OCD: Living by the Rules: Aligning or Centering Certain Things



It’s one of my last OCD topics! ⭐️ I think I have just a handful left to write about after this one.

This is a “small” one but has been sooooooooooooo-oooooooooooooooooooo-ooooooooooooooooooo incredibly annoying over the years. I’m not going to preface this, I’ll just pick one at random and start.

Pens: OMG pens. I used to have these particular pens I “had” to use when writing in a certain journal. That whole ritual isn’t my point; my point is that the pens had a single line of text on them, and the cap had to be removed for use. So to place the cap back on once done using the pen, I had to line up the cap’s pocket-clip-thingy with the line of text on the pen. Perfectly. It could take me 20 minutes, every moment of which I hated. But the anxiety was too high to leave it even slightly not-centered. Of course, you also had to hold it from various angles and make sure it’s really, perfectly as even as possible. Very tough.

Now? I buy pens that either don’t have any markings on the body, or are click-pens (no caps).

Window openers: These are the windows that open by cranking a small lever around and around. Well upon opening and closing, the lever of course has to be perfectly vertical. This can take an enormous amount of time, as well, sometimes meaning that you have to change how far the window is open in order to align the lever.

Sink faucet handles: Turn-knobs are fine because you have to twist them to the point where water stops dripping. There’s no choice. But the type with a single handle that must be lowered in order to stop the water is annoying. They have to be perfectly centered, too, even if you’re in a hurry. And even if you just finished centering it a minute ago between washing your hands and brushing your teeth or whatever. Annoying.

Now: As with all of this type, I don’t let myself touch item if someone else closed it and left it imperfect. All the better. But if I’m the one closing it, it still has to be centered. Someday, I’d like to break this one. It’s sooooooooo annoying and time-consuming and doesn’t accomplish anything. I’m sure if I did it enough times and nobody close to me got sick or died, I could probably keep going with it. But it’s hard to get started because of the risk of someone getting sick and dying, you know? Anyway, it won’t be today. I’ve got a loved one traveling.

Random Additions:

  • I once had to center my drinking glass perfectly within a counter tile any time I set my glass down. But I don’t have to do that anymore.
  • Tupperware lids, typically have to line up the lids to face the same way as the words on the bottom, but not always.
  • Front-facing: Always must face forward any bottles, cans, etc. (this is praised in pharmacy work, at least 😉 )
  • Obnoxious caps: Caps that have a tab or something that can be aligned with the main body labels. Sometimes I can ignore them, but not always.