Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Now Serving Chips, Dip, & Anxiety

Yesterday, some friends invited us over to their house to watch the AFC Championship game with them. (A big football game - in case you are not familiar with the sport!) On the way to their house, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some sodas, chips, and dips.

As we were checking out, I picked up one of the bags that held a glass jar filled with dip. Wouldn't you know, that is the one bag that I had to drop on the floor, with the glass jar making a very loud noise when it hit the tile. Immediately, I stated, "Oh, I'm going to go get another jar. I'm not serving that one to people." My husband looked at the jar, and said, "I think it's ok. I can't see any cracks." I still insisted on getting another jar. The cashier (a young girl in her teens) said, "Oh, no, see it's fine. There are no cracks." I said, "No, I'm not serving that. I will buy another one." She started to get a little insistent that it was ok, but I refused (while inwardly I was beginning to get angry that she was fighting me on this) and I walked away to go find another jar. (I was planning on paying for the dropped jar, as well as the new jar.)

When I returned to the cash register with the new dip, I asked my husband where the dropped jar was. He said, "She took it back." I was really getting upset now, although I think I did a pretty good job of hiding it. "Did you tell her we would pay for it?" My husband answered yes. Then the cashier again said that the jar was fine. I asked her if she was going to put it back on to the shelf, and of course, she said yes. I told her that I wouldn't do that. She pretty much ignored me at that point. I honestly don't know why it mattered to her so much that the jar was "ok."

We paid for our groceries and left, but oh I was so angry. I hate the idea that someone might choke on a small piece of glass that may have chipped off of the jar. I considered talking to the store manager to complain, but at the same time, I was concerned that I would look like a crazy lady. I don't know, maybe I am a crazy lady. I really hope no one gets hurt. The situation is out of my control, though. Like most of life, I guess.

As we drove away, my husband apologized to me. He said that he was enabling me by allowing me to buy another jar and that he should have made me serve the dropped jar. He felt like he failed me. Maybe he did enable me, but I can tell you that if he had forced me to serve that dropped jar of dip, I would have completely come undone in front of our friends who do not know that I have OCD. I know that purchasing a new jar of dip was a compulsion. It's just that the urge was so overwhelming to do it. 

I also feel a bit guilty now for becoming angry at the cashier (though I never let it show to her - or at least I don't think I did). I don't know if I should feel that way or if it's false guilt.

It's amazing what a mine field the grocery store can be for someone with anxiety!

16 comments:

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    1. Ugh, it WAS extremely frustrating that the cashier would not listen to me! I really don't know why it mattered to her so much.

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  2. Oh, Sunny I'm so sorry that happened as you were looking forward to a fun event. I hope you got into the football game and forgot about it- for a little while. I know ocd gives us very long memories about what happened when and where. I too, have this thing about glass- the thot of not having picked up ALL of the broken glass. My mom used to can foods and every once in a while a glass would shatter. As a kid that terrified me so much that while i would do jams and applesause because you are adding hot material to hot jars and they don't break, i've never done a water bath as an adult.

    As for the jar in the store, that glass is fairly thick. So i think you can trust the majority on that one! I know, that's the bad reasurrance! Hopefully ocd has calmed down enuf for you by now but i could feel your anxiety in the post!

    Sometimes a nice evening with friends trumps an unplanned erp. We need to give ourselves breaks too. I hope the rest of the week goes better for you.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Karin! You know, it's funny, the OCD is still with me, but the whole "long memory" thing (which used to haunt me ALL the time) has really improved since treatment. I'm usually able to forget about stuff after a little while. I did manage to put it aside for the most part and I had a great time with my friends. Well, that is until the Patriots lost. : (

      I would have hated that whole canning process too! If I remember correctly, my mom did it a couple of times. My biggest fear about it is that if you don't do it right, you can end up with botulism. That definitely has scared me enough that I would never attempt to do it either.

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    2. Oh, Sunny, I am the same way about canning. My mother canned a lot, and was very careful, but I remember her talking about the danger of botulism, especially with green beans. I would be afraid to can something and then try to figure out if it was "sealed" properly.

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    3. So I guess I'm not the only one who heard those scary botulism stories!! I even get scared about buying dented cans in the grocery store because I've heard the same thing about them. Life sure would be easier if we thought a little less, wouldn't it?

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  3. Sunny, I'm sorry this happened. I think I would have done the same thing as you--bought a second jar to serve. I just don't trust my eyes and fingers to find a crack in glass in a situation like that, even though I should. I guess that means I would have given into the OCD compulsion too!

    Just remember that you got through the situation and you were able to go to your friends' house. You made it through. That deserves a pat on the back! I hope you had a good time.

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    1. I did have a good time, thanks, Tina. You know, I'm the same way - I just don't always trust my senses. Plus, I always feel like it's possible that there is a chip on the inside of the jar that you just can't see. To me, for a couple of bucks, it's just not worth taking a chance. I'd rather just pay for it and throw it out, then I know everyone is safe. I can't tell you how much stuff I've thrown out over the years because of that fear. I guess that's not too good!

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  4. I think the cashier should have remembered the motto "the customer is always right" and not have tried to convince you otherwise. I think in the clerks position I might have said "it looks okay" the first time, but if I would have felt you were uncomfortable buying it I would not have argued the point. I can see why the clerk's attitude annoyed you.
    As far as buying a new jar, sometimes we just have to do what we gotta do Sunny. Sometimes I feel towards myself what your husband said in that I feel like giving in to a compulsion lets myself down. But the negative talk towards myself does nothing but bring me down so I try not to dwell and just move on. I think it is important to remember what Tina said above, you got through it and went to your friends house. That is a victory in my eyes!

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    1. It did annoy me, Krystal Lynn. I've never had a clerk challenge me like that before and I was feeling all kinds of anxiety and it was just making it worse! I worked as a cashier at a grocery store in high school and I guarantee that I would never have argued with a customer like that. Oh well, so be it.

      Yes, that is exactly what I was doing - what I had to do to get through the night. Sometimes it's just not practical to do ERPs, especially when you have to function and other people are around. And I did feel bad that I gave in, but I'm sure it won't be the last time. But on the other hand, there are times when I don't give in and those are victories. And yes, I did go to my friends' house and I had a great time, even in spite of it.

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  5. I wouldn't call it an ERP complete give-in. You bought a new can, but delt with the anxiety of the clerk putting the first one back. You could put it as choosing a smaller exposure instead of going straight to the bigger exposure. Of course, the clerk didn't give you a choice on the smaller exposure... that would be frustrating. I like to call it compromising with my OCD, but my counselor had some more noble, less compromising name for it. :)

    My mom told me about botulism, too. I think she told me something about it (or some other bacteria/disease) killing a family shortly after they ate from a contaminated can (a hypothetical story). So don't ask how much time I have spent staring at cans to make sure that they were sealed with negative pressure, not having domed tops (pressurized by the growing bacteria). I've worried a little about dented cans, but not with botulism; with some unidentified worry that the food might be bad. I helped sort food at a food bank warehouse once, and they had some kind of simple rule about safe versus questionable. I think it was that dents were okay as long as mettle didn't touch mettle (i.e., the side and the top bent so much that they touched each other).

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    1. Ha ha I like that Abigail - a more "noble, less compromising name!" My psychologist used to rephrase a lot of the stuff I said too, and she would always make me feel better by pointing out all the stuff I DID do, and not focus so much on the stuff I didn't do.

      Ooooh, that would have been a scary story to hear about botulism. Yikes! I had never heard that rule about cans before. What a great idea. I've always wondered myself how I could tell if something was safe or not.

      So true story - about 10 or 15 years ago, my husband worked with our church group to organize a food drive. They had to go through the cans and make sure they were safe, not expired and stuff like that. They actually found a can of food that had expired like 20 years before, or something crazy like that!!! ha ha

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  6. Sunny, you have one gem of a husband, apologizing for not doing what he felt he should. Wow, that is so impressive! An you're impressive also. So you didn't do the ERP but you didn't let the whole event ruin the rest of your day, either. So good for you (and not so good for The Patriots, oh well)!

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    1. Yep, no doubt about it, Janet, I'm a lucky girl! It's great to have a partner who understands and wants to really help.

      Yes, the Pats loss was definitely a bummer. But there's always next year!

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  7. The customer is always right! I don't think places put a priority on customer service anymore.

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    1. Jean - I totally agree with you!! ha ha I remember when I worked as a cashier - people said really mean things to me at times, but even so, I never responded rudely. Oh well, what are ya gonna do?

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