girl who tapped her food 3 times before she crammed it into her mouth. She was a woman of girth so maybe it was good that she did that. I’ve heard that the slower one eats, the less one will eat. If one eats fast, the body doesn’t process that it’s full until it’s too late. Maybe she should start tapping her food a hundred times.

My point of bringing this all up is that when I go to the gym, I always make sure to arrange the free weights in my area before I walk away – not just my weights, but what others before me left disorganized. Is this OCD? No, I know it’s not. I think people with OCD get anxiety when their rituals aren’t performed or are interrupted. I don’t feel anxious, but I do feel annoyed that I do it. I mentioned in a previous post that I get annoyed when people run the wrong way on the track. Well, the weight disarray thing is worse to me. I guess some people weren’t properly educated on gym etiquette. Maybe they’re just a-holes. Who knows?

I propose that gyms start color coding weights, like the 45 lb plates are red; the 35 lb plates are blue, etc. Maybe these people’s childhood instincts to put colors with other like colors will be tapped. Also, maybe the colors will create shame spirals in these people. The red colored weight will make then think of a baboon’s ass, which is also red. “I’m a red baboon’s ass for not putting this back.” Seriously, most people are stupid. I am, clearly, no rocket scientist. No, no, please, I’m not. But, most people in this world are stupid and inconsiderate. Maybe there should be more color coding for the stupid, I mean truly stupid, people. I imagine these people go to the grocery store and just buy things because they know it’s the right color. “I don’t drink the red canned cola; I drink the black canned cola.” Or, they know how to get home because their house is the light brown one, not the yellow one.

This color coding system is why we can drive without the constant fear of getting into a wreck. Someone made the wise decision back in the day to just have colors to tell us when to stop or go in the car. If stop signs where white and with black letters, I bet car wrecks would increase 3 fold.

Back to the point, I’m not a cynical person and I don’t suffer from OCD. I just want the weights to be put back in the right spot. I mean, come on, they’re different sizes!

That’s how I know where to put them.


  1. Do you feel the compulsion to do it? If you were in a hurry, would you take the time to do it anyway or could you just walk away without caring?

  2. As you suggested, this is not OCD. We all have little things like that; unfortunately, media about OCD makes everyone think it's related to the real OCD issues that clients/patients deal with. Secondly, I wish there was an electric shock system rigged up to the free weight section - so if someone attempted to place the weights back into the wrong slot it would zap them!

  3. Sounds more like a pet peeve than OCD :-)

  4. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was a kid. I "felt" it when inanimate objects like furniture got touched. If someone was resting their arm on the right arm of the couch, I need to put an equal amount of pressure on the left arm. It would drive me crazy. I called it "side-to-side." Everything needed to be touched equally otherwise there would be an imbalance and I'd get this horrible feeling if I couldn't fix it. Even if I was watching TV and someone touched one side of the bedpost for instance, I would have to go up to the TV and touch the other side. It wasn't as good as touching the actual bed post but it helped a little. I've grown out of it, thank God. But I still get little OCD ticks, like sometimes I have to tap my knees together twice in a row. If I do it too much I get bruises. I've seen the True Life thing you're talking about. I'm so glad I never had it that bad. It would make life miserable.