Jennifer Doering: Am I turning into Don?

  • Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013 12:01 a.m.
Jennifer Doering
Jennifer Doering

We just celebrated our 42nd anniversary this month and I love Don today as much as I ever will.

Through the years, even though we started with such different personalities, we have managed to blend together quite well.


We finish each other’s sentences, we concur on politics amd religion, we both love reading and we tutor students learning to read at Rowan Library twice weekly. We watch, most of the time, the same television shows, and I’ve even begun to appreciate lite jazz music.

Don does have his own man cave with a TV, so if I don’t see him in the living room, I know he is camped in “his” room. Meanwhile, I watch TV in our living room with my “boyfriend,” my dog, Chance.

We enjoy getting together with the Rowan Newcomer’s Club a couple times a month and have made several friendships through this group.

We both love the same kind of food and entertainment and, basically, despite a few spats, we get along quite well.

I used to pride myself on being neat, orderly and well-organized.

Since losing my leg in 2008, I have learned to not “sweat the small stuff,” and have let many things slide.

Don, on the other hand, has become more in command of cooking, which I absolutely love, as well as helping me clean and do the laundry — you gotta love him.

I have noticed, though, that Don can be kind of, what I call OCD, which stands for Obsessive Complusive Disorder.

I have commented to him on my thoughts about this. Especially before getting ready for work the evening before, he makes sure his coffee is ground and his lunch made, as well as filling the teapot with water, which I can understand.

However, the coffee pot, his mug and Truvia are set in a round flute plate on the left side of the sink.

The night before, Don moves all three items off of the plate, less than three inches away. I find this rather amusing since I don’t feel that three inches makes that much of a difference.

Also, I don’t load the refrigerator correctly, as he always rearranges the food to where he prefers it to be.

I, in addition, don’t fill the dishwasher properly, as he too, always changes the places I put the dirty dishes.

There are times, I feel quite inadequate.

Now, living with Don the way he is, I’m beginning to feel like I’m “catching” Don’s OCD.

I used to get out of bed in the morning, go in the closet and pick out my clothes for the day.

However, now, I find myself putting my clothes out the evening before, and even putting my clean towel next to the tub the night before I shower in the morning.

Also, everything on my dressing table and nightstand have to absolutely straight. This in itself can be quite tiring and become a stressor in my life.

I was not aware that OCD can be “catching,” but yet, I think I have it.

Mind you, I’m not complaining that Don is neat and orderly and helps me keep the house clean and does the main grocery shopping – I love it.

I just wish that sometimes, he would relax a bit more and just take life as it comes. I will continue teasing him about this subject, but I’ll make sure that I do so in jest.

Maybe catching OCD can be a good thing?

Jennifer Doering lives in Salisbury.

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