I save lives*

One of the benefits of having OCD is that I’m reliable. I make plans. I make plans to make plans. I write things down, revise, cross out, and rewrite, and that’s just to go to the damn grocery store. I have plans A, B, C and sometimes nearly to Z if I’m stressing over something. Also, I’m prepared for nearly anything. I have a rotating line-up of doomsday scenarios running through my head on a daily basis, and for every “what if?” there’s usually a plan. Because I can’t get past the “what if” unless there’s a plan.

I know, I said it was a benefit. I’m getting there. Over-explaining is another problem I have.

Sometimes I honestly feel vindicated when shit happens, like I know it’s coming and I’m just waiting. I should, too, because I’ve had some crazy luck. The number of car wrecks alone is pretty impressive (over a dozen; thankfully none lately – *knocking on wood*). If I count getting the change robbed out of my unlocked car recently as a “burglary,” I’ve had five of those now. Times my husband almost died because of his allergies: at least five. Once I was even attacked by a squirrel. Every time something shitty happens, it confirms my notion that the universe is out to get me. But don’t worry, I’m not really that paranoid. Just pessimistic, because I think the universe is out to get us all.

So that’s the good part.

No really, I’m great in a crisis. Two examples: once I was in a car wreck with my husband, and we both got knocked out. As I was swimming in and out of consciousness I stuffed the keys, his wallet, and the cell phone all into my purse (which is large, because it carries first-aid items and talismans in addition to the usual wallet, hand cream, chapstick, bug spray, sun screen, notepad, pen, and phone) and then I tied my purse to my arm before I passed out and got loaded into the ambulance. When he woke up thinking his wallet and everything was sitting in a junkyard and we were going to have to send someone over to try to find it, I told him I got it all. No worries! Because I worry for myself and everyone I know!

The other example is the time he nearly died from a food allergy in D.C. After years of traveling alone for business, I decided to take him and our three-year-old daughter with me so they could explore the capital while I attended a conference. He even had tickets to the White House, and Obama was still president. On the morning of Day Two I woke up to choking noises, and he was writing me notes in crayon (red, wouldn’t you know) on the hotel notepad to “CALL 911.” Apparently he’d eaten something the night before and had a delayed reaction. When he woke up with his throat swelling, he tried to take an Allegra but things escalated quickly and he was about to lose his airway. I had to call 911 and get him downstairs. I had to wake our daughter up and put clothes on her (and me) and get wallets with IDs and insurance cards and snacks for later and I also got her handheld video game because I knew she’d be bored. While they loaded Dan up in the ambulance, I had five minutes before we were all transported, and I slung half that hotel room in my pockets and purse. The only thing I forgot was Dan’s coat.

When the shit-storm does arrive, I’m always the one with the umbrella. The problem is, I want to carry it around even when the sun is shining and then people start to look at me like I’m crazy.


*A quote from Jack Black as Georgie the Orderly in one of my favorite films of all time, Jesus’ Son


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