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Posts Tagged ‘gene’

There is an Obsessive Compulsive gene in our family. My mother’s brother once refused to visit her house for three years because the minute he flicked an ash in the ashtray, she would jump up from the card table and wash it; the ash tray not the ash. Since she had given him the ashtray at his place at the table, he mistakenly presumed she meant for him to use it.

 

Mom is good natured about her foible and we have all learned to live with it. If I ever write about my life, I have threatened to title it: My Life in a Ziploc, for I am certain I was born in one. She could not have dealt with the mess otherwise and has worked hard to ensure that everything she owns is wrapped and bagged, preferably in ZipLocs. She alone may be responsible for the success of the company.

 

What happens with children of Obsessive’s? They turn out to be, well, Not-Obsessive. I would rather paint a picture or be outside taking photographs than cleaning stoves and corners. Somehow, I have decided that, since I could not afford a self-cleaning oven, I will just give it away when the dirt creeps under the aluminum foil. Presuming I have sold a book by then. Ah, another thing to spur my novel on.

 

I do have an excuse; my husband has been disabled with COPD for nearly twenty-five years now. We live in a pollution free (note, I did not say dirt free) atmosphere. No smoke, no perfumes (I use Vanilla upon occasion-sounds weird, but what greater scent to evoke love than Mom’s home cooking?), no scented cleaners or shampoos, etc, and certainly no oven cleaner. It’s my legitimate excuse. I am also quite sure this was a big reason why my mother moved into her own apartment. She was in withdrawal for the scent of Lemon Pledge and hairspray.

 

My husband smoked for about a month, until cigarettes hit 25 cents  pack, but his family has “weak” lungs. He was under thirty when we were hiking out east and contracted a virus. It never left him, and damaged his lungs. He is 56 now and he looks 90. Children think he is Santa with his white hair and white beard, and often point at him through their car seat window when we drive past.

 

Once, during a high school concert, a family of six children was sitting in front of us. One little girl kept turning around and looking at my husband, until the end of the concert, when she stage whispered to her dad. “Daddy, did you know Santa was sitting behind us?” Then, there was the little boy who came up to him in a store and thanked him for the presents he (the child)had received last year.

 

My husband’s chubby cheeks have taken on a sunken look in the past year and, when we go to a restaurant, they give him a seat next to mom and a senior discount. There are perks.

 

What happens to the grandchild of an Obsessive? Since the gene skipped my generation, they may be obsessive too. I have a granddaughter who is “my girl.” Other children cling to their brothers or their grandfather, but this girl took one look at me, when she was three months old and decided I belonged to her. The look was pure adoration. It is so nice to be adored by someone. However, this poor thing has inherited the Obsessive gene.

 

At two, with a baby sister ensconced in her room, Rachel would wait until sister, Leah, finished her bottle, then she would get up and bring the bottle down to someone to, either: 1. Get it out of her room and/or 2. Have it cleaned. Her brothers used to torment her by rearranging the Christmas presents under the tree as she took her nap.

 

Occasionally, I have caught myself doing things that frighten me; counting steps, color coding clothing and coat hangers. I stop, mix them up and don’t look back. I do not want to even go there. Perhaps that is why I don’t want to spend time cleaning, because I love a clean house. I really do. But, what would happen to me if I started cleaning. I might not know when to stop? Do you buy that??? If so, see me about some property.

 

I do like my studio straightened up before every new project and I loved having a clean house when I had a house large enough to do that. I seem unable to keep this small one, with six adults, clean. There just isn’t enough closet/storage area and things spill out and about. When the table gets too piled, I make the boys put there things away. It looks nice for a day. I do NOT pile things on the table myself, I have a dresser for that, which has a printer on it and two years worth of filing and paperwork.

 

Told you I did not inherit the obsessive gene and one day the boys will move out and there will be room to keep things clean. Darn! I will miss them.

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