An ADHD/OCD Romance: That Awkward moment when Cupid Shuffle meets Interpretive Dance

It’s no secret I’m ADD/ADHD. I can leap to conclusions with the ease of a squirrel monkey, keep no less than 732 tabs open at any given moment, and might opt to tune out your entire conversation when my favorite song is on the radio.

 

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In Physics, it is noted that “Opposites attract. And likes repel.” (And people who are really good at Physics may not be so hot with grammar.) The Universe also has a Douglas Adams sense of humor. It was partially this logic that might explain how ADD Girl picked “OCD Girl” as her partner in crime and partner for life. Never was there more of a mismatched pair of socks than this odd couple, and yet, we seem to find the humor and perverse delight in it.

It was fortunate that I picked her. I say “fortunate” because my love somehow possesses all the right amounts of lesbian genes, but none of the ‘gaydar’ to recognize her home team. I possess no discernible social filter, (it’s more of a transparent film really) and very little shame. If I’m going to be embarrassed about something I said or did, it will be on a delayed timer that doesn’t go off till 4:02 am. I was also endowed with the masculine trait of “audacity” I felt impaired with during much of my life, which was later found to be an evolutionary attribute that is indispensable to picking up women. (especially as a girly-femme).

Along with every other species, we each do our curious little dances, routines, and rituals to get through life. I think Humans have just perfected the neurotic part of it. Some people need to scratch the roof of the car going through red lights to ward off an ill timed traffic violation, while others need to take off their pants and arm out of the sleeve in order to poop. (http://iamneurotic.com/)

 

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Most of the time we try to cloak our “weird” and neurotic habits from the world, for fear of public scrutiny or a well placed social media shunning. But what IF the hard wired circuitry, neurosis, and predisposition for 80’s goth that you thought would qualify you to live as a loner with seventeen cats and a Klingon dictionary became the VERY quality your potential inamorata was looking for?

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My wife is the OCD type. She craves: order, symmetry, patterns, color coordination, logic, excel spreadsheets, and analytical thinking. What makes her freakishly logical and gives her the super power to recognize faces of 80’s washed up childhood actors 30 years later, is also the component that draws me to her even more. I possess none of these qualities. My super power is a “Rain man” ability for knowing song lyrics, but not before or after the song, only while the song is on.

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She is on the OCD spectrum because her anxiety spikes when any of these areas are upset, but all is this is internalized, and doesn’t reach obsessive hand washing or germ phobia heights. This makes her a “fun” partner to poke at a little and me an easy target as well.
Here are my top 10 favorites for having fun with an ADD/OCD person(All done in love of course)

1. Putting Away Groceries. Grocery shopping is my own personal nightmare full of sugar-coated neon lights and sounds. If I ever show up without a list, I may as well meal plan for a Thai-Curry-Frito-Quiche with a buttermilk and Chia seed smoothie, because those are the ingredients I am craving in that moment. If the ADD gods were in my favor, I have finished grocery shopping, and put away the groceries feeling accomplished.

Organization: Nailed it!
Organization: Nailed it!

Her silent nightmare has just begun. All the flags and internal combustion is firing on all sequential cylinders while she surveys the disorganized Armageddon I have unknowingly unleashed. Cans of various sizes stacked disproportionately on top of each other, in a Jenga game with a cat. Labels turned and talking to their neighbors all around the cupboard. Cups are stacked with mugs; some right side up, some in May Day pose. It’s anarchy! Her therapy is to quietly fix it after I have left the house and all is right with the world once again.

2. Preferential Sock Designation.  I didn’t realize there could be a controversy here. She has “left” and “right” socks. As if there is any discernible difference? To her feet, there are. And 10 out of 10 OCD people agree. To me, I believe socks aren’t even monogamous, but free to roam where the wind takes them. Some times I take her socks out and only pair the “Lefties” together.

This was pure torture for her!
This was pure torture for her!

 

3. Closets Her closets are organized not just by everything on a hanger (where my clothes look like a flailing two year old tantrum) but they have to face the same direction, and are color coordinated, and paired short sleeve to long sleeve. Even Goodwill can’t top this shit! Needless to say, my OCD Girl is not a fan of patterns and designs. Her clothes tend to be primary colors with a preference for Blue. (Navy. Go figure)

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I’m not sure I could ever put any of my clothes in a category, but more like a “theme”, like I’m expecting to be picked up by a gay cruise ship any moment. (I wish) I have a Disco theme, an 80’s theme, a Bohemian theme, and then there are the tank top and jeans I live in for weeks at a time. If I am feeling particularly mischievous, I will tell her I turned one of her shirts around, and wait for the frenzy to begin.
4. Pumping Gas. When we pump gas the number has to end in a zero, or else she will over pump to get it to that point.

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5. Laundry. She has a very particular way of folding clothes that are for maximum efficiency. It is very effective for stuffing a sea bag, or foot locker, but I’ll be damned if I can repeat this demonic origami pattern to save my life! In the end, all my folding “Done with Love” is undone and re-folded the “Navy way”. After initially being very hurt by this gesture, I have come to realize…I don’t have the attention span to carry a grudge on this one.

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6. Phone Interruptions . Nothing will put me out of sorts faster than finally having a creative moment to write and then the phone rings! Even though I know my wife is taking out time to call me and tells me she loves me, my brain is scrambled eggs and I can’t seem to switch gears. When I finally do switch gears and we head into a conversation, she will inadvertently be interrupted by a sailor. The next thing I know she is having conversations with everyone in her office, while I am extolling the virtues of my impending oil change, not realizing she isn’t listening at all.

 

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7. Becoming Frantic about finding my keys, phone, wallet, etc. only to realize I am holding them. 7e423e0237055dba2cbaac2d94e4e75e

 

9. The “Find My Parking Space” Game. A favorite by ADHD adults everywhere!  Somehow where I am in space and time becomes irrelevant when I walk away from my car. “Yes, I realize you carried me this far, but this is where I set you free.” When that fails, I now have an app.

 

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10. Not having a number 10

11. Skipping to 11 : the odd thing out of place. These thrill me to no end. Only because I realize the horror this inflicts to her and pretty much ALL of her co-workers!

Ancient OCD Torture Puzzle
Ancient OCD Torture Puzzle

 

12. Teaching an ADHD adult a new sport. Chances are, if I haven’t learned by now, you should probably give up and save yourself the tears and frustration.

I love Sportzing!
I love Sportzing!

And finally this. Just because. Love is Love. It’s cheesy, messy, and doesn’t follow any discernible patterns for variety, but no matter how you slice it, you are going to end up with a whole bunch of the good stuff that makes life worth living!

Why yes, I would love a slice of pizza!
Why yes, I would love a slice of pizza!
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