This is the tale of my M.O.C.D. Well, it’s not actually a tale, those stories are fantasies with swirling dragon tails, talking cats in little black boots, and mermaids. Oh how I wish this was about mermaids. This is an account of my near onset of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a manifestation directed at mayonnaise. For this is why I’m naming it Mayo Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Mayo, it wasn’t your fault. I forgave you years ago. If I hadn’t, nobody would have wanted to live with me, or try to make a sandwich in my kitchen.
My friend and roommate, who was studying the strange things our brains do, saw flecks of trouble in me early on. I was blinded by it, I thought everyone else was crazy. They could not understand that the knife for the butter had no business being in the mayo container. And, coincidently, the knife used to scoop mayo out of its vessel was never allowed in the butter. It’s cross-contamination and just gross. My friend pleaded with me “You eat the sandwich that has butter and mayo, why can’t you use a single knife?”
You will contaminate the mayo.
I was so animatedly convinced that the mayo would turn a ghastly green colour overnight in the fridge if a dirty knife was ever stuck inside it. My tuna on wheat for lunch and dinner would be rendered mayo-less or risk ingesting the hairy green infested mayo at my next meal. (OK, this is slightly exaggerating but that feeling of disgust you have right now after reading it? THAT is how I felt.)
I lived with her and my dear Granny. Granny needed someone around in the event she fell or could not bare to make a meal for herself. She was the first person I ever cooked for. Cooking for me back then, at 18, was a pot roast or mac’n’cheese, pasta with meat sauce, and tuna on wheat with mayo and relish. The latter being quite frequent. I didn’t worry so much about Granny mixing up the butter knife with the mayo knife, she didn’t care for it.
The debacle continued. I made more friends at school. Friends came over to study and do homework. Friends came for dinner. Friends were lectured on the appropriate use of mayo while assembling burgers. Friends were amused. I was not.
Winter came hard and fast, typical of Canadian weather. My birthday often coincided with the coming of the tenth circle of winter hell. I was born in a blizzard. My roommate and one of our friends had a gift for me. I remember a narrow long present, I unwrapped it and was perplexed. It was two butter knives welded together at their butts. Ninja butter knife? I stood with a blank stare on my face, head cocked to the side like a puppy wondering when you’re going to drop the ball.
“It’s a butter and mayo knife!”
I realized how insanely funny they thought I was. I went with it, I even used it for a while. It’s lost now, unless it’s hiding in one of the bins in the garage that I refuse to throw away.
And what about other contaminants? I get equally squirrely about cleaning up the chopping board and knife before, during and after preparing dinner. There is a sensible motivation behind it now. There are small children in our home and their veggies are not chopped in same place or with the same knife as the chicken breasts or beef steaks. It’s OCD isn’t it?