by Mari McKee
This is a humurous story about dealing with someone who has OCD about cleaning her house.
Show me a person who derives pleasure from house cleaning, and I will show you a person who is in the throes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual recognizes OCD as a mental illness. My mental health is excellent because I abhor house cleaning.
My idea of how to clean the house is to quickly hide the dirt and mess if someone comes to the front door. I yell that I will be right there as I rapidly pick up things on the living room floor and shove them under my skirted sofa. When I am forced to clean everything out from under the sofa, it is like Christmas day, as I find 3 pairs of shoes, several of my favorite DVD’s, my nail polish that I used only once, and 2 of my missing dinner plates that the dog had licked clean.
I once had a friend who was the epitome of COD regarding house cleaning. She owned every type of cleaning apparatus ever invented. She spent hours daily cleaning her house. She used to brag that her floors were so clean, that you could eat dinner off of them. Anyone who would want to eat anything off a floor must suffer from another type of mental illness. One day she asked me to dinner at her house. On the way to her house, I wondered if we would be dining “ala floor”, or if would we dine at a table. I was relieved to see her table set with plates and burning candles, when I arrived. I almost passed out from hypoglycemia because it took her forever to serve our plates. As she was placing food on our plates, if a miniscule crumb hit the floor instead of the plate, she had to clean it immediately. She couldn’t just wipe it up. She had to use hot water, a disinfectant, and a new paper towel to scrub the offending morsel off her floor. At my house, we just call the dog to come lick up anything dropped off a plate.
Just as I was about to faint, dinner was served. She hit the dimmer switch to the chandelier so that it was nearly dark except for the candle light. By this time, it was all I could do to pick up my fork and not just put my face directly in the plate of food. Dinner was delicious, I think, but could not be enjoyed. Every time a crumb went flying off my fork, she jumped up out of her chair, got her electric broom, which was apparently on stand-by, and began sweeping around my chair and feet. Thank goodness she served wine with our meal. I tried to drown out the whine of the electric broom by taking big gulps of wine. Each time, she would return to her chair as if nothing had happened. When she began a discourse on house cleaning products, I immediately reached for my wine glass, and in my hurry to imbibe, splashed some wine on the front of my shirt, over my right bosom, to be exact.
She immediately jumped out of her chair, ran to a cabinet, and approached me with a wet sponge and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. She made me sit sideways in my chair as she got on her knees in front of me. I believe I was slightly intoxicated because all I could do was giggle like the village idiot. She had not turned the lights back up so she couldn’t see the wine stain very well. With her face nearly touching my shirt, she began dabbing the wine stain, when the door opened and her husband entered the room. He stopped dead in his tracks. What he saw was a darkened room lit only by candles, his wife on her knees with her face almost in my bosom as she diligently worked on the stain. In her concentration in trying to see the stain, her head was bobbing up and down. As I was trying to stifle the hysterical laughter waiting to erupt, my chest began heaving up and down.
I am fairly certain that he remained silent and immobile because he could not believe what he was seeing. At this point, I began snorting with laughter and I was shaking so hard, I stood up abruptly. She fell on her rump, hitting my legs in the process. As if in slow motion, I watched my wine glass sail over her head, hit the floor, shatter, and spray wine everywhere.
She looked up at me in horror, turned to see the damage and saw her husband. He and I locked eyes, and as if one, we ran to the cabinet with the cleaning supplies. She was in the midst of a house cleaning frenzy, as we ran back armed with cleaning supplies that I did not know existed. Under her hysterical direction, I learned the proper way to clean house. The three of us were on our hands and knees cleaning the wine bomb, when I decided we could no longer be friends. Her husband thought I had turned his wife into my wild lesbian lover. She thought I was a careless drunk who tried to destroy her clean home. I thought the entire evening was the funniest thing that had happened to me in a long time.
I am now organized in my house cleaning. I know which cleaning products to use for wood, fabrics and painted walls. I now know how to use my vacuum efficiently, instead of dragging it around the room by its electrical cord. However, I still hate cleaning house and only do it when I can no longer kick a path through everything on the floor, or when someone rings my doorbell.