Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Hoarding, OCD, eating disorders and other sundry guilty pleasures are personal issues that we’d much prefer to keep to ourselves. As long as they don’t get exposed to the public, we can silently revel in our little routines and proclivities.
I’m no different. I’ll admit that I do some things; but I know that we all do things that we’d prefer stay out of public scrutiny. OK, I’ve got some hoarding tendencies that I might not have realized if it hadn’t been for the show “Hoarders,” but I’m not an extreme case. I could be; if certain aspects of my life were skewed a little to the right or left, but I try not to dwell on that too much.
When our little secrets escape in broad daylight, that’s when our problems become real problems; because we have to admit that they really exist. I came to this very realization the other day while visiting a friend of ours at their house. The visit began simply enough. I’m not really a drinker, so I didn’t have to worry about turning into an angry drunk. I had eaten a light snack before leaving our house, so I didn’t have to worry about eating too much and leaving the other guests hungry (although I always save plenty of room for dessert). I’m also not outwardly political, so I didn’t have to worry about pontificating my point of view concerning the upcoming election. I do drink a lot of water, and that’s where the trouble began.
I’m only human. After about two bottles of water, I started to get that feeling. You think for a moment, “Am I going to be able to wait until we get home, or should I go the bathroom here?” I didn’t want to torture myself, so I decided to use the local facilities. I never knew that I had such a strong obsession with toilet paper before, but something about that roll didn’t sit well with me. It was leading from the bottom. In a moment of unmistaken clarity, I decided that the direction of the roll must lead from the top. Without hesitation, I turned that roll of toilet paper to the correct rotation and thought, “Oh my god! I’m a high roller.”
My wife and I left shortly after, to return home. I didn’t say a word about it during our drive. How could I? I had just imposed my unsolicited beliefs on our unsuspecting friends. You can’t take pride in that. I had not only discovered a new irrational “issue” of mine, but I had exercised it in a public place: a friend’s house. This is clearly a violation of character that I am finding hard to forgive.
I can’t say that I won’t do it again; I mean there is a right direction for a roll to sit, and I might not be able to tolerate anything otherwise. But next time, I’ll try to limit my secret sleight of hand ritual to my own home or to an acceptable venue - like a high roller convention.