Does anyone else with this frustrating OCD condition have certain clothes for their ‘safe zones’? My favourite comfy clothes are saved for my Safe-Sofa-Zone – an oasis in the house that no one else (not even my gorgeous grand-children) can go near. This is my living area to relax in and the OCD bully has a job to reach my thoughts.
The cushions and throw on my safe-sofa are welcoming, cheerfully bright, and only ever been marooned on my white leather sofa. If, and it’s a big if, they should drape or fall off the sofa, they are immediately swooped up into the washing machine, and then dried on my own clothes-dryer, in my bedroom. No one touches these items, and I always wash my hands before touching them, or sitting on my sofa. There is one other Safe-Zone, and that is my white leather bedroom chair, next to my desk where I write this blog.
This obviously presents problems when I have guests in the living room because I have to guard my sofa to minimise stress and cleaning/washing. However it is so worth it! I can sit on my sofa with my safe-items at hand on a small side-table – they have all been scrubbed clean, such as my iPad, note book, pen, box of tissues, hand sanitizer gel, and hidden behind my large cushion, a packet of anti-bacterial wipes (just in case of an emergency contamination such as someone touching me or my sofa and it’s clean contents).
The above ritual is complicated by the fact I can only wear my safe-sofa-clothes in this area, so housework has to be done in another set of clothes, and then going outdoors is yet another set of clothes, with bedtime meaning a further set of clothes (usually pjs). This can even play with my mind, let alone the people around me.
So often my family look baffled when I nip upstairs to change my clothes after making them a drink upon arrival, but if we’re to have a relaxing chat on sofas in the living room …. well it’s all explained above. However, if we then move into the dining room to sit and eat, or decide to visit the shops or pub, it will mean another change of clothes (or two).
Family (but not friends) know of my indoor/outdoor clothes rule, and bless my children for abiding by this rule since they were small (I think it started when my son began school and wore a uniform), but over the years a third category has infiltrated my ritual – indoor AND safe-sofa clothes.
It is a bizarre world I have manufactured for myself but I do obviously blame the OCD bully and envy the simplicity of normal changes of clothes e.g. when they NEED washing. Another thing I am jealous of is when people enter their home after a long day, put the kettle on, and then flop down to enjoy a cuppa whilst kicking off their shoes. My routine is enter, take off outdoor shoes, wash hands, upstairs to change clothes, wash hands, make cuppa, wash hands, then flop down.