The (Neat and Orderly) Ramblings of an Obsessive Compulsive: The Grapes of Wrath

When you have OCD, even the simplest of tasks can become a huge ordeal. For example, I was preparing a packed lunch for myself to take to work and thought that a tub of grapes would make for a quick, easy and healthy snack. How wrong I was. Quick? Easy? No way, José. The little devils defeated me. A twenty year old woman thwarted by several small fruits. I was livid (and almost late for work).

So I like even numbers. Seven is acceptable because it’s a lucky number (and there are seven books in the Harry Potter series so it must be OK), however I don’t like six (but I’ll save that story for another time). Therefore, I reasoned that fourteen grapes would be the ideal number because fourteen is double seven, so this amount of grapes would surely be enough to satisfy my lunchtime appetite and, hopefully, the double seven would act as a talisman against all evil and I might live to see another day. A faultless plan. Or so I thought…

Yes. Disaster struck. As I cupped the precious fourteen fruits in my palms and carried them over to the sink to wash them, one escaped my grasp and fell, in slow motion, into the sink. Noooo. My chest was heaving. The Scottish tones of Aggie Mackenzie from ‘How Clean Is Your House?’ reverberated around my head: ‘This sink is teeming with bacteria!

Oh sweet Jesus!

Now this was just catastrophic. I couldn’t merely take the grape out of the sink, give it a thorough wash and put it into the tub to eat it later. Who knows how many germs could have been on it? It was unthinkable. However, neither could I just reach for the bunch of grapes, pick off another one and wash that. Because that would mean I would have picked off fifteen grapes. Fifteen. One, five. And one plus five equals six. And I don’t like six. Yet if I picked off another two grapes that still wouldn’t be right because I wouldn’t have eaten the one I had dropped in the sink so really I would have picked sixteen grapes but I would only have eaten fifteen. And one plus five equals six. And I don’t like six.

After much hyperventilation I decided to abandon the whole idea. I don’t like grapes anyway. I’d rather have a good honest apple.

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