I’ve often explained that I blog about my innermost fears and idiocyncracies to make people feel more normal about theirs. And it’s gratifying to have people tell me “oh my god, I feel exactly the same way/do exactly the same thing”.
Because there’s always this niggling fear in the back of my brain that I might be wrong about it being a common weirdness. I might be the ONLY one and everyone will start whispering that I’ve lost the plot.
This may be one of those times.
There are many things about me that drive Husband crazy, but one of my most infuriating pecadillos is that I insist on everything being done a certain way. He often accuses me of having Aspergers-like tendencies, despite me no longer colour-coordinating the pegs while hanging out the washing.
He has also been known to get very, very cross about my rigid views on driving routes/cooking techniques when he is the one behind the wheel or wielding the wooden spoon. As in pulling over the car and getting out and walking away.
You see, I must take particular routes when I go to familiar places. The way I go there is usually completely different to the way home, but both must be followed each time, always in the correct order.
I must always shop at the same supermarket. The thought of shopping in an unfamiliar setting makes my chest all tight. Even if it’s more convenient.
I must always go to the same gym. When a friend suggested we try a sister gym in the next suburb, I stared at her in undisguised horror. The idea terrified me. She’s finally convinced me to go a couple of times for the fab pilates class, but only if she drives.
I must have a large Diet Coke every time I get my hair coloured. Although I was quite keen to try one of those new double caffeine Pepsi Max thingies before there’s a public outcry and they get banned. But the corner store didn’t have any. It did have all these revolting American drinks like Grape Fanta, but they just turned my stomach.
I must have two rice paper rolls from Miss Chu’s across the street after I get my hair coloured. And for some reason I must consume them in the car on the way home, shoving them in at traffic lights rather than sitting down to enjoy them in comfort at home.
I must bake muffins every Sunday night. Last night I made Spiced Pear ones. Even though I don’t actually eat muffins myself. And even if I’ve had a frantic weekend and would prefer to just curl up on the couch. No, I must bake.
I must always have the chicken soup, shallot pancake and sliced rice cake with crab for lunch every Wednesday at New Shanghai with Husband. Every, single Wednesday.
I must always sleep on the left side of the bed, on my left side.
I must blog every day. I’ve tried to stop on weekends, but the words just keep bubbling out. The only days I’ve stopped in the past year have been when I’m on a plane.
I must start my Christmas shopping before October. This year I’ll have almost finished by then.
I must book holidays around a year in advance and plan every single detail within an inch of its life. Husband has instituted a rule that he won’t discuss detail until six months before. The agony of holding my tongue does my head in.
The day of the flight, I become rigid with panic from about four hours before the plane leaves, convinced we will be late. Every muscle in my body contracts and my breath gets all shallow.
I must be on time for every social occasion, even being five minutes late panics me. However, I am married to a man who doesn’t care about such social conventions so we are always late and I am always freaking out about it.
I cannot concentrate on conversation at restaurants until the ordering is done. If it’s a shared meal – in an Asian restaurant, for example – it distresses me when my dining companions order items I consider to be “wrong” (though I’ve learned to conceal my horror). Long-term friends know to hand me the menus and suggest I order to avoid aneuryisms.
OK, tell me – does any of this odd-bod behaviour strike a chord or do you just want to inch away from me in case what I have is catching …?
PS Here’s the pear muffin recipe … Apparently they’re yummy.
RECIPE: SPICED PEAR MUFFINS
50g butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
2 pears, peeled, cored and diced
METHOD: Preheat oven to 200C. Beat sugar and butter together. Mix in vanilla, eggs, milk, cinnamon and ginger. Stir in flours until just combined. Stir in pear. Spoon into muffin cases in a 12-cup muffin tray. Bake for around 15-20 minutes until golden.