Friday, April 13, 2012

Roommate1: OCD, part 1

A Darth-Vadar-is-breathing-behind-you machine.

When choosing a roommate, I'm not super picky. I don't want to be your best friend, I just want you to pick up your shit. To me, picking up one's own shit includes taking the trash out when you notice it's full, dusting when you can write things on the TV screen, sweeping when walking around barefoot becomes unpleasant, and doing your own dishes within twenty four hours, etc. Essentially, I just like clean people who don't spread out their things into common surfaces. 

This being said, I love everyone I've lived with, we just can't live together (like your parents). They aren't perfectionists like I am, and admittedly, I was a total bitch about some things to all of the people I lived with in Richmond, Virginia. It took living alone and in an apartment (mostly) free of vermin for me to chill the fuck out. I've been accused of being Obsessive Compulsive, but really I just hate having roaches and mice and fruit flies hanging out on a regular basis - take those things away and we're cool. 

When I moved into my current apartment, it was just me and an exceptionally clean dude. From henceforth I will refer to him as OCD, because that is what he is. I chose to live here based on the potential I saw in the apartment to be cuter by rearranging a few things and how clean it was. It was by far the cleanest apartment I saw that wasn't empty. After I moved in I reorganized the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, he was a bit thrown off by this, but quickly came around. As long as he has "his space" for things he's fine. Though I threw a lot out. I don't think anyone had cleaned the refrigerator in the last year, and no one took their food with them when they moved out - there was lots of stale and moldy things around. 

Of all the things he was OCD about, this was surprisingly not one of them. For him it's about germs and smells.

Each Saturday he "cleans" the bathroom. I say "cleans" because it's just surface cleaning. If I can scratch soap scum off the shower wall, it isn't clean, so I showed OCD how to clean it more effectively. He also has a habit of taking the trash out before he cleans things, which is bizarre because he uses so many paper towels to clean and by the time he's done the trash can is halfway full again. He also wears disposable latex gloves to clean, uses paper towels to life the trash can's lid and to dry his hands. 

It didn't take me long after moving in to notice how frequently OCD is in the bathroom. It's all the time. It's a couple times an hour at least, and he always keeps the door closed - whether anyone is in their or not. This is a problem because 1) I don't always know when someone is in there and OCD doesn't always lock the door, and 2) our apartment isn't ventilated well and keeping the door closed contributes to that gross "moist" feeling that lingers after people take showers - gross.

His case is that because of the bathroom's location directly off the kitchen he doesn't want germs getting from the bathroom into the kitchen. I don't understand this logic, I acknowledge that germs are everywhere, and may have told him that "once you put a dick in your mouth, you don't really worry about germs anymore." Crude? Sure. True? Definitely. Being that he has never had a dick in his mouth, he can't relate. 

But COME ON, keeping a door closed isn't going to keep those germs isolated. They're microscopic organisms. They do and go wherever the fuck they want, without your permission.

We've also had issues regarding cooking smells. He claims that my use of garlic and onions, and our other roommate's use of curry and cumin in everything is "suffocating." I think that's an exaggerating, but I've taken to keeping the stove fans on while I cook and he in turn has significantly reduced the amount of aerosol air freshener he sprays. He was doing it a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. Our other roommate and I both get migraines pretty regularly, so the use of chemicals to cover up natural smells wasn't working out, nor was it an effective way to solve the problem. 

OCD also has a white noise machine. I've heard about people using these to sleep, but he has one in his room on ALL THE TIME. If his bedroom door is even cracked that incessant noise swallows everything else, which I guess is the point, but I like music and movies, and the constant whirr of it drives me batty. I've taken to closing his door without asking. 

We get along alright and can talk about things, but where I can let things go, and relax, he is incapable. I've known a lot of awkward people, a lot of anxious/depressed people who are socially inept, but this is a whole new level. Friends have asked me why I don't move, but despite all his quirks, he's clean, so I deal.  

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