OCD, or Not CD? Hamlet: the lost scene

A few days ago I ran across one of those, shall we say, less than scientific studies about OCD people. There was an online test. Take it, they claimed, and we will “grade” you and let you know to what degree you have OCD. I am a skeptic concerning Internet questionnaires and tests like this, but of course I believe OCD is real. I don’t particularly think I suffer from it, but, you know, maybe to some degree, in the same way that we are all narcissistic to one degree or another.

The test was kind of interesting. I’m always trying to figure what tests are “doing,” and this is probably why I’m generally good at tests and their results are usually more impressive than the real me in regular life. There were two kinds of questions, one being a picture of something that had an out of wack element to it, like a tile floor with definite pattern but one tile was put in 90 degrees off, or something similar. The question was asked, how much does this picture bother you? The answers were, not at all, a little bit, a lot. The other type of question was an array of seemingly identical pictures and the question, which one of these pictures is different? The pictures were simple, but the differences, when you could even find them, were very subtle.

Bottom line, I was graded “100% OCD”.

I don’t buy it. I think perhaps I’m good at spotting slight differences. I’m always noticing things like a picture being slightly out of plumb, or seeing one thing in a line of things that is not exactly in line, or a slight color mismatch. So, I guess I don’t know, but that seems like pretty normal behavior if you grant that there are differences from one person to another in just how picky we are, or how perceptive, or whatever. I certainly don’t notice everything, either. I know this because I will spot “OCD violations” after much time has passed since I was first exposed to them. Like, I lived in this apartment for five months before realizing or caring that a certain light switch backplate was crooked.

But what’s so bad about that anyway? For my writing, I think it’s just being thorough. (I don’t claim to never make glaring mistakes in my writing, and then leave them.) On the job, that is called “attention to detail.” Plus, OK, I edit blog comments. Sue me.

Over the years and decades, I’ve learned to let go of certain things that once tended to stress me out. As a young man, I obsessed over how my car was running. This is because I was very immersed in the car culture of 1960s California, combined with poverty and owning cheap cars and having to work on them by myself all the time. It was pretty easy, too, but I tuned my car up all the time and was very sensitive to the engine’s behavior. Did I hear a miss? Is that a little valve lifter clatter? Did I see a little puff of smoke in the rear view mirror that last time I floored it to pass a car on Bayshore freeway?

Nowadays, I’m pretty tickled if my car continues to start without a fuss, and runs “good enough” whenever I take it somewhere. This new attitude settled on me abruptly and without warning. Like, one day I woke up and said, nope, not going to work on my cars anymore. I’ll just buy better cars.

Anyway, these things seem to drop off, one by one, as the years go by until one day, I’m sure, I’ll be sitting around in my shorts, flip-flops, and Hawaiian shirt drinking a beer and throwing the can over the fence. If you’re my neighbor, I’ll just hope you have achieved a similar state and we can still be friends.

More Exquisite Details About Bird Mites as They Relate to My Well Being

Just for form, I’ll round off the bird mite story, even though the saga does continue. We asked the management team to spray for bird mites outside, where the pigeon nest must be. And while they’re at it, we suggested, they might locate a nest (as there must be one,) remove it, and take measures to deter further nesting. Some buildings have netting, some have those bird spikes. Careful and comprehensive Internet research told us that the mites wander around looking for fresh blood as soon as the baby pigeons leave the nest. So management did go out there and look around, and did some spraying which, by the way, is a very inadequate solution, and to what degree it’s not, pretty temporary. At this point they apparently thought, and acted like, they were done with this whole issue thank goodness. 

Partner continued to research pigeon nesting behavior and bird mite behavior. She found something interesting. Bird mites, when they do wander off, only go a very short distance–just a “few yards,” due to the fact that they are so tiny, and move so slowly. I don’t know what size monitor you have, but I’ll bet a dozen or so of these little guys could stand on the period at the end of this sentence. Or the head of a pin, if not for those pesky dancing angels. 

Armed with this new piece of certainty, that is, the short travel distance of which mites are capable, I measured up the room and the location of the electric outlet through which the mites always arrived. Then we walked around the building and into the alley and did a little measuring and brick counting and looked at the outer wall of the building five flights up, to the part of the wall just opposite the electrical outlet in said room. There was a vent way up there, with no grill. I ran and got my camera, put the zoom lens on it and returned to the scene and got this picture:

That is a mama pigeon head.

Voy La, as they say. I went to the management again and explained how that is the vent and this is the location of the nest and that is why bird mites are getting into my bedroom and biting me, and please do something about this. 

I said I measured and counted bricks carefully. This vent, along with the nest and pigeons and mites in it, is maybe seven feet from my side of the bed just on the other side of this wall. I mean, it’s a stroll in the park even for a little bird mite. 

End of story so far. Five days have gone by. Today I asked about the progress on the bird mite mitigation project, but, no, haven’t called the critter control company yet and I’ll get back to you as soon as I do. Yup. Thinkyew. Later.

Next Post:  It’s almost SepSceneWriMo time, which, like NaNoWriMo, is meant to create a reason to write something only this is looser and seems almost possible and, actually, more interesting. I hope to participate in this. Which springs eternal.  Hope, that is.