Being stuck in my own home should be easy for me – I have OCD so people and places raises challenges for me – but knowing you can’t interact, in even a limited way, is more challenging than I imagined it would be. Shopping, or not being able to shop, is my biggest headache.
I feel embarrased that I was one of those “panic buyers” for toilet rolls and handwash in early March, so I’m grateful I have those essentials covered. It took several trips to several supermarkets but mission accomplished and I breathed a sign of relief at my bounty and won’t be buying any more for several weeks (or even months) knowing that if IBS flares up or a stomach bug I won’t have to resort to kitchen roll that might block up the sewer pipes. As I write this the shortage in toilet rolls seems to be over but anti-bacterial soap is still not available in abundance (I hear).
Because of my OCD I like to pick out all my shopping products carefully – I have a certain way of adding them to the trolley and putting stuff on the conveyor belt – no bread, pastries or cakes must touch either, it needs to balance on a sturdy item and not touch the bottom of my carrier bag. Whilst stocking up on toilet rolls and handwash I took the liberty of ensuring I had the cleaning products I’d need for emergencies – anti-bacterial washing-up liquid, anti-bacterial spray, bleach, kitchen rolls and tinned staple foods. The last shopping bill I had, which was over eight weeks ago, was over £100 but had no real meals to eat – the trolley looked similar to the drawing below and goodness knows what the check-out operator must have thought “she’s a fairly big woman so what does she eat as there’s nothing on this conveyor belt”?
I’ve never been able to do ‘on-line shopping’ because of my trolley/conveyor belt/carrier bag OCD dos and don’ts, as I imagine items being dropped on the floor or the person doing the picking/packing/delivering has not washed their hands after the toilet or just picked their nose etc. The kind people doing my shopping now would not do either of the latter nasties, but there is no way they would think the way I do about how the items go in the trolley, on the conveyor belt or into the carrier bag (thankfully they think normally).
For the last eight weeks of isolation/sheilding (to protect my loved ones) has meant relying on lists for someone else to do my shopping and it reminds me that I buy and eat too much – I write one list and then edit out as much as possible – think of the rationing in the war years I tell myself, make do and be creative with existing food stuffs you have in the pantry. I feel embarrassed when compiling a shopping list that someone else gets to see what I consume living on my own (especially chocolate treats and alcohol) and then has to put every item into the trolley, on a conveyor belt, into bags, into a boot and then onto my doorstep – effort that I enjoy doing ordinarily. In fact shopping used to be the highlight of my week and could take several hours of mooching the isles looking for new products to try.
Retail therapy is, or was, my guilty pleasure, and for the foreseeable future I expect this pleasure will be on hold for several more months but at least my shopping list doesn’t have to include any cleaning products!!