I don’t want to be flippant but my partner has to continually remind me that I have a propensity to purchase a disproportionate amount of firm, wood, plastic, or leather chairs – we have them sprinkled around the house and stock piled in the garage – rockers, antiques, modern, stools all shapes and sizes. The ones reserved for me, even patio chairs, have pretty little ribbons tied on to remind the family not to use them.
I hadn’t realised how obsessed with chairs I’ve become until he pointed it out recently, so I started to wonder why this might be. The best reason I can think of is that I am fixated about “OCD Friendly” chairs whenever I am out of the house, and in it for that matter!
I can’t bear the thought of sitting on a spongy, sweaty bottom, germ-riddened cushioned seat, so I’m always looking for a hard seat that can be cleaned easily and doesn’t absorb nasties from an undesirable part of the human anatomy. I really do remember the wonderful feeling of being cuddled into a fabric armchair, but that was before my OCD bully arrived in my life.
I cringe when I watch people touching the seats of chairs, or sitting on their hands yuk. Young toddlers love to climb onto them and one of my friends has a young son that likes nothing more than having a little nod in our local restaurant whilst kneeling in front of a chair and resting his head and arms on the seat aagghh!
Some unfortunates have incontinence, or haemorrhoids, or are simply just not that clean, and there is only a thin layer or two between that area and the chair. What can be worse than seating down and finding the seat warm from the last person’s backside. You can imagine how doctors surgeries, dentists, pubs, hotels, restaurants and other peoples houses present problems for me – I regularly say “I’m fine standing thanks” but this has lead to embarrassing situations.
I avoid (like the plague) having to go to the doctors or dentists, but when I really can’t put it off, I stand up and read the posters and leaflets dotted around on the walls – for one full hour on one occasion – I must have looked ridiculous, especially when the receptionist said “Please take a seat as there is a long delay”. I made a pathetic excuse up that I was suffering with a bad back! I hope she didn’t check my medical records and find out that was a lie, but this is the kind of pretending us people with OCD need to do on a daily basis.
Public transport, including planes, is too difficult for me to use because unless I can afford first class tickets, they always involve that awful smelly velour covering, so travelling has to be made via my own transport meaning I will never see the USA or anywhere to the left of the UK on an atlas unfortunately. I can do the right of the UK on an atlas by taking my mobile home on the Cross Channel Ferry or Eurostar to Europe, and then keep driving, even as far as the Far East!
Getting a lift (especially to a pub or restaurant so that I can have a glass of wine to relax) with family or friends presents problems because I can’t rudely ask “Do you have leather seats?” so recently I’ve dared to take a plastic rubbish bin liner with me to put down on the car seat. I suspect they are probably offended but I do this in my own car now we don’t have leather seats. Love me, love my bin liner I’m afraid.
Toilets away from home are my worst nightmare, with spongy soft chairs coming in a close second place. My family and friends have latched on to this now and regularly say “You’d like it at xxxx because they have OCD friendly chairs”. My close relatives are patient enough to keep me my own hard chair in their house for visits bless them. So there we have it, I think this must be the reason I spend hours looking at chairs to buy and surround myself with.