A Little Obsessive Behavior Makes The Whole World Weird

I’m a pretty firm believer that everyone gets a smidgen hung up on a certain something, from time to time.  For instance, ever since I got it, I’ve been managing my iPhone’s battery level obsessively. I’m not sure why, exactly, but if that tiny percentage besides the battery icon on the display dips below a certain percentage (pro-rated for time of day, or course), my gums tighten up around my teeth and my forehead crinkles like I’m preparing to hop off an amphibious troop landing ship and advance on a hostile beachhead.

90% at 10 AM? Oh, well, okay, that’s not so bad.

75% at lunchtime? Hrm…that’s getting  a little too low for my liking. Better turn off Wi-Fi and ignore those texts from the Puddinette. Gotta make sure I have power left at 11:30 tonight when I need to, um, I dunno, play Plants versus Zombies or something.

Down to a mere 53% come quitting time at 5:00 PM?! ZOMGODZILLABINGOBLANKET!! Awooga! Awooga! Danger, Will Robinson, danger! Silence Siri! Step off the Word With Friends!  Put the phone down and walk away! Identify the closest charging location and pray your mother doesn’t make a surprise just-checking-in call at 7:30! Whatever you do, Don’t Panic!

Of course, I realize that this behavior is, um, atypical. It’s not like my penchant for power-pinching is the prevalent approach amongst the populace. Most reasonable people, my wife included, are plenty happy if their smart phone simply makes it to the standard overnight charging session without checking out mid-facebook update while they’re waiting out a commercial during The Littlest Couple. So, yeah, I know I’m a little twitchy about it.

But the thing is, I think perhaps a little bit of taking something too far is okay from time to time. I mean, it’s not like my irrational concern for the battery life of my phone is a bad thing. Or if it is, I can’t see how. I wouldn’t chuck someone in front of a moving subway train to reach an outlet before them. And I’m not neglecting personal hygiene (thereby picking up unfortunate nicknames like “Edward McEarwax”), or missing days at work because I can’t cope with the thought of All That Lost Power.

So, yeah, maybe I tend to fret over my phone a bit.

As I said, though, I’m pretty sure everyone’s got a little hot button that really stokes the campfire from time to time, if you know what I mean. In which case, it’s time to ‘fess up. Come clean. Shed a little light on your idiosyncrasies. What do you do that’s not unhealthy, per se, but is definitely a skosh outside the norm of how the 9 of your 10 neighbors operate? What tiny tic keeps you ticking?  I’d love to build a list of the myriad eccentric, unique ways we all live your lives, without losing our minds.

Although, I suppose the question of whether my mind is lost is still open for debate.

But that’s a discussion for another day.  Preferably a day when I’ve got a full battery icon.


Please note that at no point in the above rambling nonsense did I use the letters OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a much more serious anxiety disorder that interferes with one’s normal daily life. It’s a clinical mental illness treated with psychotherapy and/or medication. Which is not at all the same thing as me hoping my phone battery will last long enough to give me twitter notifications after midnight. For more information on OCD, check out the National Institute of Mental Health.

3 thoughts on “A Little Obsessive Behavior Makes The Whole World Weird

  1. Why do I have a feeling any comments left here will end up as character quirks in your future novels??


  2. I cannot get up unless it is a quarter of the hour. Woke up at 5:55? I’m waiting until 6 to open my eyes and roll out of bed. Acceptable numbers are: –:00, –:15, –:30, and –:45. All others must wait until the next acceptable time. I will get up ten minutes earlier than I need to to avoid a non-acceptable number.


  3. Edward McEarwax???? You are just too funny! I, of course, have on eccentricities at all!!!! 🙂


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