Thursday, November 20, 2008

Does this blog match?

I once saw an MTV "True Life" episode about teens with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD for those who haven't spent years talking to shrinks -- um, like me) and I thought, "that sucks, having to count all the jellybeans and color-coordinate them before finally allowing yourself to eat them." What can I say? It was a moment where I felt safe enough in my sanity to feel pity for others more obviously afflicted than me.

So, it was with a little bit of shock the other day that I observed myself experiencing an undeniably OCD moment: On the train, I was filled with glee when yet another person with a red accessory boarded. Unbeknownst to him, the man with the red tote bag was the perfect addition to my already-assembled Red Team lineup. It was all I could do to keep from cheering when he sat RIGHT BESIDE the other Q train passengers who had also decided to wear red AND be on my train that day.

Check it out: Red shoes, purse, tote, jacket, ipod case AND earphones (hard to see but the hipster chick with the BLUE checkered suitcase has these)

"Yeah, yeah," you're thinking, "what's so OCD about noticing patterns?" Well, prior to the Red Team's formation, I had been happily relishing the joys of being on a train where all of the advertisements match. Yup, I take far too much pleasure in boarding a train made up entirely of Budweiser ads (as opposed to those that offer a potpourri of crappy technical school and skin care ads for Dr. Z).

I'm mulling over a petition to the MTA that all subway trains have matching ads like this one. Sorry the photo is blurry but Red Team members were growing suspicious of me, my glee and picture-taking.

I imagine what I felt at that moment--surrounded by a train AND people that matched--was similar to what the chick on MTV felt when she finally ate the jellybeans.

Until then, I never thought that OCD might also be on the menu (throw it in there with ADHD and whatever other acronym you'd like). In my youth, I don't recall having to wait a certain number of times before answering the phone or wearing my Burger King visor at a certain angle before operating the fryer. But, I guess that's my glitch: I fixate on things that match.

I have a very difficult time with the whole hipster paradigm of mismatched outfits. In fact, I'm deeply bothered by the entire population of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I know, I know, they're cool, I'm not. But, the confusion and sadness I feel in Urban Outfitters is not my fault; my wardrobe is limited not by bad taste but results from a psychological disability. And, you know, it really hurts my feelings when I overhear fashionistas say, "ugh, but it's SO matchy-matchy!"

I'm now on high-alert for other OCD symptoms such as checking every 5 seconds to see if the toaster is on fire. The closest I've come to new evidence is calling my Man from midtown the other day to see if I'd remembered to turn the boombox off. It makes me wonder what else is OCD about me?
- That I eat the same salad every night?
- That I've worn the same nail color since '94?
- That I only drink Dunkin Donuts coffee (even in Barcelona - sorry, Marni and Dan, but what were the odds of finding DD in Spain? I had to partake)?
- That I correctly punctuate text messages?

Or, that I always have to end a blog with a witty punchline?

Addendum: Yes, I know I don't really have OCD (more of a self-absorbed hypochondriac than anything). It's just funnier to say that I do. I'm sorry if I offended those who actually have it or know someone who does -- well, I know someone who does, too. He went through a phase where he couldn't open doors with his hands and would wear gloves or open them with his sleeve. Yeah, he was pretty much a freak.