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2004-11-13 @ 1:26 p.m.
have cleanser will travel

If any of you have ever seen the Jack Nicholson movie, "As Good as it Gets", you'll remember his character as always cleaning things, wiping things off and not being able to touch anything, because of his unnatural fear of germs. Well, that's been me lately. Damn. Just one more thing to add to the ever growing list of weird wittykitty idiosyncrasies.

It actually started out this summer when I started getting this incredible urge to do laundry. I used to do my laundry maybe once every three weeks. I'd wear the same clothes several times. I'd wear socks repeatedly. I had about 21 pairs of panties, so I could go for about three weeks and not have to worry about repeats (this was before I started skipping the panties altogether, which I'm still doing, depending on my hormonal state).

But in about July, around the time the Nanny guy thing happened, I started doing my laundry weekly. And then I started calling my mom and offering to do HER laundry. And that was a big job, because she has just the opposite problem. She'll go for MONTHS without doing it. She has huge sacks of laundry jammed in her closet. When you opened her closet, it looked like a freakin’ laundry heist from the MGM Grand Hotel. I tried to make her let me take it all at once back in August, when I was all hot d’laundry d’jour, but she would only mete out like 2-3 bags a week, so I had to settle on washing winter clothing in July, and get off like that. Whee!

I’ve never been a particularly excellent housekeeper. I leave dishes in the sink over night. I don’t make my bed. I’m actively collecting cat fur from the rug and under the furniture in hopes of creating the world’s largest single clump of cat fur known to mankind. Guiness Book of World Records is on alert. But lately....and I’m very lucky that I now live in a house rather than an apartment, I have been vacuuming at 2 a.m. I keep taking my throw rugs outside and shaking them. I keep washing my windows. I keep washing the tub. I keep scouring the toilet. I do that one alot.

Bathrooms are where I have my worst problems. Especially public ones. I have a very small bladder. (thanks for sharing that witty!) I have to pee like every 28.6 minutes, no matter where I am. So I know every bathroom in the greater **** metropolitan area. I could write a Frommer’s Guide to Bathrooms for ****, because I know the good, the bad and the ugly of our fair city. Being a woman, I have sat on many a pee-spotted seat, and let me tell you, it is not pleasant. People who pee on public restroom seats should be executed.

And my mom is one of those people. She has a germ phobia too. She just won’t SIT on a toilet seat, she’ll just stand over it (and she’s only 4 ft. 11 inches, so she’s pretty close to being too short to perform such a feat) and spray it, like some male dog marking their territory, and then flush the toilet and leave. And then somebody like me will come in, get totally eeked out, unroll like 300 sheets of toilet paper, try to clean it up, still be eeked out and then have to call in a Hazmatt team for a chemical washdown of a contaminated area.

In the old days, I may have sat on some wet toilet seat without looking, but no more. Oh no! With my new found OCD’ish proclivity towards extreme cleanliness, I now always inspect the seat first, and then wipe it down even if there are no wet spots (because you never know) and then wash the top of the toilet seat, underneath the toilet seat and even the porcelain part. I love this one local yuppie grocery store because they actually have this little soap spritzer dispenser in the stall, which you can spray onto your toilet paper, making clean up so much more easier. As in, HINT HINT, previous twithead occupant, cleany-uppy. I mean, what’s up with the pee spots on the toilet seat? What are you...a guy? And why the hell am I cleaning up after you? Didn’t your mother ever teach you manners?

So I finally get the toilet seat situated, or as situated as a public restroom can be and then I see a hand coming under the stall wall. “Can I have some toilet paper? It’s all out over here.”
And I’ll freeze, mid-stream and go “WHAT??” Ummm. I’m semi-naked and peeing here. And you were just humming an ABBA tune earlier. And you’re semi-naked and peeing too. So I...don’....think... so.
And besides who would want to touch the hand of a stranger, when you don’t know where their hand has been in the last 2.5 minutes. Do you have any sterilized tongs?”

And can you blame me? I just washed my hands and the surrounding areas well enough to perform brain surgery and then suddenly somebody wants to infect me just because they were stupid enough not to check out the TP situation before they sat down?!? So I’ll say “wait a minute”, because first of all I really don’t want to be talking to anyone when I’m peeing and semi-naked. I have issues, ya see. And I also have very shy kidney. I usually can’t even pee if somebody else is in the building room. And then if someone starts talking to me, even if I was in mid-diarrhea, I could probably stop because I am such a nervous nellie about conversing with strangers in bathrooms.

I even remember once I kind of lobbed a roll of toilet paper up over the stall as I was leaving and the woman said, “Ouch”. I guess I bonked her in the head with it, but I wasn’t about to have hand to hand contact with someone in such a highly germy situation. She did say thanks by the way. Ouch and thanks.

And then there is the bathroom sink situation. I usually turn the faucet on with my elbows if nobody is looking, because who wants to touch those pee-hand germ faucets. I really like those new ones that just turn on automatically because of your exciting presence. And then I’ll scrub up like I’m going into brain surgery. I’ve seen women giving me really odd looks as I scrub nearly up to my elbows. I’ve even sometimes had the uncontrollable urge to yell out, “scalpel!” but I figured they’d probably try to take me back to the hospital and a hospital is, after all, a REALLY DIRTY place to be. And of course, I always finish up with a paper towel which I will use to open the door with. Can’t touch a door handle with my clean hands!

But this obsessiveness about cleanliness and touching has really gotten out of hand in the last two weeks. Having to shake hands with the new people at the my job. Yecch! I’d shake them and then just kind of hold my hands at a slight angle away from my body and try not to think about where their hands had been. And last night, when I went out to dinner with my mom, at the piano restaurant, there was this drunk guy walking around, trying to get women to dance with him and touching their shoulders and playing with their hair. He asked to take my hand and I said no. And he said, “come on”. And I gave him my serial killer X look and said, NO!! And then he went off to irritate someone else and then like ten minutes later he came back and I was turned away talking to one of my mom’s friends and he grabbed my hand off the table and started rubbing it. I tried to pull it away, but he held on. He asked me what was wrong, and I told him I was shy and to please let go. And he said, “Well, I’m a nice guy.” Me: Let me go.” And he finally did.

First of all he was walking around like as asshole, fondling women all over the restaurant. Secondly, he was drunk. Thirdly, he was fat, obnoxious and was wearing a Yankees baseball cap. Not exactly my dream man type. And Fourthly, fuck off, and NO means NO.

So as soon as he turned to another woman, I could barely contain myself, I immediately ran off to the bathroom and washed my hands. I couldn’t stand that some interloper, who I didn’t know, had just laid his dirty mitts on me without permission. So I did a lot of hand washing with their antibacterial soap and hoped for the in No-Drunk-Guy Cooties.
So I really don’t know what this sudden OCD thing is all about. As mentioned, my mom is a germ-a-phobe too. And my aunt has OCD. Maybe I’m just a late bloomer. It’s not like I stand at a light plate switch and have to turn it on and off five times before I can leave a room, it mainly has to do with bathrooms and hand cleanliness. But its been very strong recently and it seems to be tied into all this anxiety I’ve been feeling lately.

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