2 Hours and 37 minutes Later

…And the groceries are finally all put away.  WHAT must it be like, I asked myself this evening, while cleaning each shelf of my refrigerator with rubbing alcohol, to arrive home  after the chore of  food shopping and just simply put the groceries wherever they might fit?  As you might have guessed, I am not that kind of girl.  In fact, I am SO the opposite of that kind of girl, that it literally took me 2 hours and 37 minutes to put away the groceries.

“Oh she has a large family and shops big” you might suggest, but alas, you are mistaken.  I seem to be physically and mentally unable to just put items on shelves.  I take all of the canned goods off of the third shelf of the pantry, then I clean the shelf, then I check the expiration dates, then I take all like items and organize them on my kitchen counter with the soonest to expire items in the front.  I then go to the laundry room closet, where my father built perfectly spaced shelves, and take all canned goods out of that cupboard, and clean the shelf, and check those expiration dates, then I take the laundry room pantry  items out to the kitchen and reorganize all canned goods, thus rotating my “stock” and then I sort the items by category and finally then put the canned goods back onto the 3rd shelf.  I then proceed to do this with the first shelf, which holds the grains; rices, pastas, crackers, oatmeals, quinoa…you get it.

Before I put any of the dairy items or drinks into the refrigerator I also empty that, and clean each shelf.  Before I can put the new steak sauce, mayo, or marinades into the shelf of the door, I have to empty and clean it too.  I proceed to toss anything that is recently expired or is too empty to use when I prepare a meal.  I reorganized all my mustards tonight and discovered that I am low on horseradish, which I did not buy.  I put all the seltzers and tonic in rows, rearranged all the glazes and sauces in the door, after cleaning each of the shelves, but of course.

It’s possible that I have a mental disorder, that being that I am a total basket-case when things are not actually IN order.  I have tried in the past to simply put things away, but then I am anxious, uneasy, and rather unsettled.  I’ve come to accept that this is just another one of my quirks, much like towel and sheet folding.  Sure, I could just stuff linens into the cupboard, but then I would KNOW that they were messy and it would cause me sleeplessness and agitation.

Every once in a while I watch that show on television called ‘Hoarders’ which basically shows me people who are the complete opposite of me.  People who can’t toss things, people who just pile stuff up, people who just cram items into cupboards, or in most cases, seem to leave them strewn about the kitchen and pretty much all surfaces in their disgustingly messy chaotic houses.  I watch the show sometimes in complete disbelief, and wonder “how can somebody live like that?” but tonight, after 2 hours and 37 minutes of grocery organizing, I realized that if anybody had been here to witness my behavior, they might very well think the same thing, “how can somebody live like that?”   I imagine to some it is surely a sign of some level of obsessive compulsive disorder, a complete and utter waste of time that I could have been doing something else, anything else.   Sure, some would say, ‘oh, RStar, what a waste of your time this evening after a long hard day at work,’ but I shall go to sleep tonight knowing that there is a place for everything and everything is in its place, and that makes me feel so good, no matter how long it took…

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