It’s Like Someone Took Desperate Housewives and Silence of the Lambs and Shoved Them Into My Autobiograpy
With all of the crime shows that I watch and the homicide novels I read and the fact that I’ve twice been the victim of aggravated assaults, it’s pretty amazing that I do not obsess all of the time about serial killers. The only time I am somewhat concerned about them is when I am in my car alone and I am singing with the radio at the top of my lungs. Even then, I am torn between worrying about the guy laying in wait in the trunk of my car who may have just discovered that he has a bigger motivation to slit my throat than he thought and the guy in the car next to me at the stop light who never pondered serial killing until he heard me belting out, “Hey Soul Sister.”
But those moments are rare – maybe once a week.
No, I spend far more time worried about the aftermath of being serially killed. This puzzles me because I will be dead and presumably will have less anxiety at that point. Nevertheless, I am increasingly fearful of what people will think of me when I am dead. Specifically, I am tormented by thoughts of what they will judge to be my less-than-stellar housekeeping skills.
I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this before – which only goes to show how much it bothers me.
For some reason, this affliction seems to have worsened during the summer – maybe because I have a bit too much time on my hands. I look in a closet, and am suddenly acutely aware that there are too many clothes in it, that if anyone else should happen to see that I still own 3 bridesmaid dresses that I wore twenty years ago they will be incredibly astonished at the levels that my hoarding reached and how could they have never suspected that I was so deeply disturbed?
Yesterday, I noticed the light switch in my bathroom had accumulated about 5 years of dust on the top rim and nearly had a panic attack while I tried to finish up my business so I could get to some cleaning supplies and rectify the situation before I die.
The funny thing is that you would walk into my house and never think to yourself, “This is someone who is obsessed with cleaning her house.” That is because I am very self-aware, and I realize that if I give in to this craziness I will lose my mind completely and become like that lady on Desperate Housewives who may or may not have become a serial killer herself (I’m not sure because I stopped watching it after the 2nd season). So, I allow myself to freak out for about 20 minutes a day and then I collapse in exhaustion on the couch and force myself to read.
Another serial killer book.
That describes the abode of the victim in great detail.
Detail that I hope no one will ever feel the need to go into when I am serially killed.
I finally solved the mystery of what’s using up all of the RAM in my brain, rendering it completely useless for ordinary tasks like processing words and creating pointless bulleted lists of what I desperately need from the grocery store.
Someone has apparently messed with my system preferences and over-upgraded my anti-virus program resulting in my brain spending more time on defending me from highly contagious infections than reminding me to perform simple tasks – such as putting a memory stick into my camera before I take 200 pictures and realize that none have been saved.
I was thinking that getting older was the culprit, but a rare moment of self-awareness the other day revealed the true reason I can’t remember a darn thing anymore.
I was supervising recess, and a student came up, rubbed his palm on my arm, and asked me if he could go to the bathroom.
“Sure,” I said automatically.
What I was thinking was, “I need to douse my left arm in hand-sanitizer as soon as I get back to my classroom.”
About 2 minutes later, a parent walked up to me, introduced himself, and shook my hand.
“Hello,” I said automatically.
Thinking, of course, “And I will use my right hand that man just shook to spread the hand-sanitizer all over my left arm.”
And then someone asked me a question.
And a small bit of panic began to rise because I now had two things to remember and one thing to respond to all at the same time and apparently two is my max amount for multi-tasking and my brain completely freezes if required to perform three functions at the same exact time.
I don’t even remember the question. It was about that moment that a random window opened in my brain, informing me that this is exactly why I am a basket case while simultaneously debating whether the person who asked me the question got close enough that I would now need to sanitize my entire body just to be on the safe side.
Later that day, I informed my husband of my great revelation.
“I can’t remember anything because I’m too busy trying to remember which parts of my body need to be disinfected every time someone comes near me. I’m seriously creating little mental maps in my brain with place-markers on every spot that has been touched since the last time I expunged all of the germs.”
Despite the fact that I make astounding statements like this every single day, my husband seemed a bit concerned by the gravity of the situation.
“That’s weird,” he said. “You seriously need to stop watching those reruns of Monk.”
“Oh God,” I thought. “I never thought of that. CAN YOU IMAGINE ALL OF THE BACTERIA LIVING ON OUR REMOTE CONTROL?!!!”