Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ritual: Why We're All a Little OCD

After years of needing to lock the old school lock that secures my parents' front door, I can't leave my apartment with a sound mind unless I have my hand wrapped around my apartment keys. Sometimes, I even need to gaze upon them to leave the apartment perimeter.

This is my constant indulgent OCD moment.

Wikipedia goes into a lot of detail about ritual including religion and law. (Yes, I was surprised about law too.)

Ritual is funny because so much of our day-to-day consists of it, but we don't even realize it. Every morning, I have a pecking order to start my day:
  1. Hit the snooze button 3 times.
  2. Let The White One into his favorite room ever - the bathroom.
  3. Put kibble in cat bowl.
  4. Get ready (dressed, washed, brushed).
  5. Throw lunch in bag.
The White One even has a morning routine:
  1. Yodel.
  2. Grumble.
  3. Make sure favorite room ever hasn't changed since previous evening.
  4. Narf on kibble.
  5. Chase tail.
Superstitious folks are OCD* to the nines. Have you thrown salt over your shoulder if you spilled it? Knocked on wood? Avoided black cats? Dread Friday the 13th?

Superstition breeds ritual.

What rituals do you have?

*Disclaimer: I'm aware that OCD is a real condition and that in some cases very bad. This entry in no way is degrading people who truly suffer from OCD.


  1. I also hit the snooze 3 x each morning. And argue with myself about it frequently (you know, I could just sleep 27 more minutes . . . nah). Another is checking multiple times for my car keys when I get out of the car - a definite holdover from before I had a keyfob lock!

  2. I sure do wish I could put little and OCD in the same sentence...

  3. Elle - I would double-check my car keys a lot when I got my first car since I would always lock myself out. Thankfully, that has stopped.

  4. I throw my dog treats down the stairs so he doesn't watch me leave. I also throw my keys on the passenger seat whenever I drop Zoey off at daycare. I don't know why and I live in constant fear of locking them in the car.

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  6. I've never been actually diagnosed, but I have several minor OC things. I used to have a compulsion with my earrings. I would constantly take them out, clean them, put them back in. Take them out, clean them, put them back in. It got to the point where I just couldn't even wear earrings anymore. I do sort of the same thing with my other piercings, but I can't take them out (as easily), so I usually just spin them a lot.

    I'm also one of those people who has to have separate plates and silverware for everything.

    And a few others that I won't mention here LOL


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