Once, twice, three times a Weirdo
One of my family's jokes is centred on my younger brother, nicknamed Thumb, who used to have to tap all of the knobs on the drawers in our bathroom several times before he went to bed. In 1982 we all considered this a hilarious activity that was ripe for ribbing but these days he'd be sent to therapy to cure him of his obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Our six year old daughter, Sapphire, has chosen the most classic of OCDs - skipping over the cracks in pavers, footpaths and even the painted lines on basketball courts. This doesn't alarm me. Yet. Instead, I try to consider her odd little skips as a unique form of exercise and pray that it doesn't continue into her teens.
Love Chunks, on the other hand, displays no signs of OCD but instead has developed an overly strong attachment for his...... saucepans. Yes, you read that right - saucepans. Before he and I were invented as a couple, he spent a fair old chunk of one of his first graduate-trainee pay cheques on the best saucepan set he could find. They were several years old by the time we moved in together and I was sat down and instructed very clearly that I was not to use metal implements with them ("I'd prefer wood, or plastic if you must") and under no circumstances were they to be cleaned with scourers or brillo pads. This zealous care has continued over the years and the saucepans, it must be said, are still gleaming and in great working order. Whilst this is a good thing, I am under no doubt whatsoever that his 'Beloveds' as I jokingly call them, would be the first thing he'd rescue (after Sapphire, of course) in the case of a fire.
My weird habits, unfortunately, are too numerous to mention in their entirety here, but make my family's seem like a tiny eye tic. The most longstanding one is my obsession with threes. My birthday is the 3rd of November, and for all of my active memory I have counted out threes like the demented girlfriend of RainMan. For instance, I'm disappointed that the ceiling tiles in my dentist's surgery are divided into 29 squares across and down - no divisions of three, and it perhaps goes some way to explaining the pain, discomfort and embarassment I've endured there on far too many occasions.
My daughter's name is a division of three, as is the dog's. Love Chunks' and my names, separately, are not, but together, they are. I've been obsessed (or was it bored?) enough to mentally count the CDs on the rack and the books on the shelf to see if they fit the numerical formula. The diamond patterns on our living room rug do not. You'd think I'd only need to count them once to work that out, but it's something that I find myself doing every single day I sit down and clap eyes on the damn pattern. This same obsession goes for the number of floorboards in the dining room; the number of knobs on all cupboards, drawers and doors in our bedroom; the shower curtain rings in the bathroom; bottles of wine in the racks; undies on the clothesline and petunias flowering in their pots..... I'm a lunatic!
There is also my 'Seige Mentality' when it comes to grocery shopping. I can't stand using up the last tin of tomatoes in the pantry - there should always be another tin waiting to take its place. This sentiment is hardly weird, but I tend to buy three cans of tomatoes in case we have two or more meals during the week that require them. If the list says one tin of pineapple, I'll get two, or maybe three. Crumpets - three packs, because two of them can go in the freezer. Toothpaste is another. Even though I take a list, I seem to always buy a tube of toothpaste (whatever's on special that particular week) because I honestly forget if we're low or don't have enough. We had seven tubes at last count - by an amused but slightly exasperated Love Chunks. Family-sized blocks of chocolate also fall into this category, but it's debatable as to whether it's genuinely a 'seige mentality' action in buying six blocks at a time, or sheer greed.
Lastly - that is, if you're still reading this and not deleting this blog altogether in your shock, horror and dismay - I tend to talk out loud to my dog. For most of the day. Even though she's a good companion, really cute and likes to follow me around, I'm sure that she doesn't need me saying "Hello there furry face," every time our eyes meet, or "Come here for a cuddle, Spunky Buns" a dozen times a day, or a running commentary on what I'm doing: "Oooh you're a cutie. Mummy's just thawing out some chicken. Nooo, not for you, for us, for tea tonight." If she's really unlucky, she'll even get a song or two. My musical abilities and imagination are limited to merely slotting in her name to a known song "Her name was Milly, she was a show dog, she had blue ribbons in her hair and a dress cut down to there...." What she thinks of my canine version of 'Copacobana' perhaps is best left unknown.
It's unlikely that these three major habits are going to go away and may in fact get worse. Still there are worse things to do, aren't there? I haven't shagged the local football team or gambled away our life savings or done a Kate Moss up my nose, but if you're ever out of toothpaste or tinned tomatoes or fancy a canine conversation, you'll know who to call. Just make sure your name and/or telephone number is a division of three..........