Clean The House, The Painter is Coming = OCD

I think I have a problem.

I can imagine the long, lingering manifest many of you would write about what my “problem” is, and I appreciate your online doctor advice. Who needs when I have you guys?

Yesterday was Memorial Day. In honor of those who have lost their lives for the sake of keeping the rest of us free–giving us the many privileges that others’ do not–and  providing a feeling of being safe because they sacrificed their lives in the face of death, my husband and me decided to do something unusual.

We did nothing.  My husband is a Colonel in the Army. I’m proud of that more than any other of the many accomplishments he’s attained throughout his 51 years. We honored the fallen by puttering in the yard, caught up on reading, played with our dogs and grilled some steaks.

Then, I woke up this morning in a sweaty panic.  Yeah, it was hot upstairs because it was humid outside, but the sweat wasn’t from the weather.  We had a painter scheduled to come over at 8:30, and the house wasn’t clean.

Most people would think, who cares? Well, I know the painter, David. We used to be old neighbors and I’ve seen his home. It’s meticulously clean and beautiful inside. I knew he wouldn’t care what my house would look like, but I did.

If I waited one single day without dust mopping or vacuuming my home, the place would look like a furry cleanhouseblizzard passed through my living room. Did I mention I have four dogs? That’s another story…

After I rid the floor of fur, mulch, small sticks and grass clippings, I went downstairs into the basement to throw a pile of laundry in the washing machine; then I smelled it. Somebody pooped, and it wasn’t me.

I turned around, and there he stood; one of my four-month old puppies, Gunther. He looked at me as I looked at him. He looked where he laid his land mine and looked back at me; apparently his way of saying, yeah, I did it so you can have something MORE to do around here.

When I saw the mess, it wasn’t an easy clean-up. You’d think a four-month old puppy would leave a small puppy-ish poop. Not this dog–I’m not that lucky.  This pile was so big, you could have given it a name. I think it actually had a Hello, my name is name tag on it.  I took out the Pine Sol, bucket and mop. I didn’t anticipate this added chore to my list, and David was coming over in about thirty minutes.

Crap. Literally–crap.

As I cleaned the floor, I thought to myself, why am I so paranoid about having the house clean for a painter? Well, for starters, Nancy, you can’t leave dog shit on the floor in the basement. However, I used to go through the same process when I had a cleaning lady. The day before the cleaning lady would arrive, I would tell my son to make sure his room was clean, and  pick up his poop.


Really? Isn’t that the responsibility of the cleaning lady? But, if we don’t pick up certain items that the cleaning lady wasn’t familiar with, we would be spending about two hours trying to locate where she hid them after she cleaned the place.

We once found a popcorn popper in the oven; this was discovered by the smell of burning plastic because we had turned on the oven. Who the hell opens up their oven door before they turn on their oven to see if a popcorn popper is inside?

No one. On second thought, who the hell puts a popcorn popper in their oven?

My cleaning lady apparently has a popcorn popper in her oven so she must have thought I should have one in my oven too.

I don’t understand my fastidiousness about cleaning up the house before the cleaning lady arrived, and now a painter, who is going to spend his day in another room which doesn’t require him to see the rest of the house, will not appreciate the lengths I went through to make the house dog hair and dust free in a matter of one hour.

Like I said, I think I have a problem, so I went online to check it out for myself. I went on, just like you guys probably already have,  and searched “obsessive cleaning.” The only result that came up was Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This may be due to the fact that I chose the word, “obsessive” in my search. Sadly, this would be an accurate word to use based on my behavior. Upon reading the search results I fall under what is called obsessive thoughts. Here are the bullet points:

  • Fear of dirt or germs or over concern about body smells/secretions or the proper functioning of the body
  • Over concern with order, neatness, and exactness
  • Fear of thinking bad thoughts or doing something embarrassing
  • Constantly thinking of certain sounds, words, or numbers, or a preoccupation with counting or checking
  • Constant need for approval or the need to apologize
  • Fear that something terrible will happen or fear of harming yourself or someone else

Oh. My. God. I have definitely have OCD. Thanks It’s not enough I’m deaf, off-balance and menopausal.


You have to give me another problem. A disorder that only I thought people who lived with ten cats would have, or people who washed their hands twenty times a day, or checked the locks on their doors before they went to sleep incessantly, which would mean they would never fall asleep.

See what happens when you check on your issues through I curse you, webmd!

Is that another disorder? Cursing? If that’s the case, there is NO cure for me.

Look at those bullet points:

I worry that I smell bad because I have overly active sweat glands–or maybe it’s because I’m menopausal. Who am I kidding? I couldn’t have been menopausal my whole life, but that would be a matter of opinion based on one ex-husband and several boyfriends.

I just know I smell worse than my husband when we’re doing yard work in 90 degree heat; that’s not a good thing. A woman shouldn’t have to use men’s clinical deodorant to ward off the stench of sweat, but it’s the only stuff that works for me when it’s less than 90 degrees outside–that’s affirmation of the first bullet point.

I think we covered the second and third bullet points based on what I’ve written above. This is getting scary, yet oh, so familiar.

The fourth bullet point is spot-on; especially when I’m walking my dogs–sometimes I count my steps. Why can’t I think of something more meaningful like changing all my passwords, buying new shoes or wondering why mosquitoes just love, love, LOVE me?

I continually apologize when I can’t hear someone after they’ve repeated something over and over. I sirisound like Siri:

You: “Where’s the nearest Italian restaurant?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite understand that.”

You: “I said, where is the nearest Italian restaurant?”

Me: “I’m sorry. Did you say how near is Vermont?”

You: “No. I want to eat Italian food!”

Me: “I’m sorry. You want to eat Italian wood? Let me get my wooden spoon.”

It’s frustrating, I know. Don’t even get me on the phone–I pity the telemarketing fool who calls me.

I only fear for myself falling down stairs which will probably happen at some point because I have four dogs who follow me wherever I go. Plus, as I’ve stated earlier, I’m a clumsy oaf.  I have no balance. Don’t ask me to bring a tray of drinks in stemmed glassware; there is a 75% chance that shards of glass will end up in your arms and legs.

As for me, I will end up on the floor soaked in martinis; which doesn’t sound all that bad.






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