OCD files

I just got back from the hardware store. I’d gone early this morning to buy 15-feet of rope. The idea was to use it for a rope swing for Clementine. As I was standing there, asking the man to measure out 15-feet, it occurred to me that he might think I was planning to hang myself. Hoping to keep that from happening, I looked around the store and tried to find something else to buy… like when you’re a teenager and you buy Playboy and Time at the same time, as though the person on the other side of the counter wouldn’t see right through it. In this case, I settled on seeds. I bought lettuce seeds. I figured that someone buying rope to hang himself probably wouldn’t also buy seeds, which imply that you’re kind of going to be around for at least a few weeks… And, this, my friends, is what it’s like to have OCD.

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  1. 'Ff'lo
    Posted March 21, 2009 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    At first I thought “Couldn’t you just tell him you’re not going to hang yourself with it?” But that would just have put the idea in his head if it weren’t there already.

    The things one must consider.

  2. Posted March 21, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing that, Mark. It made me laugh.

  3. Robert
    Posted March 21, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Why wouldn’t you just tell the guy about making a tree swing for your daughter? Oh yeah, I forgot, you don’t like talking to people that much.

    You should have gone somewhere where they sell rope AND Playboy…kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

  4. terry
    Posted March 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Instead of seeds you should have bought a stool to go along with the rope. That would have really messed with the guy’s head.

  5. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    OCD makes you think like that? I thought it just made you really clean and organized. Your thinking sounded completely normal to me, if not entirely rational regarding other people’s thinking. But we all do that in little ways, wondering if people like us or think we’re crazy or why we’re buying $50 worth of sardines and spam or what not. And the lettuce was a good choice; it communicates that you clearly have a positive outlook for the future and the ability to be productive and healthy. You don’t want to just tell the guy, “don’t worry, I’m not going to hang myself,” because then he’d think that you were going to hang yourself, or that you were crazy for thinking that, which would be embarassing. Lettuce seeds were a far more effective means of communicating that. Good job.

    Are you going to use the lettuce seeds now?

  6. rosie
    Posted March 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I used to be a cashier in a small grocery store and I *definitely* noticed what people bought. One lady kept running back through the aisles to get more and more junk food. She probably bought $75 of junk-bulimic? Men buy way more meat than women. Some people eat the exact same lunch every single day. it was a strange window into strangers’ personal habits.

  7. Posted March 21, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    If you were my brother, you would have had to buy two more things. Because it’s luckier (or less anxiety producing) to buy four things. Whatever they are.

  8. Posted March 21, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    In my teen years, we used to do things like going into a drugstore and buying a pipe and a can of sauerkraut, hoping the cashier thought we were going to smoke the sauerkraut. Ah, youth.

  9. Posted March 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    This is actually very straight-forward, plain thinking. There’s no way the clerk will think “this man is buying rope to go hang himself.”

    The downside is that what the clerk *is* thinking is “this man is some sort of sicko into autoerotic asphyxiated lettuce growing.” I bet he went to go wash his hands after handling your money.

    And now, thanks to Wikipedia, I know all about Lettuce Opium. Will the Intertoobes ever cease to amaze?

  10. Posted March 22, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    There are 6.7 billion people on this planet. You can’t worry about what each of them might think of you.

  11. Paw
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I once bought a large head of iceberg lettuce and a jar of vaseline just to see what kind of looks that I’d get.

  12. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how you’d feel shopping at the deja vu love boutique. I have a suspicion it wouldn’t feel awkward at all, because it’s supposed to feel awkward, and they know you’re not going to make a rope swing with that shit.

  13. Meta
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    You should have bought shoes.


  14. Oliva
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    There are 6.7 billion people on this planet. You can’t worry about what each of them might think of you.

    Slow (but interesting) to do so one by one but probably impossible–especially getting to Osama and his friends over in Pakistan and some other remote dwellers. Much easier to break up the 6.7 billion into manageable chunks and then get right to worrying. (If not worrying exactly, displaying endearing self-consciousness in taking each day’s thoughtful, measured steps.)

  15. Ol' E Cross
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Lettuce seeds?! Geez Mark, everybody knows what lettuce seeds are used for, and Thomas already alluded to the common use ofrope.

    Trust me when I say you can never go back there.

    Might as well have bought a cucumber, mayo, and a bottle of wine (which, by the way, you should never purchase in a single trip to the grocery no matter how many other dozens of items you mix in; the clerks will know).

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