Thursday, May 8, 2008

OCD...but we knew that already..

This afternoon my mom asked me to come over and talk to my father about a "procedure" he's scheduled to have next week. She was concerned because he couldn't seem to explain to her what was going to be done, he hadn't found out if their insurance was going to pay for it, he didn't know if it was going to really fix his problem, etc. Two problems parents don't specialize in good communication, and my dad is the ideal patient for a busy doctor...he tells the doctor a lame golf joke, he flirts with the office staff, he doesn't ask any questions.

So, because every daughter dreams of someday getting to discuss personal plumbing issues with her elderly father, I trudged over there to intervene. This is when I wish I had a brother. Oh wait, I have two brothers, they just live too dang far away to deal with this stuff!

We discussed, we clarified. I found out Mom thought he was going to be hospitalized for a week and in pain and peril for a long time after. Dad, on the other hand, thought he was going to have a quick 15 minute procedure and be instantly good as new and probably learn some new jokes in the process. I went online and looked at Mayo Clinic and WebMed, and if they are accurate, the truth lies somewhere in between those two extremes.

Dad felt ganged up on, and got miffed with me. I had to remind him that I didn't have a horse in this race; I was just trying to make sure he and mom both knew what to expect. Funny how this type of health issue makes one think in sports metaphors...good job Avodart ads!

Anyway, we got all that hashed out. Both of them are happy with me again, both of them feel better informed. Good has been done, super daughter saves the day. Haha!

So I stand up to leave and automatically turn the decorative pillow on the couch over so the zipper isn't sticking up. Zippers on pillows aren't supposed to be sticking up. Mom says "Oh, turn that back, I want it the other way so the brown stripe is on top like the other one."

I look and see that the matching pillow on the other end of the couch has the brown stripe on top and the zipper ditto. "I always like to put the zippers down!" I say.

"I'm always telling your father to turn those pillows over so the brown stripe is on top!" she says. "But, I really don't like those zippers sticking up, either."

I turn them both around so the zippers are down and the blue stripe is on top. That doesn't work for either of us, so I try turning them both so they are oriented differently. The stripes now run vertically instead of horizontally. Success at last. I turn to leave.

"Oh wait!" "Now the solid brown pillows have to be turned around!" Huh?

The solid brown pillows are behind the blue and brown striped pillows. They have a woven texture to them...and the texture is running horizontally and clashing dreadfully with the vertical stripes. I turn the brown pillows to a vertical orientation.

"But," I say, "the fabric on the back of the couch is running horizontally, so now we've got that problem."

We decide to try to ignore that for now. We discuss the family tendency toward OCD, and the ramifications of more than one person in a household being this way. Dad opines that at least he doesn't add to this problem because he never notices anything.



mandolinartist said...

This kind of stuff actually happens to real people!? :)

Natalie said...

Yet another reason not to have couch pillows! If they're not on the couch they're cluttering the floor; if they're on the couch they have to be facing the right way. :(

I never noticed that that couch fabric had any sort of direction to it...I'll have to look next time I'm over there.

Yes, Mandolinartist, it does...and whenever my grandma's over here, she organizes whatever is on the kitchen table (usually without realizing it). :D

Of course, she's also come over here and not noticed for several months that we've moved a piece of furniture or something. Selective OCD...that's what she and I have. :)

Jim said...

Before you Super Daughter yourself to death... Dad and I have discussed the procedure, and Julia and I did a fair amount of research to determine the risks/rewards involved.

I'm also pretty certain that wasn't brought to your attention...

BTW, I don't remember this kind of attention to detail from our childhood. Was it just squelched for financial reasons? I mean, wouldn't our home have caused most OCD sufferers severe distress?

Beth said...

Jim, obviously the Super Daughter thing was meant as a joke...we know who the only super kid is.

No, it wasn't brought to my attention. I'll email you about this later today.

Your last paragraph is a masterpiece of subtle understatement. :)

mandolinartist said...

Just joking... I will have to confession, I have been known to rearrange a table setting, mostly at a party or reception with just a few things, to make the layout more symmetrical... (I don't have this problem at pot lucks... It is meant to be chaotic, for lack of a better word.)