It’s not Compulsive if it’s Cute.

Thank you @USAToday for giving me a name for the latest affliction acquired during pandemic times. This will be added to the list of:

  • OCD… Organizational Cabinet Disorder. Mine have never looked better. Spices are all labeled and alphabetized. Oils live with oils, vinegars with vinegars, condiments with condiments, well, you probably don’t need the whole list. But let me know if you do, I’m happy to provide pictures and action items in the event someone returns the Red Pepper Flakes to a space between the Celery Salt and Cumin. Or, an even more serious crime – taking the labeled lids off the pulled spices and then not remembering which lid goes with which jar, giving up, and just putting them back on willy-nilly – as if I wouldn’t notice the subtle differences between Garlic Powder, Garlic Salt, or Onion Powder. Granted, the “notice” part typically comes when a carefully crafted dish doesn’t taste quite right.
  • OCD 2: Organizational Calendar Disorder. Yes, despite everyone in my family having a calendar on their parent-paid phones to which I send invites on the regular, I still provide a visual at the house hub whiteboard, which is right next to the list of meals we will be eating, which is next to the grocery list, which is next to teen chore list, which is next to the adult to-do list, which is next to the make these phone calls list.
  • Apparently, I also have a List Disorder.
  • Exercise Fixation? Maybe. Movement might be a better word. If I don’t get my body moving five days a week, I tend to feel like I missed something important. I would like to thank @Peloton for giving me a non-tread/bike-owned option with a huge variety of class lengths and difficulty levels. With sessions as short of ten minutes, I really do have a hard time believing me when I tell myself I don’t have time. The bonus here is that I’m not sure I’m any more fit than I was 13 months ago – but I do have a full gym in the basement which I’m 100% sure I could auction off if we have a need for extra cash. Rumor on the streets is that, while I have yet to become a size six, I am a much nicer version of myself when sweating out the crankies consistently.
  • Culinary Delights Master. Somehow I have eliminated most processed foods from our household – preferring instead to science things together. I almost crapped my pants last week when I had no specific dinner planned and I opened one of my Cooking Lights books to a random recipe and realized that I had everything to make it. This was a huge leap forward from the days when I would pick out a recipe and make it with total disregard to only owning about a third of the ingredients. I see clearly now why I was never impressed with the outcome.
  • Language Obsession. I started dabbling in Duolingo March 13, 2020 and it quickly became a daily must. I was absolutely going to learn something during this pandemic. And I’ve kept up religiously, sure they would at least send me a congratulatory taco when I hit 365 days in a row of Spanish lessons. In a row people. Yes, I’ve practiced Spanish in doctors’ offices, in bathrooms, on vacations, hours after surgery, and, more than once, despues bebiendo demasiado vino. Which is actually muy difficile. Speaking in my native tongue is a struggle on a regular day and even more challenging when sporting a heavy buzz. Dios Mio!
  • Practical Avoidance. This mainly references my college kid. I have made a very conscious effort to NOT drive the 18 year old bananas. Despite being out on her own. In her first year of college. During not only a pandemic but also a lot of civil unrest in the streets surrounding her apartment. Sometimes I get so determined to not drive her bananas, that she pings me to see if I’m still alive. Yes, I’m just killing it here with not bugging you.

The new kid on the wellness block? Compulsive Shopping Disorder. When I saw the headline, I immediately screamed out OH YES, SIGN ME UP! I then realized it was not a competition and, also, that I was already playing. The article talked about buying things that you likely don’t need while holed up in your house and I stopped reading for a minute because, shut your mouth, USAtoday, you don’t know my struggle. But, as I read on, I realized they do, in fact, know my struggle. They know it very well. I’ve gotten so good at late night shopping that I have mastered the rotating balance on my Amazon account. It’s a simple case of hitting Buy Now and then hitting Return Item once it arrives and you realize that you have no recollection of why you thought said item would be useful. I used to request the refund go to my original card – then I made a mistake on one return, clicking on Credit My Amazon Account, and a star was born.

It’s me.

I’m the star.

I haven’t spent any “new” money in months, just constantly buying/returning/crediting my account/repeat.

It’s not just Amazon that knows me by my first name. It’s Lands End, Target, Lilly Pulitzer, Ikea, CoachOutlet, Walmart, Ugg, Wayfair, Kohls and, as of last week, Vionics (great shoes – really, if you’ve got flat feet, holy moly, A+++). Oh, right, and also Zenni – which is basically like Zillow for your face. To answer your question – yes, I absolutely have better things to do. I’ve just reached Pandemic Level 9 – where you start shuffling your to-do list to the back burner, and then the burner behind that, and also, back one more because, really, what’s the rush? It’s not like I’m going anywhere. Motivation = Low. I suppose cyber shopping gives me a sense of still being connected to the world out there, somewhere. In the beginning, I was just doing my part to keep businesses afloat (yes, people, I include small businesses in my rounds as well). Now, it seems, I’m trying to win some sort of kitchen gadgets war.

I can hear my husband’s silent scream of here we go again every time he sees me click on a new BuzzFeed list of twenty bathroom essentials or fifteen must haves for your office.

I did suspect I was developing a problem a few months ago. It may have been when the completely useless pineapple slicer arrived and I fought to keep it – determined to find its usefulness somewhere in the produce aisle as it was surely zero help with actual pineapples. Or maybe it was the hardly-work-at all storage bins for under the bathroom sink – yes, things are in bins and, yes, the entire bin holding structure comes out into a dumping pile upon trying to access. I reeled myself in with some basic rules – Add to Cart any day of the week, Checkout only on Fridays. Typically, when I get to Friday, I’ve either forgotten which carts have items in them or I’ve forgotten (again) why I thought I thought said items would be useful. I know I’m not unique here – Compulsive Shopping is the new Tiger King. Evidently, it’s our way of maintaining some control over our lives while at the same time joining the ranks of people who swear by Gracula to mince their garlic. I suppose when this started, I thought about the things I would buy once we got out. Then I started buying the things preemptively, with no real target as to when we would get out. And then, having plenty of toilet paper, I switched to buying things I could enjoy in the present, while staying very much in.

It gives me joy knowing that something new is coming. It gives me joy knowing that I’ll be seeing our regulars – the UPS guy or the Fed Ex guy or the Mailwoman. It gives me joy not knowing which Amazon driver will panic at the site of our obstacle course driveway turn-around-area and additional, bonus joy in directing them through a 72 point turn to exit. This also makes me feel useful and giving and part of the solution.

It gives me joy knowing that, when I clicked on the CSD article a second time, USAToday recognized my nibble on the worm and quickly launched a subscription offer of $4.99/month and I did not fall for it. Ha!

Maybe I’m not so compulsive after all!

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